Monday, February 2, 2009

Stephanie Plum forever

Since 1994 Janet Evanovich has been writing a series of novels about Stephanie Plum and her attempts to capture bond absconders whose bail was posted by her cousin, Vinnie. Stephanie is not the most successful bounty hunter in New Jersey often requiring a number of attempts "to get her man". Helping her are an assortment of associates including Lula, Grandma Mazur, Ranger and Joe Morelli, her on again off again boyfriend. Each novel usually includes further zany characters to help or hinder Stephanie carry out her task. These characters often reappear in a later book. Stephanie does not lead a quiet life. Around her things happen. Cars explode or disintegrate or crash, buildings blow up, bodies are found. Frequently she finds herself in situations she would rather not be in but that is all part of the life of being a bounty hunter - if you are Stephanie Plum - as is junk food and questionable fashion. The books can be dangerous to read in public as the larger than life characters and or ridiculous situations can cause the reader to laugh out loud resulting in strange looks from those without the privilege of enjoying the book.

The titles of the fourteen novels so far include sequential numbers - One for the money, Two for the dough, Three to get deadly, Four to score, High Five, Hot six, Seven up, Hard Eight, To the nines, Ten big ones, Eleven on top, Twelve sharp, Lean mean thirteen and Fearless Fourteen.

Reading Stephanie Plum books can be contageous and I have had conversations with many women waiting for the next installment. Since 2002 Janet Evanovich has written additional, often shorter books, containing further adventures of Stephanie Plum - Visions of sugar plums, Plum lovin' and Plum Lucky. Diesel - a bounty hunter with special powers - appears in these books assisting Stephanie in her adventures. The latest in the 'Between-the-Numbers' novels is Plum Spooky, a book the size of the traditional Stephanie Plum novels.

In Plum Spooky Stephanie is looking for Martin Munch who has stolen a magnetometer and disappeared. Out of the blue Diesel reappears in her life and insists on helping her as he is looking for his cousin, Wulf Grimoire, who possibly has Munch working for him. As an added complication Stephanie discovers that she is baby sitting a precocious monkey named Carl who insists on accompanying them and causing additional havoc. Animals often feature in Stephanie Plum novels. In Plum Lucky a horse was a major additional caharacter. The search leads them to the Barrens populated by an assortment of unusual characters and events and after confronting a range of dangerous situations Stephanie, Lula and Diesel, with assistance from Joe and Ranger and Ranger's men, eventually track down their targets. Needless to say various subplots add to the enjoyment of this humourous adventure. Now waiting for the next installment.

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