|Available on Kindle|
Gosh, I've missed these books! Last week, I finished Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith, and after spending time with the chittering, oh-so-genteel, sedate Brits, I was really ready for something with grit. The holidays always put me in the mood for something fun and uplifting, so I decided to reconnect with a great detective series by Janet Evanovich featuring the indomitable female bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum.
When I started reading the series in 2K, I loved the books so much that I read them straight through and bought every new release in hardback because I couldn't wait to read the new books. Stephanie's crazy Jersey family made me laugh out loud, and the villians were calculating, unpredictable, and genuinely scary. But, the stories started to get a little stale for me later on in the series, and my devotion fizzled after book number fourteen (Fearless Fourteen, 2008).
I was such a fan of the Stephanie Plum novels that I read two of the four Stephanie Plum holiday novellas, Visions of Sugar Plums (2002) and Plum Lovin' (2007). Both are good, and I plan to finish the other two during this holiday season.
I just started the fifteenth book, Finger Lickin' Fifteen, and I am happy to report that it's as good as ever! One of my favorite characters—Lula, the reformed hooker, assistant detective, and Stephanie's part-time file clerk—is back in all of her delightful glory. I love the relationship that these women have as friends and as female bounty hunters.
Did I mention that Stephanie has a hamster named Rex? Ms. Evanovich is such a good writer that she manages to make readers care about minor characters like Rex. Rex is part of Stephanie's world, along with her on-again, off-again cop boyfriend, Joe Morelli; her mysterious mentor, Ranger; and her grandma Mazur. Supporting characters like Salvatore Sweet, Stephanie's transvestite friend and part-time crime solving assistant, are plentiful and endearing throughout the books.
I bought books fifteen (Finger Lickin' Fifteen, 2009), sixteen (Sizzling Sixteen, 2010), and seventeen (Smokin' Seventeen, 2011) on Kindle. The eighteenth book in the series was released yesterday (November 22, 2011), and it's not getting great reviews, so I'm going to finish off the next three before I decide on whether or not to purchase the latest Stephanie Plum novel, Explosive Eighteen.
If you're looking for a fun read during the holidays, I'd recommend starting this series. It holds up well and gets consistently good reviews on Amazon through Book #13, then seems to lose its steam with #14. I wasn't sure what to expect with Book #15, but so far, Finger Lickin' Fifteen is pretty good, and I would say that it's worth a read if you're already a fan of Stephanie Plum.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! ::::gobble::::gobble::::