I stuck in my thumb, and I pulled out a Plum!
Picture this: A Jersey girl, born and raised, with a perfectly nice set of boobs, thank you. She figured out which way to point a gun in her new career as a bounty hunter on the mean streets of Trenton, so she’s drawn her share of blood. And as for carnage, just check out the cars she’s crushed, blown up, or set on fire. She’s the total package baby. I give you: Stephanie Plum!
Stephanie’s story began in One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich. To date there are 21 numbered Plum stories, plus four shorter holiday novels and a feature film starring Katherine Heigl. They are all tightly-plotted mysteries full of plot twists and zany but believable characters: Morelli, the cop who looked up her skirt in middle school and whose eyes draw her in today; Ranger, the monosyllabic scary-sexy professional bondsman; Lula, the hooker turned file clerk; Grandma Mazur, the blue-haired terror with the gun in her purse; Sally Sweet, the six-foot star of the transvestite rock band; and on and on, more than I can list. They are all hilarious. I would listen to these books at the gym and have to stifle giggles as I panted on the treadmill.
One thing I find impressive about this series is that Evanovich is largely successful in maintaining the consistency of her characters while allowing them, especially Stephanie herself, to grow and change. Her style of humor appeals to me as well. It’s often over the top, but never seems forced, growing organically out of the basic nature of her characters and situations. I would be happy if I could do half as well half the time.