Dang if Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels aren't great fun to read. Admittedly they aren't high art, and there really is a lot of silliness that goes on, but after finishing my second book, Two for the Dough (how many are there now? Eighteen?), I am finding them to be laugh out loud funny and an excellent stress reliever. Even before I finished the second book I had the third one on order and it is now safely sitting on my reading pile just waiting for the right moment (which may well come sooner than I expect). If I didn't already have some luscious new books waiting for me to start the new year with, I would immediately pick up Stephanie's next adventure. Best to save it for an afternoon when it is gloomy outside or life seems particularly trying.
You may know that the first book, One for the Money was adapted to film and will be out later this month, and now I can't wait to see it. Although I am not a Stephanie Plum aficionado (with only two books under my belt I have lots more to go), I was sort of disappointed by the actors who were cast in the roles of Stephanie and her nemesis/love interest Joe Morelli, but now that I've had a chance to consider them in those parts, I can't picture anyone else. Stephanie is a former lingerie-buyer turned recovery agent (aka bounty hunter) living in Trenton, New Jersey, or as she affectionately calls it, The Burg. She's kind of a haphazard gal. Much to her mother's chagrin she wears jeans, flannel shirts and Doc Martens (her work clothes), caves in often to a sweet (and sometimes salty, too) tooth, and finds herself in the most awkward or unaccountable situations. She must get it from her Grandma Mazur who's only too ready to get mixed up in Stephanie's escapades, and has been known to accidentally shoot roast chickens (you had to be there...).
This time out Stephanie is trying to bring in Kenny Mancuso who has skipped out on bail and failed to show at his hearing on a murder charge. Kenny happens to be distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli who has his own reasons for bringing Kenny in. Stephanie and Joe decide to share information; well, as much as Stephanie can trust Morelli to share (which isn't all that much to be honest). The two have a love hate relationship that goes back to elementary school, and while Morelli may smolder away with his bedroom eyes, Stephanie knows it's better to be wary of him. Since she is always short of cash, she takes on a side job locating missing caskets from a local funeral parlor only to dig herself in deeper as she stumbles upon illegal activities that someone would prefer to be kept well hidden. Are the two cases related?
It's all great fun. These stories are totally light-weight, easy reads. Of course the more Morelli and Stephanie clash the more the sparks ignite usually ending in humorous situations that elicit a good laugh or two. I've decided the books are like bonbons--a tasty treat as long as you don't mind a few empty calories. I probably wouldn't eat a whole box full in one sitting, but there's nothing wrong with indulging in a few now and again.