Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ten Big Ones - Plums, Doughnuts, and Diets

Pros: Lula sitting on people, Sally Sweet, the Batcave
Cons: Wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am ending

The Bottom Line: ...It's Stephanie Plum. What more do you want?

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t read one more Fear Street book for fear I would implode or something. So I had to move on to much greener pastures.

My name is Nicole. Not Stephanie Plum. I don’t have a cousin named Vinnie. In fact, I don’t have any cousins, which means I have no one in the bail bond business to blackmail for a job. I have no job. That also means I don’t have cars blowing up all the time on me. Though I did get in a wreck last month so I’m still without a vehicle. But at least I don’t have psychos chasing me around. Then again that means I don’t have a hot vice cop named Joe Morelli to protect me. Same goes for an ex-Navy SEAL named Ranger. My life is a lot more boring than Stephanie’s.

The only thing I have in common with Stephanie is that she’s a character created by Janet Evanovich. I’m not a character, but I am a writer. Except I’m just not published. Yet. But enough about me. Let’s know more about Stephanie.

Nachos or a sub? Those are the things Stephanie and Lula are thinking about when a guy known as the Red Devil comes flying out of the deli, having just held it up, the situation ending in his escape and yet another one of Stephanie’s vehicles aflame. The words “It’s not my fault” are becoming standard in Stephanie’s vocabulary. Her semi-boyfriend and cop Joe Morelli is going to have a stroke over her at some point, and she just amuses the Batman-like bounty hunter (among other things) Ranger. At least she can get some satisfaction out of being able to ID the Red Devil.

Except that’s not a good thing either. It turns out he’s part of a rather nasty gang, a group Stephanie manages to screw up and get into deeper, leading to the introduction of a contract on her head and a man named Junkman taking it up. And Junkman does his killing with flair. Crap. There’s nowhere for Stephanie to hide without endangering her family and friends – except…dare she say it? Dare she even think it – the Batcave?

I’m tempted to do a lookup on Ranger’s soap in the case that it really exists and I can find out what Ranger is supposed to smell like. Shut up. I know I have issues. I acknowledge my insanity. No matter – because at least my life isn’t as nuts as Stephanie’s, though in some ways I wish it were. Definitely more exciting than living here in Illinois where the land is flat, the cornfields are empty, the trees have gone into hibernation, and I sit on my ass and dream impossible dreams.

This book is much mellower than some of its predecessors. I wasn’t cracking up at every turn, but that didn’t mean I was less interested. Hey, when stuff like the Batcave is involved, it’s hard not to be interested. She still does her apprehensions, still has Lula to randomly jump people, and still has Joe to deal with. Sometimes Stephanie’s stupidity can be annoying, but here it’s a little less annoying. Probably because she’s not as stupid as she’s been in the past. She still needs to get used to the gun factor, and ease up on Joe some when he just wants her to be safe.

All in first person, Stephanie’s perspective, as usual. Janet Evanovich is a woman after my own heart. Finally someone else who freely uses the words “mosey,” “hork” and other things. No one else I know uses those in their vocabulary. I use them all the time. Ok, maybe not hork because I don’t exactly have the need to use it, but I enjoy mosey and sashay and such.

The end resolves itself really quickly and has a very brief resolution. I wish both of them were a little longer, maybe with a little more umph to them or something. I know, it’s hard to top what actually does happen when it comes to Stephanie’s rescuer, and in some ways it even seems a little over the top. I just wanted more in terms of length, maybe Stephanie getting mean, something. Not a semi deus ex machina thing going on. I seem to be running across a lot of those endings these days…

Oh well. At least it wasn’t a Scooby-doo ending. Though the situation didn’t really allow for one. Still, I’m entertained and that makes me happy.


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