Book Reviews

J is for Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich

Author Janet Evanovich

I was lucky enough to stum­ble onto Janet Evanovich back in ’95 when her book ‘One for the Money’ came out in the UK.  At the time I was work­ing near a large Water­stones and I’d often pop in to have a look dur­ing my lunch hour.  I still recall (what strange mem­o­ries I have!) find­ing the book by Janet:  it was in the crime sec­tion and I thought it strange.  It was crime-ish but it seemed a lit­tle too light­hearted to war­rant being sec­tioned with heavy mur­ders and das­tardly deeds.

I bought the book anyway.

And I’ve been hooked ever since.

One for the Money’ was the first book in what has, so far, become a 16 book series.  The hero­ine of the book is Stephanie Plum who takes a job at her uncle Vinnie’s bail office out of des­per­a­tion.  Uncle Vin­nie is a slime ball extra­or­di­naire with a pen­chant for ducks… and he’s one of the more sane characters.

Janet writes her sto­ries of Stephanie around Tren­ton, New Jer­sey. It may not be the most exotic loca­tion for a book but the char­ac­ters make up for any short­com­ings.  They are all big­ger than life char­ac­ters with per­son­al­i­ties to match their big hair and mascara.

Stephanie’s life revolves around work­ing, mostly unsuc­cess­fully, at the bond office with her ex-prostitute, span­dex lov­ing file clerk side­kick Lula.  There’s also the love of her life, Tren­ton cop, Joe Morelli.  Although just to make Stephanie’s life more com­plex there’s the mys­te­ri­ous bounty hunter, Ranger, who bails her out of trou­ble at an alarm­ingly fre­quent rate and who makes her toes, and other regions, tingle.

Another char­ac­ter who appears in each book is Stephanie’s grandma Mazur who, when not vis­it­ing funeral homes, is dying her hair, wear­ing leather trousers, grab­bing a gun and check­ing out the hot­ties.  She’s the grand­mother you’ve always wanted!

In each book Janet weaves a plot around ‘fail­ure to appear’s and Stephanie’s love life.  It seems kid­nap­ping, mur­der and reg­u­lar deaths are all part of life in Tren­ton… well, at least for Stephanie.  At the begin­ning of each book you begin a roller coaster ride of may­hem which leaves you laugh­ing out loud or grip­ping the book until your knuck­les go white.

Although Janet has writ­ten other books I’ve not felt com­pelled to read them.  I’m hooked on the adven­tures  of Stephanie Plum and I’m always first in line when the lat­est book comes out.

If you haven’t read any­thing by Janet Evanovich I’d rec­om­mend begin­ning with ‘One for the Money’.  I don’t think you’d be disappointed.

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