Note: as of this review, I’m introducing an experiment–a two-tier eval system to WW. These novels are what I will call “entertainments,” (A Graham Greene term to distinguish his “serious” works from his “lighter” ones. I see no reason to deny novels such as these high evaluations because they are not War and Peace, when they are high-performance examples of their kind. They get an “E” for “entertainments” Works of more import (Pulitzer and Mann Prize winners and the like) will get an “L” for Literary. At least until I come up with better terms.
I haven’t read an Evanovich in some time, but these fell into my hands, so I amused myself with a couple of literary truffles. Janet’s central character, Stephanie Plum, works for a ball bondsman and specializes in tracking down people who have jumped failed to appear in court. She pals up with office mates Lula and Connie as well as some hot dudes whom she lusts after while showing some Catholic girl restraint. Her main squeeze in these two is a cop named Morelli, who grew up on the same Jersey blue collar neighborhood. A bizarre family that includes a great cook of a nurturing mother and an uninhibited grandmother rounds out the cast.
Evanovich’s dialogue is clever, her plots as outlandish as her characters. The trick is to just step into her world and let her take you along for the ride. Most of her books have a number associated with the title, which might or might not connect with the plot. Thus, we have Lean Mean Thirteen and another entitled Plum Lucky a “between the numbers” book, meaning I guess she couldn’t or didn’t feel like dreaming up a number for it. You’ll have a blast and a ton of laughs as well as a few tender and dangerous moments for seasoning. Entertaining and nothing else like if of its kind.