Stephanie Plum, the heroine of Janet Evanovich’s popular mystery series, makes the Keystone Kops - the essence bumbling incompetence - look like sophisticated urbanites. Stephanie has a kind heart. She also has trouble remembering to keep her stun gun charged or placing a weapon where she (and not the bad guy) can reach it.
A Jersey girl, she lives alone with her hamster, Rex, but she is never far from the parental duplex in an area of Trenton known as “The Burg.” Home is not only the source of mom’s delicious and constant cooking; it is also the residence of Grandma Mazur who has joined a bowling league but whose social life still revolves around viewings at the local funeral parlor.
Stephanie, a bounty hunter, works for her cousin, Vinny. Now there’s a man with his own set of problems. “A fire of suspicious origin,” destroyed his bail bonds office, and his father-in-law is Harry the Hammer. Need I say more?
The two men who keep Stephanie Plum from being “a total loser” (her favorite self-applied epithet) are Joe Morelli, a vice cop she has know since childhood, and Ranger, another bounty hunter who owns his own security company and who is brave, mysterious and beyond handsome. Beginning with One for the Money, the first novel in the series, Stephanie’s relationships with these two are always in flux and always entertaining.
This latest adventure finds Stephanie working with her sometime-partner, Lula, who drives a red Firebird, changes hair color every day and rarely goes after a bail skip without first being fortified with nourishment from Cluck-in-a-Bucket. The problem for Stephanie and Lula is that many folks some of them quite unsavory think that Stephanie has a valuable photograph. In fact, she did possess it; but, not recognizing its value and threw it away.
There are real FBI guys, fake FBI guys and various rejects from The Sopranos and Jersey Shore, and they are all after Stephanie who finds protection from ongoing chaos in her mother’s kitchen. She explains, “If you don’t talk about a problem, it might go away. And if it doesn’t go away, there’s always meat loaf, mac and cheese, roast chicken, pineapple upside-down cake . . . .”
To learn more about this and other books, visit the Boulder City Library at 701 Adams Boulevard, 293-1281, www.bouldercitylibrary.org