Turbo Twenty-Three–Janet Evanovich

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The new Evanovich!

Well, new is relative. It’s the most recent Evanovich.

Here’s the thing. I used to really love these books. But they’ve become so formulaic it’s not fun anymore. It’s just…another one of these books. It’s like paint by numbers for mysteries, which is sad because this was such a unique concept when she first started them.

Checklist for a Stephanie Plum mystery:

  1. Find a dead guy in a weird and creepy way. Check, she found an ice cream factory guy in a stolen refrigerated truck, covered in chocolate and nuts like an ice cream bar.
  2. Still torn between Ranger and Morelli? Yep. Double dipping a little bit? Yep.
  3. Wacky side gig for Lula? Check, she and another recurring character are working on an audition tape for “Naked and Afraid” which involves a lot of random activities and hijinks.
  4. Grandma Mazur side plot? Yep. Involving dating? Yep.
  5. Stephanie has to take an undercover job she’s terrible at? Yep.
  6. Poorly executed attempts at capturing felons? Not so many as usual but still present.

I just want to see some progress. SOMETHING. Can we get a little movement on anything? Character growth? Circumstances changing somewhat? A DIFFERENT PLOT LINE, PLEASE I AM BEGGING YOU.

If you like to read the same book over and over, this is a great addition to the Plum series.

 

Two for the Dough–Janet Evanovich

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This is the second of the Stephanie Plum books written by Janet Evanovich.

These are all numerical, and she’s up to the twenties now. The last maybe half dozen or so of these are getting a bit repetitive and formulaic. It happens with a long running series. I have hope for some shake up but I’m not overly optimistic about it.

Regardless, this is from the beginning of the series when she was still getting settled into the concepts. Most of the characters were established in the first book, some getting more solid footing in this one.

Stephanie Plum is an inept bounty hunter, working for her cousin Vinny at his bail bonds business. She’s looking for Kenny Mancuso, a super creepy guy who shot his friend in the knee and was caught doing it. He was let out on bail and disappeared. Also looking for Kenny is local cop Joe Morelli who claims to be doing so out of concern for the family as the creep is a distant cousin, but he has a secret professional interest in his cousin as well.

Turns out that Kenny had been in the army and quite a few military grade guns and ammo supplies went missing.

Meanwhile, she’s getting some cash on the side from the creepy son of the local undertaker who bought some discount caskets from the army and then had them stolen.

Do you see a common theme? Sure you do.

But knowing that there’s a connection between the undertaker and the soldier and their skeevy business deal doesn’t answer the pertinent questions. To wit: 1) where are the guns and the coffins? 2) why are they both looking for them if they’re in it together–who else is involved? 3) can they find the answers before crazy Kenny starts attacking living people instead of corpses at the funeral home?

This is the book where Lula starts getting the role she’ll play for the rest of the series, that of crazy sidekick. Everyone loves Lula, she’s one of the best parts of this series.

I think these books are fun, even if they are starting to become a little repetitive now.