Getting to Know Stephanie Plum

I’m halfway through book three in Janet Evanovich’s great long mystery series starring Stephanie Plum.  This is one of the reviews from Amazon on the book that started it all:

Stephanie Plum is so smart, so honest, and so funny that her narrative charm could drive a documentary on termites. But this tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer, has a much more interesting story to tell: She has to say that her Miata has been repossessed and that she’s so poor at the moment that she just drank her last bottle of beer for breakfast. She has to say that her only chance out of her present rut is her repugnant cousin Vinnie and his bail-bond business. She has to say that she blackmailed Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 (for a murder suspect), even though she doesn’t own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And she has to say that the guy she has to get, Joe Morelli, is the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in the Trenton bakery where she worked after school.

If that hard-luck story doesn’t sound compelling enough, Stephanie’s several unsuccessful attempts at pulling in Joe make a downright hilarious and suspenseful tale of murder and deceit. Along the way, several more outlandish (but unrelentingly real) characters join the story, including Benito Ramirez, a champion boxer who seems to be following Stephanie Plum wherever she goes.

Janet Evanovich shares an authentic feel for the streets of Trenton in her debut mystery (she developed her talents in a string of romance novels before creating Ms. Plum), and her tough, frank, and funny first-person narrator offers a winning mix of vulgarity and sensitivity. Evanovich is certainly among the best of the new voices to emerge in the mystery field of the 1990s. –Patrick O’Kelle

Even though I’m not an avid mystery fan, the story was great and written with large doses of humour.  I haven’t seen the movie, but I like the trailer.

There’s lots of controversy over the casting, (isn’t there always?) but it all looks good to me, no doubt because I haven’t yet reached book twenty in the series with indelible character sketches branded on my brain.  Maybe I’ll never get that far.  But the journey to this point has been a lot of fun.

What A Difference A Degree (celsius) Makes

Yesterday was the first time I can remember feeling happier to be at work than at home and actually dawdling and dragging my feet when it came time to leave.  Eventually I had to give up the air conditioning, get blasted by the late afternoon heat and drive off in my oven of a car.

Now of course I’m second guessing our decision to pass on having central air installed along with our new furnace.  But that feeling will dissipate with the heat wave.  Our summers are short.  Around four in the morning we had enough of a thunder-storm to cool things down a few degrees, and enough rain to wet the grass.

It’s never too hot to read.  This is another Jincy Willett novel I devoured with lightning speed.

The Writing Class is funny, suspenseful, witty and impossible to put down until you find out who-dunnit.

Scary phone calls, obscene threats,  nasty and offensive peer evaluations on writing assignments, a couple of murders and everyone in the group is a suspect.

Maybe I’m more obtuse than most but I never did figure it out until I read the words that finally identified the killer.

I didn’t realize how dark it had become (with my tilted blinds and the reading light off because it contributes to the heat, if only in my imagination) until I decided to do a search on the kindle for Janet Evanovich because I’ve heard her Stephanie Plum series is really good.  I typed away on the tiny buttons of the keyboard and got this:

Search Results: “jqkmy rbamoniyvj” No items found.

Well, duh.  Never type with sweaty fingers in the dark.  Turns out there is something like nineteen books in the series.  I’ve got the first one now, (One for the Money).  This could be the start of something big.

I just checked our thermostat and the temperature has gone down a whole degree from yesterday!  Having six fans around the house going full blast is having the desired effect.  I’ll just slip happily off to work and leave them to it.