Monday, February 21, 2011

The Muse Reviews: Janet Evanovich

Today, the Muse reviews the Stephanie Plum Novels by Janet Evanovich.

Since I’m reviewing a series of mystery novels today, let me start with a confession: I didn’t start reading at novel number one. I started with number five, which incidentally is called High Five. I liked it enough that I’m now working through number one, aka One for the Money.

If you’ve sensed a counting theme in the novel titles, you’re right. You can tell where you are in the series by the title. That may sound flippant, but I don’t mean it that way. It’s useful to know at a glance where you are in a series.

But that’s not the reason to pick up Janet Evanovich. You read her mysteries because they’re witty, entertaining, and satisfying. Heroine Stephanie Plum is like Philip Marlow—if he were a she from New Jersey, with a nutty family, questionable taste in men, and a tendency to stumble into embarrassing situations as often as dangerous ones.

The novels are light and funny, with a good dose of real mystery drama mixed in with the family dilemmas and romantic conundrums that make Stephanie’s job as a bounty hunter look easy. The action moves along quick and smooth, making the books perfect for a beach read or a plane ride. These books are not deep, but they are entertaining.

I had no problem picking up the fifth novel first and following along. The story made a few references to past incidents, but in no way made me feel like I’d missed something. Evanovich writes with a nice sense of wit and humor that never overpowers the story, but definitely brings a modern update to detective fiction.

And if you like the character, be encouraged. Stephanie has appeared in 16+ adventures, and counting. Give Evanovich a little of your time, and enjoy an amusing ride to mystery solved.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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