Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

plum

Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter… well, not quite extraordinaire is back, in her first full length “Between the Numbers” book in the series. This time, Diesel, bounty hunter definitely extraordinaire, is along for the ride as Stephanie hunts Martin Munch, boy (okay, he’s in his twenties) genius. Diesel is really after Wulf Grimoire, who seems to be connected to Munch. Diesel and Stephanie’s partnership takes them out to the freaky Pine Barrens of New Jersey to find their quarry. If they can manage it with a menagerie of monkey’s at every turn!

Okay, I love Stephanie. Call it an addiction, because apparently I can’t stop reading this series even when this installation shows I should know better.

My first issue with PLUM SPOOKY is the title. What was spooky? The Pine Barrens is supposed to be. The legend of The Jersey Devil is supposed to be. Somehow, this story made any possibility of spookiness just ridiculous. There was no spook factor at all. Instead we get a retired Easter Bunny and Sasquatch. What? Disappointment number one.

My second issue is with Diesel. Who is this guy? What is the deal with his powers? Where in the Sam Hill does he come from? There are just too many questions. Great. He’s cute. Do we really need a third guy sleeping with Stephanie? Not really. Diesel isn’t adding to the storyline, he just irritates me because I know next to nothing about the dude. Give him his own series. A spin off. The poor guy has potential with nowhere to go and no place to go back to. Disappointment number two.

My third issue is with Lula, Tank, farting in general and too many monkeys. (I’m combining issues to save on the length of this review.) Lula used to add some spice. She was a gun toting mama with enough attitude and confidence to take on anyone. In this book, she was relegated to farting. She wasn’t the only one, unfortunately. We have a character named Elmer the Fire Farter whose farts actually explode. Tank takes up residence in a little old lady’s house with lots of cats. Hunh? That’s not ironic, that’s character assassination. The monkeys don’t really make sense. I suppose they were there for humor but it was overkill. Too many monkeys spoil the mix. Wasn’t there an old saying about once you have to get cute animals in on the act, you’re pretty much done? Yeah, I think we’re done. Wasn’t Bob the dog enough? I miss the days of good old Bob eating half the house and dumping a truck load on Joyce’s (remember Stephanie’s nemesis?) front lawn. Disappointment three, four, five, and oh for goodness sake. You get the point.

I haven’t wanted to admit it, even to myself, but I have to say that my beloved Stephanie has jumped the shark. There were still some great Morelli moments courtesy of his carousing brother, a good Ranger moment or two, even a Grandma Mazur giggle, bringing my rating up by a half for good times sake. Unfortunately, Stephanie can no longer be counted on for a solid laugh, a good mystery, or even the comforting familiarity of characters I’ve loved for years. So much about those characters are gone and have become nothing more than a bad fart joke.

My advice for new readers to the series is to start with ONE FOR THE MONEY and enjoy the pants off the next seven books or so. You’ll find sharp wit, touching moments, and a page turning mystery with actual nail biting danger thrown in.

One Response to “Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich”

  1. Melissa B Says:

    Ive recently read One for the Money, and loved it! I cant wait to read the rest of the Stephanie Plum series. I enjoyed reading your review about Plum Spooky!

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