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Book Reviews

Spotlight on: Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
Also: The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich

To arrange to have products considered for review, send an email to craigsbookclub@yahoo.com.

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich Janet Evanovich, Twelve Sharp

It is comforting to know that some things never change. Readers like series mysteries for just that reason and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series is a prime example. You can pick up any of the cleverly numbered entries and get right into the action without feeling like you're really missing out on what came before.

I had read the first eight of the Evanovich's Plum books, but hadn't picked any up in some time. When I saw Twelve Sharp in the library, though, I picked it up, but I was a little concerned about not having read the three intervening novels.

I needn't have worried. Suffice it to say, Stephanie Plum's world (located in and around Trenton, New Jersey) is pretty much exactly the same as it was when I last visited it. She still has two tough guys -- vice cop Joe Morelli and her fellow bounty hunter, the enigmatic Ranger -- fighting over her. She is also still working as a "fugitive apprehension agent" for her cousin Vinnie's bail bonds office with her friends Lula and Connie.

But, most importantly, she still manages to find trouble wherever it happens -- even when it has little or nothing to do with her job. Like I said, some things never change and thank god for that. Reading Twelve Sharp and the rest of this series is like slipping into a warm pair of pajamas straight from the clothes dryer.

In Twelve Sharp, Ranger is the source of the trouble, or rather his wife (his wife?). A mysterious woman shows up to threaten Stephanie for sleeping with her husband, Carlos Manoso, better known as Ranger. Absolutely floored because Ranger has always shown himself to be the independent type, Stephanie investigates and finds out a lot more about Ranger than she ever expected. In the process, she also discovers something about herself. But don't worry about the life lessons, this book is still a rip-roaring laugh riot with plenty of explosions, gunshots, fart jokes, and racy scenes. You should expect nothing less from Janet Evanovich.

(The audiobook of Twelve Sharp, as read by Lorelei King, is an abridged version, but it contains a bonus conversation between the King and Evanovich. I hesitate to call it an interview as it seems very informal, and because they're having so much fun talking about men, writing, and Evanovich's life as a famous author. Definitely worth picking up.)

Additional Recommendation: Janet Evanovich, The Stephanie Plum Series

Sometimes heavy, "literary" novels are good for the brain, and sometimes we're not in the mood for something so involving. At these times, the Stephanie Plum Series is perfect. Janet Evanovich's novels about a female bounty hunter are quick and easy reading, just perfect for before bed or at the beach -- anywhere you read to relax. She's up to her 12th book, so if you're new to her, you've got a lot of catching up to do. The titles are:
  1. One for the Money
  2. Two for the Dough
  3. Three to Get Deadly
  4. Four to Score
  5. High Five
  6. Hot Six
  7. Seven Up
  8. Hard Eight
  9. To the Nines
  10. Ten Big Ones
  11. Eleven on Top
Plus, there's also the holiday romp Visions of Sugar Plums. If you prefer to use your local library, make sure to try out the Recorded Books audiobook versions read by C.J. Critt. She is one of the best readers; her voices are subtle but distinct. She really makes each character different. Lorelei King, reader of the later books, is just as good at discriminating among the characters, though, so either is a solid choice.

Click on the links above to purchase any of the books mentioned, or use the search box below to find what you like.

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