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Review written by by Kristin Crump, SiCCO Secretary

I love to read. I really love to read. I have since I was a little girl. Back then my bookcases were filled with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries. My tastes have changed but now, as then, I get hooked on a good series. I enjoy seeing characters I’ve come to regard as friends come back time after time, getting into new predicaments and finding danger around every turn, only to be rescued (either by their own ingenuity or someone else’s) at the last possible moment.

Last November I decided to give Janet Evanovich a try. Even though I knew she was immensely popular, I’d never picked up one of her books. I was addicted as soon as I started reading book 1, One For The Money. The entire series revolves around the life/train wreck of the main character, Stephanie Plum, a New Jersey girl turned bounty hunter. She works for her cousin Vincent Plum, who she isn’t proud to admit is a branch on her family tree and who she had to blackmail into giving her a job by threatening to reveal his amorous relationship with a duck.

Stephanie will be the first to admit she isn’t great at her job. Most of the time she isn’t even good but she perseveres none the less. Aided by her cohort Lula, an ex-ho, who has a size 4 body image in a size 16 reality, and her Grandma Mazzur, who carries a .45 in her purse, they are always getting Stephanie into more trouble than she was in to begin with.

Other main characters in the books include Stephanie’s on-again-off-again boyfriend Joe Morelli, a Trenton cop. Ranger, the other man in her life, who is a cross between Batman and GI Joe. Her mother, who drinks to get through dinner and irons when she’s stressed, her father who tries to ignore everyone around him, especially his mother-in-law, and Connie, the receptionist at the bail bonds office. In addition to the main characters you’ll also see a whole host of secondary characters who make appearances throughout the series. Most of the books are set in Trenton, New Jersey, specifically “The Burg”, a Trenton suburb. Stephanie and her friends do take trips to Atlantic City and the “Shore” though in search of their targets…and a little fun.

Each book in the series has a number in the title, One For The Money, Two For The Dough, Three To Get Deadly…you get the picture. The latest in the series is Tricky Twenty-Two. Each and every book will have you laughing out loud at the hijinks of Stephanie and Lula and their friends as they set about trying to solve mysteries and apprehend criminals who have skipped out on their court dates and their bail.

If you haven’t read any of the Stephanie Plum novels, I highly recommend them. I also recommend not reading them at night, unless of course you want to wake up your spouse with your laughter. If so, then by all means, carry-on!

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