Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Janet Evanovich: Plum Lovin'

A few years ago I picked up Three Plums in One, a volume that contained Janet Evanovich’s first three Stephanie Plum novels. I enjoyed them, although I was careful to set it aside between each novel and read something else. I did not want to get burned out. I keep telling myself that someday I’ll start moving forward again from Four to Score.

But in the meantime I ran across Plum Lovin’, a “Between the Numbers” story. It is 164 pages of Valentine’s Day fluff – and thoroughly enjoyable.

For those of you who don’t know, Stephanie Plum stumbled into the job of bounty hunter when she couldn’t find other work. She’s not tough enough for the job, but she is determined and foolish enough. And she develops friends who are tough enough to bail her out of trouble.

In Plum Lovin’, a strange guy named Diesel shows up in Stephanie’s apartment. I’m pretty sure Diesel has been around before, but since I never got past Three to Get Deadly, I can’t say when. In any case Diesel seems to be some sort of disciplinarian in a sub-culture of people with paranormal abilities. He’s trying to find Bernie Beamer, who tends to give hives to people near him when he’s upset. At the moment, he’s upset about problems in his marriage and blames Annie Hart.

Annie is a self-proclaimed relationship expert committed to helping five clients (who don’t happen to know that they are clients) find happiness – or true love – by Valentine’s Day. Annie is also on Stephanie’s list, wanted for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Diesel has Annie hidden away while he searches for Bernie. But he had to promise to help her with her clients so she would stay hidden. If Stephanie will take care of Annie’s clients, Diesel will give Annie to Stephanie when he’s done dealing with Bernie. But in the mean time, there are also some serious bad guys after Annie. (Remember? She’s connected to an armed robbery and assault situation.) To further complicate the story, one of Annie’s clients is Stephanie’s sister’s live in boy friend.

Now if you don’t see the potential for humor in this set-up, you need to stay away from Janet Evanovich’s novels.

Plum Lovin’ is light, easy, and fun. It has no redeeming social value – my kind of book. It won’t last much longer than a TV movie. So stick a bag of popcorn in the microwave and take an evening off.

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