How is it that, having been an avid reader of mysteries for much of my life, I had never picked up one of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books? A grHow is it that, having been an avid reader of mysteries for much of my life, I had never picked up one of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books? A gross oversight on my part that I have now rectified. I have finished the first one of the series.
I've been reading quite a few serious books this summer - "The Maytrees," "Falling Man," "Absolute Friends," and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" to name the most recent - and I was ready for a drastic change. This book certainly offered that.
I was captivated by the personality of Stephanie from the very first chapter and I found it hard to put the book down. I just couldn't wait to see what happened to her next. As a result, I read the book within 24 hours and most of it in one sitting.
This, of course, was the book that introduced Stephanie, her family and friends to the reading public. We get to know her as a very smart woman who has had some hard knocks but is still standing. She has a loving, if annoying and sometimes embarrassing, family.
And she has loyal friends from the "burg" where she grew up. One of those "friends," Joe Morelli, plays a very large role in this adventure and apparently in the Plum adventures to come in the series.
This book has everything one can ask of a mystery. The plot and the pacing are brisk. The protagonist is attractive and both tough and vulnerable. The repartee is engaging. All in all, a thoroughly satisfying read. On to "Two for the Dough."
UPDATE 01/26/12: This was the selection of my local Mystery Book Club this month and so I reread it - or at least most of it - to remind myself of its plot. I found it just as enjoyable the second time around. ...more
I have to admit this series is actually growing on me. After reading the second book in the series, I was ready to swear off it forever, but a year anI have to admit this series is actually growing on me. After reading the second book in the series, I was ready to swear off it forever, but a year and a half later I finally read number four (out of sequence) and liked it. So, I decided to go back and pick up number three, Fade Away and once again I found the book was not awful. In fact, I quite enjoyed it as a diverting read.
This time, the sport is basketball, which was Myron Bolitar's game before his knee was injured in a terrible smash-up with another player. That injury changed the course of his life and he went to law school and became a sports agent instead of a professional basketball player
Now, several years later, he is established in his profession and he has a promising romantic liaison. Everything seems to be coming up Myron.
Then he receives a blast from the past when the man who was responsible for drafting him with the Celtics all those years before contacts him and offers him a job. He wants him to make a comeback with the team that he presently owns, but he has an ulterior motive. It seems that one of the stars of the team, Greg Downing, has disappeared and the owner wants Myron on the team so he can pick up any clues as to where Greg might be. His real job will be to find Greg.
This is complicated because in his basketball-playing days, Myron and Greg were rivals. Not only on the basketball court but for the affections of a certain woman as well. Greg ultimately married the woman, but at some point, she was unfaithful to him. With Myron.
So Myron has all this guilt in regard to Greg and he accepts the commission, both to play on the team and to try to find the missing player.
It turns out that Greg's disappearance is related to the fact that he has lost a lot of money - in fact just about all he had - to gambling. At the same time, he is going through a nasty divorce and is faced with the prospect of losing his children. In order to find him, Myron has to sort out the tangled web of his life and figure out who among his associates may have a clue to his whereabouts.
When one of those putative associates turns up murdered, it seems that Greg may be number one on the list of suspects.
Meanwhile, those professional gamblers to whom he owes all the money are looking for him as well, and they think Myron may know where he is. That does not bode well for Myron's state of health. Fortunately for him, his friend and partner, Win, has his back.
The body count of the sociopathic Win is lower than usual in this book - only one that I can remember. Although, we are left with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end with some indication that that count might be about to go up to two.
Yes, on the whole, it was a satisfying read and I'm glad that I gave the series another chance. I suspect I'll be adding it to my long list of series to follow.
I actually picked this book up because of its title and the Mississippi connections, since I, too, have Mississippi connections. I found it interestinI actually picked this book up because of its title and the Mississippi connections, since I, too, have Mississippi connections. I found it interesting because of its setting in the little town of Tunica, which has lately become a mecca for casinos. It had an interesting plot and the characters were typical Elmore Leonard. Not his best effort. ...more
I can't say that I enjoyed this installment of the Stephanie Plum mysteries as much as I did the first, but still it was a fun read. The characters ofI can't say that I enjoyed this installment of the Stephanie Plum mysteries as much as I did the first, but still it was a fun read. The characters of Stephanie and of Joe Morelli are very appealing and you just know there is a future together for them! Stephanie's family, too, especially Grandma Mazur, is a hoot.
In this story, Stephanie deals with a very, very sick individual, a sociopath who enjoys hurting people. The fact that he is Joe's cousin adds another kink to the tale.
Stephanie's other "friend," Ranger, doesn't figure too heavily in this story, but he's still there on the fringes - a potential rival with Joe for Stephanie's interest.
In the end, the bad guys are taken down and it is Stephanie triumphant once again - just as we expected all along. ...more