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Book and Series discussions > Stephanie Plum Series and food

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message 1: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Evans (jasminekevans) | 6 comments I don't know if the Stephanie Plum series technically counts as a cozy mystery. Some of the violence can be pretty intense, but the humor lightens the darkness of the crazy psychos that come after Stephanie.

I've been working through the series at lightning speed and just finished book #11 (Eleven on Top). And I've found that over the past week (I've read 6 of these books in the past week)...I have been craving doughnuts!

I'm not a doughnut person. But I think the way Evanovich describes the jelly doughnuts and the Boston Cream and the powdered sugar makes me want to eat. And there's so much other food in this book! They are always stopping at McDonalds or eating fried chicken. Stephanie's mom is always cooking dinner with some sort of fabulous dessert. These books make me hungry.

Does this happen for anyone else? Even if you're not reading the Stephanie Plum novels, do you find yourself salivating after a particular food a character is eating? Or even feeling in the mood for some loving after a particularly steamy romance scene?

I just think it's funny (and really awesome) how books can impact all of our senses. :)


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) I have been known to start baking after reading some of my cozies - start reading about a character eating chocolate chip cookies, or any other baked goods, and I'm craving baked goods. :)


message 3: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) | 1576 comments Mod
I personally love the Stephanie Plum series but due to the violence in the books, I definetly wouldn't consider them cozy. (And no, I never craved doughnuts while reading the series.)


message 4: by Melodie (last edited Mar 16, 2013 06:30PM) (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments To me the Plum books are cozy because you just can't take them seriously, and I don't crave doughnuts, but could for sure get into one of the coffecakes they talk about or a pizza!! And I could DEFINITELY get into Morelli....or Ranger! LOL


message 5: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Douglas (teachgiftedkids) | 199 comments I just got home from the hospital and would like to crave something. The meds that have been given me after my knee replacement just knock me out or make me feel sick. A doughnut of piece of coffee cake sounds wonderful!


message 6: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) | 1576 comments Mod
Melodie wrote: "To me the Plum books are cozy because you just can't take them seriously, and I don't crave doughnuts, but could for sure get into one of the coffecakes they talk about or a pizza!! And I could DE..."

I know they can't be taken seriously but that isn't the defintion of a cozy mystery. There is a whole thread that discusses it. This series violates the cozy definition majorly for two reasons. It's violent, and there is alot of cursing and swearing in the books. I still loved the series, it just doesn't classify as a cozy to me.


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) I classify the Plum books as cozy only because it doesn't really fall into any other classification for me. Lots of language to be sure. I'm not sure about the violence - I remember being shocked at how violent and serious the crimes were in the first book, but after the first few, the crimes seemed a lot lighter weight.

We need a new sub genre of mystery called "chick-lit mystery" or something that means the same thing. Books like the Plum books, the Death, Taxes series, the Psychic Eye series, Lola Cruz, etc. all fall more into that type of category then a cozy category. But in the absence of such a category, I'll be counting them as cozies.


message 8: by Natalia (new)

Natalia (bookreadingmachine) | 13 comments I like the Stephanie Plum books. I too would consider them sort of cozy just because I can't for the life of me take Stephanie seriously. She is kind of an airhead in my opinion. But speaking of food, this happens to me all the time! Every time I am really hungry, one character in my book is always eating some incredible meal! I feel like I'm jinxed! LOL


message 9: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Evans (jasminekevans) | 6 comments Janet Evanovich actually mentions in another book (the book she wrote about writing) that the series really doesn't fit into any existing genre. It was actually difficult for her and her agent to figure out where they would put it in bookstores, so they finally settled on the mystery section, and that's worked pretty well so far. :)

So, in that sense I think she would agree with Jennifer that it's one of those books that can fit in multiple spaces, so it's really up to the readers, I guess, to decide how we want to classify it.

But yeah I totally hear all of you who are saying that books (any books! not just the Plum series) can make you hungry! And I'm right there with you, Melodie. I do have a different kind of hunger for my own Morelli sometimes. haha


message 10: by Melodie (last edited Mar 17, 2013 04:52AM) (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments ❂ Jennifer wrote: "I classify the Plum books as cozy only because it doesn't really fall into any other classification for me. Lots of language to be sure. I'm not sure about the violence - I remember being shocked..."

That was basically my point, Jennifer, with my "you just can't take them seriously" statement. The Plum books just don't fit any of the "standard" mystery series groups. The first one was pretty violent, but since then REAL heavy violence is pretty rare. They're most definitely not hardboiled (think Reacher, Spenser, Elvis Cole), but to me they're not as "chick-lity" as the Death & Taxes books. Maybe we need a "cracks-me-up" mystery sub-genre. I mean, that's really the only reason I read them anymore. The mystery part is weak at best in most of the recent ones, but they still make me laugh out loud. That's a good enough reason for me when working for a living 5 days a week is as tedious as it is! (I've participated pretty heavily in the "what's a cozy" threads, so am well aware of those. To me these are cozy since they don't fit anywhere else and this is closest thing I can come up with!)


message 11: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Lintzenich | 74 comments Tricia wrote: "I just got home from the hospital and would like to crave something. The meds that have been given me after my knee replacement just knock me out or make me feel sick. A doughnut of piece of coff..."

I had my knee replaced three years ago and I thought I would love having the time to read. Only between the pain and the meds, I couldn't concentrate and ended up basically watching TV. Don't worry, your food cravings will return and your focus as well.


message 12: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) | 1576 comments Mod
Humorous mystery would be a good category title for it. Our last featured author would have fit into that too, with Buck Fever.

I believe Charlaine Harris had the same problem with her Sookie Stackhouse books not fitting into any ordinary category titles as well. It's romantic suspense, but paranormal, and it's usually shelved under mystery.


message 13: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 5280 comments ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ wrote: "Humorous mystery would be a good category title for it. Our last featured author would have fit into that too, with Buck Fever.

I believe Charlaine Harris had the same problem with her Sookie Sta..."


I've always thought of the Sookie books as paranormal mysteries. All the BNs around here shelve them as fantasy.


message 14: by Naomi (last edited Mar 19, 2013 04:52AM) (new)

Naomi (tribalcat) | 307 comments Stephanie Plum books have me craving fried chicken...and Ranger. Not in that order :)

"Humorous mystery" would be a good category for several series now listed under "cozies". The funny thing is that my 78-year-old father enjoys the Plum series as much as I do. He gets a kick out of Grandma Mazur!

Some of the cozy series' that revolve around food and usually contain recipes make me very hungry.


message 15: by Karen (new)

Karen Naomi wrote: "Stephanie Plum books have me craving fried chicken...and Ranger. Not in that order :)

"Humorous mystery" would be a good category for several series now listed under "cozies". The funny thing is..."


I want to make all the recipes or at least have someone that will for me.


message 16: by Karen M (new)

Karen M | 1357 comments It's the mention of pineapple upside down cake that Stephanie's mom makes.....I just finished Notorious Nineteen and it's all I can think about. I've never made one but I'll have to find a recipe.


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) I think I luck out with the Plum mysteries, since most of the food she mentions doesn't appeal to me (pineapple upside down cake topping the list). There have been mysteries/books though that mention something that sounds so good I've had to put the book down, go into the kitchen and start baking...

The power of suggestion... :D


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen ❂ Jennifer wrote: "I think I luck out with the Plum mysteries, since most of the food she mentions doesn't appeal to me (pineapple upside down cake topping the list). There have been mysteries/books though that ment..."

A recipe book of all recipes from all cozies needs too be made. Just skip the story and proceed to them. They may not appeal as well as in the mystery book though.


message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin Nolet | 33 comments I love reading the Stephanie Plum series to see how the relationships are developing with the men in her life. I'm getting a little tired of the fried chicken and donut run themes, however-seems like those have run their course and it's time to get a little creative with their food fetishes!


message 20: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Melodie wrote: "To me the Plum books are cozy because you just can't take them seriously, and I don't crave doughnuts, but could for sure get into one of the coffecakes they talk about or a pizza!! And I could DE..."
Lula's food habits will be the death of us all. Every time I go past a KFC, I think of Cluck in a Bucket and the short few hours that Stephanie worked there. That was easily one of the most hilarious passages in a book I have ever read.

Melodie, I agree that the violence in the Stephanie series almost doesn't register, because it's so not taken seriously. There are two exceptions to that I can think of. In the first book (I think), the boxer in that book was scary as heck, and he almost killed Lula. The other one that comes to mind is where Grandma Mazur was almost frozen to death in the funeral home. That one was scary.

I also agree about Ranger and Morelli -- we should all have Stephanie's problem!! I think it's pretty clear that Ranger is in love with her, but will never admit it. JMO. Morelli must be the most understanding male on the face of the earth.


message 21: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (finegael) | 283 comments Mmmmm, Ranger and Morelli. Yum. Oh, the topic was food..I got sidetracked. I think I'd typify her books as humorous mystery as Naomi said. I've laughed out loud while reading her books (which, on an airplane brings unwanted attention to oneself LOL). Never craved a donut while reading (and hope that her hamster does ok on donut bits) but I do admit that occasionally I wish a trip to see the KFC guys when they do a chicken run.


message 22: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Jennifer wrote: "Mmmmm, Ranger and Morelli. Yum. Oh, the topic was food..I got sidetracked. I think I'd typify her books as humorous mystery as Naomi said. I've laughed out loud while reading her books (which,..."

I hear you. LOL! Sometimes I want Stephanie to weaken where Ranger is concerned, just this once. Maybe I'll just have another donut. Or some fried chicken.


message 23: by Julesy (last edited Nov 08, 2014 07:55AM) (new)

Julesy | 1339 comments I am SO easily influenced by the mentionings of food. I could be talking with some co-workers about food and then have to have that food for dinner that night because I thought and craved it all day. We were talking about pork and how some cultures/religions do not eat pork. Well, I just HAD to have pork chops that night. lol ;-)

So, of course, whenever there is food mentioned in the Plum series, you can be sure I am going to crave it. The only time I recall that I did not crave the food is when Lula was on that crazy Atkins diet (don't recall which book it was but want to say #12 or 13), and she was gorging on meat. I think she ate a couple pounds of bacon at one point. Wow. I think it might have had the opposite effect on me and I didn't eat meat for a while. lol

I would love to be invited to Stephanie's parents' house for dinner. Crazy antics and a delicious dinner at the same time!

I agree that the Plum series is not quite cozy but so so funny. I think this is why most of us continue with the series, not for the mystery but for the crazy humor. I am up to #16 so still have a few books to catch up on.

I would be happy if Stephanie settled for either Ranger or Morelli ... or continues the love triangle. These 2 men are so perfect, IMHO, that I can see why it is hard for Stephanie to pick one. You just can't!


message 24: by Misty (new)

Misty Some people have some VERY strong opinions about whether the Plum series can be classified as a cozy. Me, personally, I don't really care! :) I think they may not technically be a cozy, but as was mentioned, they don't exactly fit into another genre neatly, so here is as good as any a place. Plus, many people who read cozies read this series.

As for food, I always get hungry when I read her books, and I don't even eat most of the food mentioned! (I'm a vegetarian!) These books crack me up. I'm on my seventh - although I accidentally read 6 and 7 out of order - oops. I am having a really crappy summer, and I just read a book that, while it was really good, made me cry at the end. I figured it was time for fun, laughter, and a little smut. :)


message 25: by Blight (new)

Blight (wolfcreed) Same here! :) I get hungry reading any books that has a heavy focus on food. Same with movies!


message 26: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ, Cozy Mysteries Group Owner (last edited Aug 10, 2015 08:15PM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) | 1576 comments Mod
I don't think they technically classify as cozy as there is bad language and some gruesome bits here and there. However, the humor more than makes up for it.

Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum, #22) by Janet Evanovich
Book 22 Tricky Twenty-Two comes out in November. Seeing as I just moved and am still unpacking I packed this series in a box so I had something to read. I'm now on my third reread of the entire series!

For those that aren't caught up with the series I will give one teeny tiny spoiler alert.... both Morelli and Ranger are still interested in her, and she with them (in all 21 books so far!). There was TEAM MORELLI and TEAM RANGER oval stickers in the back of the last book even! lol


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) I wouldn't say cozy either, never thought about it much. Kind of saw it as chic-lit mystery humor. As if that isn't enough of a blend right there.

And yes, sometimes books have me craving food, but mainly they make me want to try new stuff. I was reading a historical one time where they put banana and honey together for picnics. Tried it ... not that good.

I'm still craving trying proper types of tarts from The Gail Carringer (sp?) series. And a few others make me curious on what things taste like


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