Call it an addiction if you’d like. I like
to call it a craving. You know, something like pork rinds. You get this notion in your
head that you really need to have some pork rinds, or you may very well die. You’re not
satisfied until you get your hands on a bag of your very own. And it’s hard to stop.
You keep eating and eating and eating, and before you know it, the bag is empty. And
even then, you just want to go out and get another bag.
That’s kinda how
I feel about Stephanie Plum novels.
Okay, so they’re not fine literature.
They probably won’t be on high school reading lists fifty years from now. But I don’t
care. I love them anyway, and I can’t stop reading them.
Five, Stephanie, the not-so-fearless bounty hunter with big hair, has a different
kind of case. Instead of hunting down a bail-jumper, she’s hunting down her cheapskate
Uncle Fred, who went out to run some errands one day and never came home. Considering
how ancient Fred is, he may have just wandered off (my grandma used to do it all the
time). But when Aunt Mabel uncovers some pictures of a dead body in a garbage bag in
Fred’s desk drawer, Stephanie gets a little more serious about the manhunt.
What I love the most about Plum novels isn’t really the mystery -- though
I do love playing along. What I really love, though, are the characters.
Stephanie reminds me a bit of myself (though my vehicles blow up a lot less often). And
her mother reminds me a bit of my own mother. My favorite character, however, is her
gun-toting Grandma Mazur -- the crazy old woman who loves to ride shotgun on Stephanie’s
cases, and who regularly wreaks havoc on funeral homes and sons-in-law. Evanovich has
mastered the art of creating fascinating characters -- and there are always a plethora of
new ones in every book (this time, there’s the angry little man who’s moved himself into
Steph’s living room and Aunt Mabel, who reacts to her husband’s disappearance by buying a
new car and picking up brochures for senior singles’ cruises). And that could explain
why I tear through each novel in a few days -- and when I finish, I crave another.