Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

PLUM LUCKY by Janet Evanovich

No one makes me laugh the way Stephanie Plum does. She would have fit right in with my family, and I have to admit that we have to be related somewhere down the genetic road. Then again, maybe it’s just Janet Evanovich’s skill as an author to expose all the wackos inside the family unit that makes me want to claim kinship.

Despite the fact that this is the 16th book in the series (13 number books and 3 between-the-numbers books), and despite the fact that I can see which direction Evanovich and her characters are probably going to go, the author maintains the same kind of magic that family stories do. No matter how many times you’ve heard them, you’re ready to hear them again. They’re always funny and always enjoyable, and there’s always something human and endearing about them.

And in this one, how can you not love a midget that thinks he’s a leprechaun who’s stolen Mafia money just to get an operation for an ex-racehorse he can talk to? Or Grandma Mazur’s foray into the wild and wooly environs of Atlantic City’s gambling casinos?

Plum Lucky is a road trip for Stephanie and company that is truly of mythological proportions – especially with Lula trying out for the role of a supermodel. Diesel, a regular accompaniment of the between-the-numbers adventures, is back for another mad gallop to the finish line, and he’s just as mysterious as ever.

Stephanie’s long-suffering mother, sandwiched between the impossible generations of her daughter and her mother, calls Stephanie for help. Grandma Mazur is missing in action and Stephanie has to find her. Following Grandma Mazur’s backtrail, Stephanie finds out about the duffel bag her grandma got into a fight over with a man dressed as a leprechaun. After Diesel puts in an unexpected appearance, Stephanie finds out that the leprechaun is a known thief named Snuggy, an ex-jockey that claims he can talk to animals.

The adventure quickly turns into a riot. Even though I was expecting – and anticipating – a log of the zingers and one-liners, I still found myself laughing outloud. There’s no way a Stephanie Plum adventure comes close to being in the real world, but if it did this is exactly the way it would play out.

Things quickly go from bad to worse when Stephanie finds her grandma. Short of kidnapping Grandma Mazur, there’s no way she can bring her home. Until Snuggy shows up again and explains that he only stole the money to pay for an operation on Doug, the ex-racehorse he’s befriended. The problem is, the mobster Snuggy took the money from is holding Doug hostage and threatens to kill him if the money isn’t returned. Grandma Mazur buys into the attempt to save Doug, but things get worse when the mobster kidnaps her as well.

To make matters even worse, the mobster is Delvina, a guy who’s crossed Stephanie’s path before and has plenty of reason to hate her. Things are going to get even worse – and more hilarious – as this adventure winds out. You know that when you go into the final battle with Lula packing a rocket launcher that things have seriously exceeded rational limits.

I had a great time with Plum Lucky. The between-the-numbers books are intended as fun romps to tide fans over during the holidays before they get the beach read book in the summer. But now my appetite has been whetted for Fearless Fourteen.


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