Over the years I’d heard a lot of people rave about this series and I was reluctant to read it. I was the same with the Harry Potter books, which I love. But I digress. A couple years ago, I was reading a book while I was getting my hair colored. The stylist asked me about the book and we started talking about books in general and she brought up the Stephanie Plum series. I asked her to tell me more about the books and what’s so good about them. I don’t remember her answer, but it was enough to get me to check out the first book in the series.
One for the Money was a fun novel. It was a little rough, but the humor and characters hooked me and I was soon reading through the books at lightning speed. The library couldn’t keep up with me so I started buying the books. I even hooked both my sisters and Jessica on the series.
But somewhere around book 9 the series started to lose it’s freshness and appeal. I can’t even read the “between the numbers” books anymore (I tried reading the last one… Jessica review it, I lost interested in the first 20 pages). How long can we watch Stephanie vacillate between Joe and Ranger? How many times can she completely bungle a job and not lose her job or get seriously injured? How many cars and buildings can she blow up? I keep buying the books in hopes that the spark will come back and everything will be right in Stephanie’s world again.
But alas, it doesn’t happen in this book. I bought it the week it was released. It sat on my desk and my sister saw it while visiting and took it home. When she returned it, she mentioned that she was disappointed. It was an OK book, she was just expecting more. My other sister then grabbed the book and came back with the same report.
I started the book yesterday, finished this morning and I’m sorry to say that I can’t report a more favorable opinion. Ranger was almost non-existent. Joe’s gotten too soft over the years. Lula’s gone off the deep end. And then there was this really annoying character named Brenda. I kept picturing Dolly Parton with a Whitney Houston (very diva) attitude. I wanted her gone almost immediately and was happy when those scenes were over.
I suppose what I’m saying in this rant is that if you’re a long time fan of the series, keep your expectations low as you read. If you haven’t read this series yet, I wouldn’t start with this one. Try some of the earlier stuff first. And a note to Janet… I know this is a money maker for you. But it’s about time to start wrapping the series up and start something new before you lose your fan base.