Janet Evanovich - Shastrix Books

Janet Evanovich

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Hot Six

Hot Six

Janet Evanovich

26th May 2016

Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, sees her sixth adventure in the ongoing soap opera of her life with only the slightest twist in the formula. This time her friend Ranger is her target as he's vanished following a mysterious death.

I can't entirely render remember why I started reading these novels - probably one was really cheap in a library sale - but I quite enjoyed the first few, with the idea of a woman attempting to make it in an unusual profession. Now however the premier seems a bit stale, and it feels a little like the author has run out if be ideas for plot and has fallen back on romance to take over as the primary story.

The lustfulness of the characters was there from the start, but now it seems to dominate over the story. Additionally, the series has started to develop cliches - grandma's trips to the funeral parlour and the destruction of cars in particular, which now detract from the enjoyment of reading.

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High Five

High Five

Janet Evanovich

29th December 2015

The fifth Stephanie Plum story - and I can't believe I've only read five - sees work drying up for the only-just-professional bounty hunter, and she tries her hand at helping out with some other business.

It's a bit of a mix as far as the plot goes, with about four or five different threads going on in parallel, but they are all quite straightforward to follow and work together to make the character's life into a rounded and believable one.

The soap opera aspects of the story come a little more to the forefront than previously, but that doesn't distract from the core investigation of the story and just adds colour and emotion. There's a lot more humour added to the mix with a new character, although that's balanced by the return of some jokes that are getting old.

A good, quick and light read that provides a happy distraction for a few hours.

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Four to Score

Four to Score

Janet Evanovich

10th June 2015

The fourth book in the Stephanie Plum series follows the bounty hunter chasing down a woman who has skipped bail, but whose case seems to be far more muddled than it should.

Evanovich really seems to have got into her stride with this book, and the character is well-defined, very funny, and develops through the story into a deeper person than she has been, while losing none of her charming haphazzardry.

The guest cast and recurring characters are increasingly well fleshed out and provide a rich background for the story, which I felt was the best in the series so far. The plot moves at a good pace, ties the characters in knots and yet avoids confusing the reader.

I really enjoyed revisiting this world, despite being far from what I suspect is the target audience.

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Three to Get Deadly

Three to Get Deadly

Janet Evanovich

21st December 2014

Book three - my favourite of the first three in the series - sees Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, on the trail of much-loved local personality 'Uncle Mo', who has skipped bail on a minor charge. Typically she ends up mixed up in something slightly bigger and amusingly complex.

The structure of the story is strong, both from the perspective of the 'main' plot and the B story 'soap' plot that Plum and her co-cast of characters follow. I really enjoy the recurring gags and find the light-hearted approach to a crime story very compelling.

One disappointment of this particular novel was the blurb - one of the plot points mentioned didn't come to pass until relatively late and even then didn't turn out as momentous as the back cover had implied. If it hadn't been called out, I wouldn't have been watching for it all the time and distracted from what was actually happening.

I'm glad this was better than book two as I've got a shelf (well, technically a box at the moment) full of later books in this series and now can look forward eagerly to picking them up for a light escape every now and then.

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Two for the Dough

Two for the Dough

Janet Evanovich

28th October 2013

The second novel in the Stephanie Plum series sees the bounty hunter in her second case - trying to catch an elusive bail skipper. The story feels instantly forgettable (I can't recall what happened in the first book either), and seemed to be missing an opening chapter that would have reintroduced the characters and set up the plot.

The story took a while to get going and a long time for me to get into it. The chapters seemed too long and were, particularly at the beginning of the book, very repetitive, which didn't help grip me. The plot really felt that it wasn't going anywhere, and at the end I was left feeling cheated out of anything much happening, and that the characters hadn't been on any sort of journey.

The main character is quite annoying, and the rest of the cast are equally frustrating to read about. The comedic elements felt very forced and slapstick and the male characters are entirely one-dimensional.

Looking back, I enjoyed the first book in the series, and commented on how well-constructed the characters and plot were. This sequel then was a terrible disappointment. I hope it's just a blip and that the remainder of the series will turn out stronger when I read them.

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One for the Money

One for the Money

Janet Evanovich

19th May 2013

I was a little nervous about picking up the first novel in the Stephanie Plum series, it's lurid pink cover hinting that the contents might be somewhat more girly that my usual taste in fiction, but I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are well-rounded and believable, and the action is well paced and depicted well.

Plum is single, short of cash, and willing to take on almost any job, when she's offered a shot at being a bounty hunter - a local police officer turned murderer has skipped bail, and there's ten grand in it for her if she can get him back. It turns out to be a fascinating look into the world of bounty hunting, and a great story full of twists and turns.

The characters are great, and reminded me of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. Plum is independent and strong, yet retains femininity and enough weaknesses to keep the story believable, and she's surrounded by a cast that brings humour as well as plot devices.

An excellent start to a series that could easily appeal to a reader of any gender - I certainly plan to continue reading.

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Unreviewed books

Eleven on Top
Fearless Fourteen
Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Hard Eight
Lean Mean Thirteen
Plum Lovin'
Plum Lucky
Plum Spooky
Seven Up
Sizzling Sixteen
Smokin' Seventeen
Ten Big Ones
To The Nines
Twelve Sharp
Visions of Sugar Plums

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