I will be the first to admit that I am often late to the party, so to speak. In the case of Janet Evanovich’s spunky bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, I am beyond fashionably late for this party. I have to admit, this seventeen book series (plus four novellas, and a collection of short stories) is a daunting undertaking, but I am game!
It all began with One For the Money, way back in 1994 when a newly divorced and unemployed Stephanie went to work for her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie. She was looking for an office job, but after a little convincing, finds herself employed as an apprehension agent. Her first cases are to find Joe Morelli, a cop from the Burg accused of murder and Benito Ramirez, a professional boxer and homicidal madman. Of course Stephanie is not left to flounder on her own. She gets a crash course in Bounty Hunter 101 from the dark and mysterious Ranger. With her hamster Rex around for moral support, and a comically insane family around to feed her, Stephanie survives to draw another case.
I now understand why there are so many books in this series and so many fans! These books offer the perfect blend of suspense, humor, steamy romance, and unforgettable characters. They are the ultimate pleasure read because they are fast-paced and fun. I am up to Three to Get Deadly and I am not longer overwhelmed by the number of books in the series, I am excited that there are fourteen more for my reading pleasure! The best part? I can finally start participating in some Ranger vs Morelli debates, just in time for the movie!
Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is another character who has been around for a while (sixteen books and counting). I am currently getting to know him in his debut, The Killing Floor. Back in 1997 Jack Reacher was a drifter. The former U.S. Army Military Police Major spent six months travelling the country with nothing more than some cash and an expired passport in his pocket. He never stayed in one place for very long, until the fateful day he got off the bus in Margrave, Georgia. When an unidentified man is found dead in a town that has been crime-free for decades, the most likely suspect is the strange newcomer. And so begins Jack Reacher’s involvement in the deadly affairs of a small town. The corruption spreads far and deep, but Reacher, upon learning he is connected to the dead man, is bent on revenge. With the help of the only two cops who believe him, he sets out to learn the truth about the brutal murders plaguing Margrave.
I haven’t finished this yet, but it is certainly a page turner. Jack Reacher is a cool, calm, and calculating hero. Despite his stoic and aloof nature, he is still a likeable guy. I look forward to more adventures with this wandering hero.
Are you all caught up on your favorite series?