Who would have ever thought Stephanie Plum could be introspective and show a little maturity? It took eighteen books, and a confrontation between Ranger and Morelli, but Stephanie Plum shows a few signs of growing up in Janet Evanovich’s latest book, Explosive Eighteen.
When Stephanie returned a day early from Hawaii, she wasn’t too happy with the men in her life, but she wasn’t talking about it. She had worse problems to deal with. A man on the first leg of her flight home ended up dead, and she ended up with a photograph in her bag, one he put there. Now, four groups of people, including the FBI, are looking for that picture. Too bad Stephanie put it in the trash at her parents’ house, but can’t convince anyone that the picture is gone.
What would a Stephanie Plum novel be without car problems, trouble bringing in people who skipped their hearings, and an explosion or two? And, the problems with the office are only getting worse, since everyone is working out of a bus. Then, there’s Lulu and her food, and her men, along with Grandma Mazur and funeral homes. It’s a typical Stephanie Plum caper.
Lulu, convinced that Stephanie brought all kinds of bad luck back with her from Hawaii, tells her, “It’s like you’re a reality show all by yourself.” And, Stephanie has problems with that.“Truth is, I was beginning to not like myself so much. The honest confusion of loving two men was giving way to something that felt a little like unhealthy self-indulgence. I’m not an especially introspective person. Mostly, I go day by day putting one foot in front of the other, hoping I’m moving forward….Anyway, like it or not, I was presently caught in the throes of self-examination, and I was coming up short.”
There’s all the familiar humor, the familiar situations, and the characters readers love in this latest novel. But, an introspective Stephanie, one who actually stops and thinks, is a refreshing change of pace. Explosive Eighteen may not be as funny as some of the earliest books in the series. However, after seventeen earlier books, it’s nice to see Stephanie finally show a little more maturity. For me, it was a welcome change.
Janet Evanovich’s website is www.evanovich.com.
Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich. Bantam Books. ©2011. ISBN 9780345527714 (hardcover), 305p.
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