Until about three years ago, you could have added this author to the list of things I’d never heard of. Now, I know that she has a net worth over $100 million, has 200 million books in print, and has been translated into 40 different languages. And, prior to my wife telling me about her a few years ago, I’d never heard of her. It’s amazing that someone so popular never even dances close to my radar. Next time you’re struggling to find something to read, think about that. There is so much out there, you’ll never run out. You’ll never stop discovering amazing new worlds. You’ll never stop finding writers with the power to reach out and touch the lives of millions.
So, okay, the Stephanie Plum novels aren’t earth shattering. But she has (literally) millions of fans. I don’t know why, but I am drawn to books that are that popular. This isn’t true with movies or music – I can be quite snobbish there. But a book that’s sold a few million copies? I’m intrigued.
Plum has lost her job as a lingerie buyer in Trenton, New Jersey. Down on her luck, with creditors knocking on her door, she ends up chasing a former flame who has skipped out on his bail. She’s woefully unprepared to be a bail bonds(wo)man, but is smart and plucky. She also stumbles upon a drug ring, a homicidal rapist, and a few murders.
It’s a familiar formula, and has been used to great effect by numerous authors (including a personal favorite: Jim Butcher). Evanovich isn’t breaking new ground, here, but she’s a capable enough writer, and the characters are likable (if a tad eye roll inducing). This book is inoffensive, predictable, and fairly bland. This is the Chris O’Donnel of books. It’s just sitting there, unobtrusive and forgettable, but good enough to get the job done.
I have no idea why these books are so popular, but I don’t know that’s there’s any great mystery there, either. They’re short, easy reads that entertain. At the end of the day, those may may not be the rarest traits in a book, far too many writers are incapable of consistently accomplishing them.
I’ll probably read at least a few more of these, but I’m in no rush. I’ll mark this up as a good find that I can return to whenever I’m stuck with nothing to read.
This has been read (that I’ve found) three times for the Cannonball Read, with an average rating of 3.