Janet Evanovitch is best known for the Stephanie Plum novels, set in New Jersey and featuring her eponymous bail bondswoman heroine. This novel is not one of those. Rather, it is part of Evanovitch’s “Full” series, set in Beaumont, South Carolina, and featuring a recurring cast of ‘zany’ main and supporting characters. Full Scoop is the 4th novel in the series and it is the one I started with- I don’t think I missed much not having started at the beginning.
Full Scoop is a light and frothy thriller-cum-romance, focusing on the town’s 36 year old pediatrician, Maggie Farnsworth, her 16 year old daughter Mel, Maggie’s long-ago ex-boyfriend and baby daddy, Carl Lee Stanton, and the FBI agent, Zack Madden, who is responsible for protecting Maggie and Mel from Carl Lee. Carl Lee is bad news- he has escaped prison and is set on returning to Beaumont to recover his hidden bank robbery money and enact a little vengeance on Maggie at the same time. Zack Madden is retired but returns for one last mission, motivated by Carl Lee’s murder of his step-father years before. The stage is set when Zack moves in with Maggie and Mel, ostensibly to provide greater protection from Carl Lee but also allowing for the romance plot between Maggie and Zack to bloom.
If you’ve read the Stephanie Plum novels, be warned that this more akin to the late series Plum novels than the early ones in its ridiculousness- there are ‘crazy’ side characters, plot holes, bumbling local law enforcement, animal romances, voodoo hexes and Elvis impersonators. Very little feels realistic, but that isn’t really the point. It was a quick read, and although I didn’t hate it, it didn’t leave me wanting to pick up the other novels in the series- I’m not invested enough in any of the characters.