Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fearless Fourteen wasn't very Fearless

Dear Ms. Evanovich,

I fear that your newest installment in the Stephanie Plum series, “Fearless Fourteen” fell a bit flat. I love Stephanie and the Burg. One of my first posts on this blog was in praise of you and your zany cast of characters. I patiently waited at my library until it came available. I didn’t get out of the parking lot before I had cracked open the cover to see what Stephanie was up to. Would she and Joe make it permanent or would she and Ranger finally become a couple. What trouble would Grandma Mazur get into? Had Lula managed to hang on to Tank? None of these questions were answered to my satisfaction.
The book started off well enough with Stephanie and Lula collecting a bail jumper named Loretta Rizzi. As always the apprehension is not without its complications, this time it is Loretta’s son Mario, a.k.a. Zook and her parolee brother Dom. I hesitate to give much more detail beyond this or I risk giving away key plot points and I hate being a spoiler. Suffice it to say the complication of Loretta grows until it becomes a potentially life threatening situation for someone. In the meantime Stephanie helps out Ranger with a crazy celebrity named Brenda and Lula is putting together a wedding that Tank, the groom, doesn’t remember proposing. Grandma Mazur doesn’t fail to get in the picture as she takes out Griefers with Moondog, Zook and Garth. This sounds like a typically hysterical Stephanie Plum adventure doesn’t it? Well….the usual sharp humor that made me laugh out loud in some embarrassing public places was missing. In previous installments I am laughing less than 10 pages in. With “Fearless Fourteen I didn’t crack a smile until Grandma Mazur and the ladies got online and nary a laugh until Moon invented his potato canon. I know Brenda was meant to be funny but I feel like you thought Stephanie’s arch nemesis, Joyce Barnhardt, was out of town getting botoxed so Brenda was a last minute stand in. I would have left her out.
The other disappointment was leaving me hanging over Lula. That just wasn’t right. I was so looking forward to how she was going to actually get Tank down the aisle in a Pink Tux. Oh! And the brides maid dress she would have put Steph in would have been worth at least a chapter. Maybe she would have had to do an apprehension in the dress outside the church! OR Lula in a leopard print bridal gown. Now that has me laughing out loud!
What happened to Steph’s sister and her new husband, Albert Kloughn? I miss them. I miss the buick. Mom Plum made only a cameo appearance and I just want to say that having mom tipple wine in the kitchen is funny, having her put back a stiff whiskey at the table seems said and depressing. I miss the laughs. I miss the burg.
The Besotted Bookworm

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