I just recently finished Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. She has written a series of books based on a main character named Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is a bounty hunter (otherwise known as a bond enforcement agent) who happens to work for her cousin Vinny. She has two men in her life...a police officer named Joe Morelli, and the mysterious Carlos Manuso, aka Ranger, who runs a security firm but used to also work for Vinny. Stephanie's Grandma Mazur lives with her parents and thinks and acts like she's 20. She has been known to "pack heat" and enjoys going to the funeral home to pay her respects, and to check out the cookie trays.
Most of Janet's Stephanie Plum books are numbered (One For the Money, Two For the Dough, etc.) but there are a few that aren't. She has also written a few other books that are not part of the Stephanie Plum series.
These books are absolutely HYSTERICAL! The first one I read (One For the Money) had me laughing so hard, I practically had tears in my eyes. By the time I finished the second one (yes, I have read them all in order) Ted was used to me just laughing out loud. Janet has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are right there, and you just know that things are NOT going to turn out right.
One year when we were in Myrtle Beach with my parents, we were all sitting in chairs by the pool. Ted was listening to his CD player (no ipod at that time), the boys were playing their GameBoys, my dad was just people watching, and my mom was reading a book. I was reading a Stephanie Plum book and just burst out laughing. She asked me what was so funny. I was laughing so hard I was shaking. I finally got the words out and pointed out two pages for her to read. You didn't have to know the whole background in order for the pages to be funny. By the time she finished she was laughing uncontrollably too. My dad chimed in with, "What the heck's so funny with you two?" and we just kept laughing.
As soon as I finished the book later that day, I gave it to her to read.
Another time I was in bed reading one of the books and was laughing so hard, Ted had me read parts of it out loud to him. HE began laughing too. Poor Joey yelled over to us to keep it down so he could go to sleep.
My mom would be sitting out on her front porch reading one of Evanovich's books, laughing like crazy as people walked by on the sidewalk. She ended up reading parts out loud to my dad too, and then he would start with his big, hearty laugh.
If you decide to read the books, they are very easy reads. It's best to read them in order, but not completely necessary. The characters are recurring, and each book gives a brief background of each. You can find out more about them here.
Fearless Fourteen was pretty good. I don't think it was the best one, but it was still very funny to read. There were a couple of things missing from this book that I usually get a big hoot out of. For instance, Grandma Mazur isn't in this book too much; neither is the funeral home really mentioned. Stephanie doesn't spend much time at her parents' house this time around, and that's too bad, because her mom is a real trip. Then there's her late uncle's Buick...that gets a brief mention this time, but that's it. In fact, I think this is the first book in which Stephanie doesn't lose a car. Anyway, Stephanie's sister, brother-in-law, and nieces aren't even mentioned this time, but that's okay. They weren't all that funny anyway. There was plenty of Joe Morelli but not quite enough of Ranger.
Despite all that, it was still funny. Bob, the dog, is quite entertaining.
On a 1-10 scale, I'd give this book a solid 7.
I would just love to see her books made into movies...some of the characters would be simple to cast, but others, I'd have to think about.
Has anyone out there read anything really good this summer?