Tag: Janet Evanovich

Hardcore Twenty-Four Book Review

Hardcore Twenty-Four

 

Janet Evanovich strikes again. Her latest Stephanie Plum novel, Hardcore Twenty-Fore hits all the pins. Zombies and paid protesters divert attention from the hardcore topic of synthetic drugs. In Hardcore Twenty-Four the key ingredient to a new drug is human brains.

If you have never read a Stephanie Plum novel, my advice is start with One For The Money. I was given this advice back in 2004 at a headache inducing conference meeting. It was good advice. However, the books certainly stand alone.

Stephanie Plum is torn between two lovers, cop Joe Morelli and the mysterious Ranger. In Hardcore Twenty-Four a third good looker pops backs into play. Diesel, a character most often seen in the Between the Numbers Plum mysteries, is crashing at Stephanie’s apartment. All end up in pursuit of a villainous master mind.

Evanovich creates characters that are zany and fun. But the true strengths in her writing lay elsewhere. The descriptive writing is among the best. The details she gives throughout allows you to visualize the people, the clothing and the setting. A reader sees Grandma Mazur. Women argue over Ranger and Morelli. Longtime readers view the Plum characters as family because we know how they look and think.

The other part of Evanovich’s writing I like is that she comments instead of preaches. I have noticed a trend lately among serial writers. They are using their writing to posit their opinions. While I think they are free to do that, I believe in some cases the positioning detracts from the writing. This is not the case with Hardcore Twenty-Four.

Janet Evanovich’s approach to current issues is done tongue in cheek. For example, in Hardcore Twenty-Four, paid protesters are protesting at a Korean grocery because the store lacks diversity. Evanovich utilizes one of her zaniest characters, Lulu who in a previous life was a hooker, to point out the irony.

The same approach is used with regards to the synthetic drugs. Here in the United States we currently have a problem with the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I read a serial novel with the same topic. I did not review it because the author ruined the story line with the preaching. However, Evanovich’s approach gave the same message without interfering with the story. In fact, her zany approach allows you to enjoy the story and reflect on the current issues of the day.

Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite writers. I would love to have lunch with her! She makes me laugh out loud with her writing. Life can be tough and laughter is great medicine. Her latest Stephanie Plum novel, Hardcore Twenty-Four made me smile, chuckle and laugh out loud in more than one place. This would be a good present under the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

Curious Minds Book Review

Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite writers. A fellow Zontian at the 2004 Zonta International Convention in New York recommended Evanovich’s work for fun reading. I have been reading her novels ever since. Recently, Evanovich began collaborating on novels. Curious Minds is a collaboration with Phoef Sutton. Sutton is an acclaimed writer with Hollywood connections and ties to one of my favorite college campuses.

First of a Series

Curious Minds is the first of a series. Evanovich and Sutton create a zany cast of characters. Protagonist Riley Moon is in her first real job after graduating with multiple degrees from Harvard-on a scholarship and student loans. She drives a Mini Cooper because her parking space at work is miniscule. Riley grew up in West Texas and has expressions and mannerisms to prove it.

Emerson Knight may not be a complete opposite, but it is close. He is a trust fund eccentric with multiple cars and no driver’s license. He also wants access to the family gold. As in actual possession of the gold. Thus begins the story line.

The firm Riley works for is steeped in traditional Washington-New York family power. The family has one outcast brother Gunter Grunwald. Gunter was Riley’s mentor before he disappeared. The prologue shows Gunter face-to-face with trouble in a vault of gold. The disappearance is tied tightly into the plot. It is unclear if Gunter will play a continuing role in the series.

Curious Minds Supporting Cast

The supporting cast of characters for the most part are down to earth. Emerson’s Aunt Myra and cousin Vernon hail from the Harrisonburg area of Virginia. An area a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. filled with everyday people. Vernon works as a blogger on a website, Mr. Mysterioso, sometimes co-authored by Emerson.

Riley’s Texas roots have a background in law and order. Her dad is a retired cop and the one family member appearing in the book is a brother who followed his father’s footsteps.

The backgrounds for both Riley and Emerson create likeable characters. As with many books which begin a series, back stories are detailed. In the case of Curious Minds, the zany characters are appealing to the reader.

I read many genres and many authors. Prolific writers like Evanovich often team up with co-writers. Sometimes it works as is the case with Curious Minds. The voice created by Evanovich and Sutton flows as one. I will keep my eye open for the next Knight and Moon book to hit the new arrivals shelf at my library.