Maybe the movie version ofÂ One for the Money didnâ€™t set the world on fire, but Iâ€™m still reading the Janet Evanovichâ€™sÂ Stephanie Plum Series as if sequels to the film are being planned as I type.Â For me the Plum books have become nice escapist literature and the perfect things to read when Iâ€™m feeling out of sorts.Â They are almost akin to shows on the Bravo network in that they are stimulating enough to keep your interest but not compelling enough that you drop everything to buy the next installment.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Hereâ€™s what I know when I crack open an Evanovich novel; there will be a few laughs, some astute observations, man candy in the mix, and Plumâ€™s bounty hunt will be solved in the last fifty pages with a plot element from left field.Â In other words, if you are thinking about diving into these novels because you like a good mystery then you should find another series to sink your reading teeth into because Plum books exemplify the three Fs; fun, fast and forgetful.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Three to Get Deadly, originally published in 1997, is typical Plum fair.Â Her on again off again flirtation with detective Joe Morelli is off again.Â However he has moved into a house which makes Plum wonder if he is planning to play house with someone else.Â BTW, she isnâ€™t above spying on him although she rebuffs most, but not all, of his advances.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Plumâ€™s bounty assignment inÂ Three is to pick up Trentonâ€™s favorite ice cream parlor owner, whom everyone calls Uncle Mo, who is now labeled FTA (Failure To Appear in court).Â She really does not want to track down and haul Uncle Mo into police lockup because he seems so nice and she believes his FTA is some mistake which can easily be explained away.Â So Plum starts her search and quickly finds that one, Uncle Mo appears to be missing and two, the whole town thinks she is evil for wanting to drag the beloved Trenton fixture into court.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Between the initial assignment and the conclusion, Plum suffers from a bad day at a hair salon, is knocked around by vigilantes and her hamster Rex is threatened.Â At one point she has had enough and gives a great speech about how sheâ€™s tired and not going to take it anymore.Â Â As always the only Plum driven car that hasnâ€™t met with an untimely auto death is the reliable Buick inherited from an uncle.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â One of the high points ofÂ Three to Get Deadly is that Lulu is given a larger role as a sidekick.Â Also the introduction of Plumâ€™s ex-husband as a character who will surely play a role as the series continues.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The downside was my disappointment in how the character of Uncle Mo was handled.Â Iâ€™m going to try and not be too explicit, but Iâ€™ll warn readers that there is a spoiler ahead.Â Yes, there are Jerry Sanduskys out in the world and society needs to be aware of them, but not every man who works with or around children leans towards pedophilia.Â I found it intellectually lazy inÂ Three to Get Deadly to paint a character that has severed ice cream to generations of New Jersey kids as a person whose side business was making porn (of the barely legal variety) particularly when said porn producing is introduced in the last few pages.Â Â I know this is going to sound odd, but it would be so nice to read a book where a male character that has daily interaction with children isnâ€™t a pedophile and has simply murdered someone.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Despite my criticism I recommendÂ Three to Get Deadly chiefly as a summer read.Â Overall it is my deep belief that all Stephanie Plum books should be read by a pool with either a Coke Zero or a frozen margarita nearby to keep a reader company.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Happy reading!
Westerfield Â© 2012