Sherri Lupton Hollister

Janet Evanovich Top Secret 21

I just finished reading the latest Stephanie Plum novel. Like the first I ever read, clueless Stephanie, gets the bad guys and manages to get the good guys too. A friend and I had a discussion about Stephanie’s lack of growth and change. As fans, we love Stephanie but as writers, we question the advisability of keeping her the same for so many years. I’ve been reading this series for almost twenty years. When my friend Kay asked about Stephanie’s Peter Pan status, Ken, Alex’s assistant replied: when Janet started writing the Stephanie Plum series, she decided, Stephanie would always be thirty and never change like the Simpson. That at thirty she was young enough to still make those rash decisions an older, more experienced person wouldn’t make.
While I might disagree, knowing people in their forties, fifties and sixties and even one or two pushing ninety still making mistakes, I guess it is cuter if you’re thirty. I like the Stephanie Plum series and Top Secret 21 was one of the best in a long time. It was slightly different with some old favorites: Grandma, Lula, Briggs, Joe and the too hot for words Ranger. While I enjoy Stephanie’s antics, it is not something that is going to make me think. This is just for fun. Fans know that if they want a good laugh Janet Evanovich delivers. I am reminded about the critics who said Goldie Hawn did grow as an actress from one movie to the next. I did not agree. I adore Goldie Hawn she is one of my favorite actresses. She is funny. If she is in a movie, I know I am going to laugh. When I check out a Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum book, I know I’m going to laugh. That’s why I get the book. If you want something more in depth get War and Peace, but this isn’t it. But while it isn’t classic literature, it is good fun. I do not agree that Stephanie hasn’t grown or changed in the twenty plus novels and short stories. Her growth may have been slow but they are there. She is steadier, more determined, better at handling a gun and a crisis, protective of her friends and her family and willing to walk into danger even though she is terrified and ill equipped to handle it. And let us not forget her biggest asset, dumb luck and the men who are willing to use it to accomplish their goals.
Now about that thing with the marshmallow fluff?

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