After 24 years, readers still can’t wait to read the newest Stephanie Plum comic crime cases. This December is no different as the recently released Look Alive Twenty-Five has reached No. 1 on the Dec. 2, 2018 New York Times best-sellers list.
In the new novel, bounty hunter Stephanie is working as a new deli manager to solve a series of disappearances. At the Red River Deli, the last three managers have disappeared, leaving a single shoe as the only clue. Stephanie is the next manager up and she investigates with boyfriend, Detective Joe Morelli, and fellow bounty hunter Ranger close by.
Based on writer Janet Evanovich’s imagination of a young New Jersey woman becoming an independent crime investigator, Stephanie’s a creature of her environment “characterized by a flamboyant wardrobe, big hair and an impertinent manner,” Contemporary Authors Online wrote.
Beyond her appearance, Stephanie’s a determined and smart-mouthed character although she’s also a likeable klutz. In Four to Score, for example, she confronts an aggressive bail-jumper during a dicey moment and can’t find her pepper spray in her handbag to confront him. So, instead, she uses her extra-hold hair spray. An observer of the scene later says, “’Kenny’s been hair-sprayed,’ Terry told everyone. ‘He put up a pretty good fight, but he just didn’t have the muscle to stand up to extra hold.’”
While Evanovich started her career writing romance novels, her shift to writing mysteries came through creative differences as Evanovich found the genre provided creative avenues she preferred.In time, she created the loveable Stephanie. In a 2003 Publisher’s Weekly article, Evanovich said, “I realized that I liked writing the action parts more than the sex parts. I couldn’t curse in them. I had to say things like ‘peas and carrots.’ It just wasn’t satisfying.”
The mystery series began in 1994 with One for the Money and has been rolling on since. Anyone new to the series ought to start with that title, which introduces all the characters mentioned earlier.
If you’re familiar with Evanovich’s series, or want to catch up, check the Library catalog for the books, e-books, audiobooks and other formats to add more smiles and laughs during the holiday season.