Friday, August 7, 2009
Book Review "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" not so finger lickin' good
“Finger Lickin’ Fifteen” A Stephanie Plum Mystery
The newest Stephanie Plum mystery by Janet Evanovich is a little better than some and a little worse than others in this now very long series. It has a solid place on the best seller lists for summer reading. I read Fifteen up at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin - just down the shore from Margy Layton whose family also has a summer home on this wonderful lake – small world! The lake house book shelves are filled with classic literature. Well, ok that’s a stretch unless you consider novels by Evanovich, Dick Francis, and Clive Cussler to be classics. But on vacation, one must read a little each day to vacate the mind and “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen” was a great little vacuum. My brain was suctioned so vacation vacant that it took until the end to figure out that there was a fifteen in the title because it’s the fifteenth book in the series, not because someone had fifteen fingers.
Stephanie Plum is a feisty half Italian, half Hungarian bail bondsman from New Jersey who bumbles her way to success. In this installment she is solving the murder of the rib sauce king while bringing in her usual criminals who skip their court appearances. When Lulu, the too-large-for spandex secretary witnesses a murder, the fun begins. Somehow she involves Stephanie, despite her apartment being destroyed (again) and wrecking her car (again) and not one but two Porches belonging to Ranger. The killers are actually more bumbling than her crazy team, which is hard to accomplish. Thanks to a hilarious supporting continuing cast which stars Grandma Mazur and Lula they bring in the crooks. Oh, did I spoil the ending for you? Since Ms. Plum always gets her man you shouldn’t be surprised.
There is a strong language caution here and Grandma Mazur is not at all like my grandmother. She is a little too entertained by the neighborhood flasher and tends to make me cringe a little with her conversations and observations. Fifteen is a stand-alone but again would be difficult to read without a couple of previous books in the series to explain the characters and their relationships to each other.
I bet Margy read something way more classic down the lake at Rainbow Point. I bet she actually improved her mind while up at Lake Geneva. I sure hope not, since she’s already way ahead in the well-read race and now I’ll have to read the Iliad, just to catch up with her before next summer.