Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

Book Details
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
Hardcover, 320 Pages
2009, St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312383320
Series: Book 14.5 of Stephanie Plum

The First Full Length Stephanie Plum Between-the-Numbers Novel from #1 Bestselling Author Janet Evanovich.

Turn on all the lights and check under your bed. Things are about to get spooky in Trenton, New Jersey.

According to legend, the Jersey Devil prowls the Pine Barrens and soars above the treetops in the dark of night. As eerie as this might seem, there are things in the Barrens that are even more frightening and dangerous. And there are monkeys. Lots of monkeys.

Wulf Grimoire is a world wanderer and an opportunist who can kill without remorse and disappear like smoke. He’s chosen Martin Munch, boy genius, as his new business partner, and he’s chosen the Barrens as his new playground.

Munch received his doctorate degree in quantum physics when he was twenty-two. He’s now twenty-four, and while his brain is large, his body hasn’t made it out of the boys’ department at Macy’s. Anyone who says good things come in small packages hasn’t met Munch. Wulf Grimoire is looking for world domination. Martin Munch would be happy if he could just get a woman naked and tied to a tree.

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has Munch on her most-wanted list for failure to appear in court. Plum is the all-American girl stuck in an uncomfortable job, succeeding on luck and tenacity. Usually she gets her man. This time she gets a monkey. She also gets a big guy named Diesel.

Diesel pops in and out of Plum’s life like birthday cake – delicious to look at and taste, not especially healthy as a steady diet, gone by the end of the week if not sooner. He’s an ├╝ber bounty hunter with special skills when it comes to tracking men and pleasing women. He’s after Grimoire, and now he’s also after Munch. And if truth were told, he wouldn’t mind setting Stephanie Plum in his crosshairs.

Diesel and Plum hunt down Munch and Grimoire, following them into the Barrens, surviving cranberry bogs, the Jersey Devil, a hair-raising experience, sand in their underwear, and, of course . . . monkeys.

Plum Spooky didn't work for me on a couple of levels. The Between-the-Numbers books have always revolved around holidays. Given the title, Plum Spooky, I was expecting a Halloween themed Stephanie Plum/Diesel book. This book had no Halloween focus and was in no way spooky in theme.

The tie in between the spookiness of the title and the actual plot was that the book had a lot of action in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey - home of the Jersey Devil. Even as a life long resident of NJ, I have no interest in the Pine Barrens or its legends. The Jersey Devil isn't something terrifying to me. The book places it on the same level as the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch. The problem is that some people actually believe in Nessie and Sasquatch. People have tried to prove their existence. The Jersey Devil is nothing but tourist baiting, hoping to get the gullible in the the Pine Barrens and paying for the tours.

And, then there is the monkeys. Stephanie is babysitting a pet monkey. She comes to acquire many more monkeys over the course of the book. The monkey humor wasn't funny and couldn't shoulder the expectation of humor that comes with a Stephanie Plum book.

Diesel could be an interesting character, but his role seems to be mostly the boosting of Stephanie's ego, which is already being hoisted by Ranger and Morelli. We get it, men want her, but most of Diesel's comments in the book are barely veiled innuendo. I'm intrigued to see what he may do on his own and will be checking out Wicked Appetite though, as he could have some great potential without the Stephanie distraction.

Some characters felt off in this book. Tank becomes a chatterbox. The man would not shut up about his cats. I ignored it, thinking perhaps he's just obsessed with his new cats, but when it came time to talk to Stephanie or others about real matters, he still carried a conversation. This is very out of character for him.

Plum Spooky is my least favorite Stephanie Plum book so far. Nothing seemed to work in this book. If you're really craving a Plum fix, this book may tide you over, but you may just want to move on to the next installment.


Janet Evanovich's

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