Sometimes it seems as if a series begins to crash and burn on itself. What used to be funny or at worst mildly amusing becomes less so after a number of novels. Actions of the main character, which used to entertain, now make the reader wonder why in the heck hasn’t the character learned something by now. Even an attempt to shake things up a bit comes across as halfhearted and instead turns more into what has been read before in the series. Such was the way it seemed things worked in Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich.
This latest Stephanie Plum novel opens with Stephanie announcing to one and all she is quitting the bail bonds business. After one too many rolls through garbage (see preceding novels) and one too many car fires (see preceding novels for this running gag as well), she has decide she has had enough. No more chasing FTA’s and all that. To ease her life dissatisfaction, she will instead pursue new employment and one knows before she starts looking, her search won’t go well.
It wouldn’t be a Stephanie Plum novel if it did go right so, of course, it doesn’t. Each new job seems to end in spectacular public failure and her old friend Lulu constantly shows up seeking her help in capturing this suspect or that. In fact, once she quits, it seems as if Stephanie goes out on more chases than when she was officially working for cousin Vinnie. Of course, the ongoing saga of her Grandma Mazur with her comments and need to view bodies goes on as well as the ongoing saga of Valerie, her kids, her weight and her pending marriage to Kloughn. Also included is her ongoing struggle in regards to Ranger and Morelli and which one she wants more at the moment while thinking about the other one. And if that were not enough, she once again has to deal with another crazed stalker and his desire to see her dead.
While some of the novel goes into the secret sanctum of Ranger’s company, that is the only new area readers haven’t seen before and the entire read has absolutely zero character development regarding Stephanie. This is the same character as seen in the first novel, loveable and bumbling from crisis to crisis leaving havoc and Morelli and Ranger in her wake. This novel is proof that fiction allows the author to get away with what would never work in real life.
Eleven On Top
By Janet Evanovich
Random House Large Print
ISBN # 0-375-43533-6
More next time and as always feel free to drop me a note here or at Kevin_tipple@att.net with your comments, observations, and suggestions.
Thanks for reading!
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005