A Kirkus-Style Review

28 Feb

Title: Smokin’ Seventeen

Author: Janet Evanovich

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 308

 

Unsure of which direction her life is headed in, Stephanie Plum barely juggles a clumsy love affair with three men, a plummeting career in bounty hunting, and an almost certain date with death. Although those things give the book potential of being interesting, Evanovich completely ruins it with over-exaggerated characters written in attempts to validate Plum’s social awkwardness by stereotyping the roles and behaviors of everyone around her. Lula, Connie, Vinnie, and Mooner are portrayed as not having a clue, although the business seems to stay afloat. Regina Bugle, Dave, Nick Alpha, and the mysterious “killer” are portrayed as stalkers from which she cannot seem to protect herself. Morelli and Ranger are portrayed as accomplished lovers to which she shows no allegiance. Given Plum’s quirks, it is hard to believe that she is the most sensible character in the book, and dumbing the other characters down is a less than witty way of illustrating that concept. I can accept that Evanovich was trying to lighten the read by incorporating elements of humor, but it was more insulting than funny and poorly done. She makes it difficult to get lost in the mystery because every few pages the reader is jarred out of the story by the bizarre and overdone characters that surround the protagonist.

The title “Smokin’ Seventeen” implies this book will be stimulating and hard to put down. This one barely fizzed.

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