For review of all books in the series: Go here.
Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: A doggedly persistent gumshoe even with her ineptness, disorganized and above all having no inclination to use a weapon, it is a miracle that Stephanie has strong instincts to chase the case and bring it to a closure.
Plum Lovin’ is the fourteenth book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, first published in January of 2007. This time around her magical colleague Diesel appears again in her life with a solution to one of her cases, finding Annie Hart. But there is a catch, Ms. Plum has to play matchmaker to several of Annie’s difficult clients. This begins another roller coaster ride for Ms. Plum.
Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter living in Trenton, New Jersey, working as a fugitive apprehension agent for her cousin, Vinnie’s Bail Bonds company. That begins the series with every book an adventure into Stephanie’s trail onto fugitives and recovering them. And in the process she solves mysteries enabling her to hone her skills. There is a triangle love story for readers senses to feast on as well. Readers have been entertained so far with 30 books in the series and more to come, beginning with One for the Money in 1994 leading up to the 30th book Dirty Thirty releasing in November of 2023. The stories are told in first person narration.
And we continue to see the dilemma with regards to matters of heart between our heroine and her love-interests; none of the three are ready to settle; nor ready to let go. Although Evanovich has the male gumshoes much more stronger and balanced than her main heroine.
The love triangle continues to exist between Morelli, Stephanie and Ranger. It seems foolish for Evanovich to keep dragging this on even after nine books she has written similar to how Joanna Fluke did in her Hannah Swensen series. There is a point when her case Annie Hart almost tells who she belongs with. I am not sure if the by the 30th book gets published, if Stephanie has made that choice.
It is so uncanny that Evanovich has Stephanie always landing in the middle of a disaster or mayhem. Of course, if she had made her a little bit more responsible; a little less impulsive; and also a little bit of listening to others when they say not to do something; and above all avoid getting influenced by Lula and Connie. At least in this book the troubles were a little lesser, although she was getting influenced by Diesel.
Evanovich did reduce the gross episodes of Bob the Dog and his poop. She however continues to portray Stephanie as inept with several flaws that would actually not make her a successful gumshoe, and yet somehow she succeeds every single time. And she is shown to accept her ineptness, yet I would like to see her getting better at not being inept than accept it and move on.
The plot line comes with loads of humor and romance. Evanovich does add a shade of grimness and dark corners of human mind are revealed making you shudder and shiver. Her shortcomings, doesn’t stop our heroine from nailing her bounty in the end. I do hope Evanovich made our heroine an equally well-balanced gumshoe as her male counterparts in future books.
A doggedly persistent gumshoe even with her ineptness, disorganized and above all having no inclination to use a weapon, it is a miracle that Stephanie has strong instincts to chase the case and bring it to a closure. A good series if you are interested in amateur sleuthing, but be prepared for the loop holes hanging around.
- In this book we see that Lulu hooks up on and off with Tank. Stephanie seems to have a third follower with this book in Diesel. A quadrangle love angle for Ms. Plum in future books perhaps.
- Stephanie’s family & friends – Mother Ellen; Father; Grandma Edna Mazur; her ex-husband Richard “Dickie” Orr; Sister Valerie & her kids Angie & Mary Alice, Valerie has a child, Lisa, with Albert Kloughn and they are engaged to be married; Rex, the hamster; Mary Alice seemed to be born with special powers per Visions of Sugar Plum; best friend Mary Lou Molnar; her magical friend Diesel.
- Ellen joins Trenton State school to go back to pursuing of education in the seventh book Seven Up.
- Joseph “Joe” Morelli’s family – a Trenton cop and on-and-off Stephanie’s boyfriend; his mom; Grandma Bella; Bob the dog; Mary Elizabeth, his great aunt; Cathy, his sister; Uncle Mario; Cousin Mooch;
- Stephanie’s co-workers at Vincent Plum Bail Bonds – Vincent “Vinnie” Plum, her cousin and owner of the company; other bounty hunters – Joyce Barnhardt (Sephanie’s nemesis), Frankie Defrances; Lula, ex-prostitute turned office assistant to Vinnie; Connie Rosolli, office manager; Vincent is married to Harry the Hammer’s daughter Lucille.
- Ricardo “Ranger” Carlos Manoso’s family & staff: a daughter in Florida; Tank; Erik Salvatora; Miguel; Cal; Junior; Ella & Louis Guzman, building managers;
- In the tenth book Ten Big Ones, we learn that Ranger had killed a man to protect Stephanie. I wonder what book plot that was since I only started reading this series from Book # 6 Hot Six. More about his activities, business and hidden locations are talked about in this book. Makes me wonder if Ranger will become a main character soon, or a series of his own.
- Law Enforcement and other supporting teams – Joe Juniak, ex-police Chief and a Congressman now; Carl Costanza; Big Dog ; Brian Simon; Allen Barnes, homicide detective; Andy Diller; Marilyn Truro at the DMV; Norma at the DMV; Eddie Gazzara, married to Stephanie’s cousin Shirley; Jimmy Neeley; Tom Bell, homicide detective; Mickey Greene; Billy Kwiatkowski; Blubber-butt Ollie; Ed Silver; Andy Zajak; Robin Russell; Eddie Gazarra, married to Stephanie’s cousin Shirley; Gus Chianni;
- Other characters – Dougie “The Dealer” Kruper; Myron Landowsky; Cynthia Lotte, works for Stephanie’s ex; Dillan Rudick, building super; Carol Zabo; Lenny Gruber; Moon Man Dunphy “Mooner”; Angela Marguchi; Huey Kosa; Zero Bartha; Father Carolli; Constantine Stiva, undertaker; Janice Molnari; Mabel Pritchet; Terry Gilman, Stephanie’s childhood nemesis.