Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich: A review

This was a fun and fluffy summer read. I have been seriously disappointed in the last couple of books in this series, but this one, while not the best, did not disappoint.

There is nothing really new here. Stephanie is still chasing the same crazy FTAs (failure to appear) and her partner, Lula, is still wearing wildly inappropriate clothing and obsessing over her weight. At least Evanovich dropped the Lula fart jokes in this one, which was a step in the right direction. But Lula is still nothing but a stereotype.

Stephanie is the same incompetent bounty hunter that she was in the first book. At some point during this book, she says to herself, "I'm a better bounty hunter than I was a year ago." No, she isn't.

The two men who vie for her affections, Joe Morelli and Ranger, are still there and still besotted with her. And why is that exactly? There is no clue to Stephanie's tremendous appeal for these luscious hunks of manhood. I saw one review that mentioned that she must have a "magic vagina" that offers pleasures that no other woman's vagina can offer. Maybe that's it.

Rex the hamster is still there, breaking all previous longevity records for hamsters.

Crazy Grandma Mazur is still there going to her "viewings" and trying to open the caskets at closed casket events.

All the usual suspects, in other words, are present and accounted for and this time there are at least three baddies who want to kill Stephanie. She doesn't figure out who the third of the trio is until the end, although it was perfectly obvious to anyone who could read fairly early on in the book.

You always know what you are going to get with Janet Evanovich - comic relief. She's no Sue Grafton and certainly no Sara Paretsky and I don't think she aspires to be. She and her many fans are perfectly happy endlessly chewing over the same plot line with characters who never grow or change. She's found a winning formula and she's going to stick to it. And this time out, I didn't find that formula annoying. It kept me amused, almost to the end.


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