Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Lean Mean Thirteen - Janet Evanovich I was introduced to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series by my friend Leslie after passing them over for a good, long time. After all, if she could only write pretty boring romance novels, how was she going to fare with mysteries? The surprise was that I quickly became addicted to Stephanie, the men in her life, her crazy life, and her insane bunch of family and friends. So I was right out at Target when Lean Mean Thirteen was released... the first Stephanie Plum book I got in hardcover.::: More of the Same :::When we last left Stephanie in Twelve Sharp, she was still involved with Joe Morelli, still tempted by Ranger, and still a bounty hunter. Nothing has changed in Lean Mean Thirteen, where Stephanie becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance and possible murder of her philandering ex-husband, Dickie Orr.The usual cast of characters, from her nutty sometime partner Lula to her gun-toting Grandma Mazur, as well as the nutters Stephanie has to apprehend (this time, a crazy taxidermist who makes "performance pieces" and a snake-owning grave robber) all make appearances as Stephanie tries to figure out, in her standard bumbling way, what happened to Dickie, while Morelli and Ranger try to make sure she doesn't accidentally kill herself in the process.::: I'm a Little Tired :::The first Stephanie Plum novel, One for the Money, was published in 1994. It's been 13 years, and maybe it's time for Stephanie to grow up, at least a little. While she isn't aging in the novels as fast as we are here in the real world, my patience is wearing a bit thin. The books are starting to feel formulaic; almost like a Mad Lib. While fans love both Ranger and Morelli, it's time for Steph to make a decision. And at some point, shouldn't she get a bit better at her job so she can stop buying junker cars and eating the last dregs of food in her cupboards before her next capture fee?I'm getting the feeling that Evanovich has a checklist of things that have to occur before the end of the story: funeral home incident, car dying, Stephanie's mom ironing, steamy kiss with Ranger, Stephanie needing protection, comic FTA bust... check, check, check, check. I think maybe it's time to let the characters grow up a little bit. Lean Mean Thirteen just feels like too much more of the same.This review previously published at Epinions:

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography
Elisabeth Sladen, David Tennant
Diary of a Submissive: A Modern True Tale of Sexual Awakening
Sophie Morgan
Bellman & Black
Diane Setterfield
Deep into the Heart of a Rose
G.T. Denny