Good thing I had a lot of car time yesterday because I read "Ten Big Ones" in a day, actually not even that. I read a couple of chapters on our way to Kings Islands, but then I had it finished before we were at Beaver Dam yesterday.
It's the 10th book in Janet Evanovich's series about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. They are hilarious. More funny than anything. But there is some suspence thrown in. She's a smart author, though, because she left me hanging at the end, knowing she has published the next installment yet. That's why she can write 10 books about the same character and keep people interested. Rather brilliant, really, but frustrating for me, who has formed an addiction to her books. She has another series of humor/suspense novels but they aren't as good. I think I just don't like the characters as much.
Anyway, here's a sample. It's the very beginning of the book.
The way I see it, life is a jelly doughnut. You don't really know what it's about until you bite into it. And then, just when you decide it's good, you drop a big glob of jelly on your best T-shirt.
My name is Stephanie Plum, and I drop a lot of jelly globs, figuratively and literally. Like the time I accidentally burned down a funeral home. That was the mother of all jelly globs. I got my picture in the paper for that one. I'd walk down the street and people would recognize me.
"You're famous now," my mother said when the paper came out. " You have to set an example. You have to exercise, eat good food and be nice to old people."
Okay, so my mother was probably right, but I'm from Jersey and truth is, I have a hard time getting a grip on the good example thing. A good example in Jersey isn't exactly the national ideal. Not to mention, I inherited a lot of unmanageable brown hair and rude hand gestures from my father's Italian side of the family. What am I supposed to do with that?
My mother's side is Hungarian and from this I get blue eyes and the ability to eat birthday cake and still button the top snap on my jeans. I'm told the good Hungarian metabolism only lasts until I'm forty, so I'm counting down. The Hungarian genes also carry a certain amount of luck and gypsy intuition, both of which I need in my present job. I'm a Bond Enforcement Agent, working for my cousin Vincent Plum, and I run down bad guys. I'm not the best BEA in the world and I'm not the worst. An incredibly hot guy with the street name Ranger is the best. And my sometimes partner, Lula, is possibly the worst.
Maybe it's not fair to have Lula in the running for worst bounty hunter of all time. To begin with, there are some really bad bounty hunters out there. And more to the point, Lula isn't actually a bounty hunter. Lula is a former hooker who was hired to do the filing for the bail bonds office but spends a lot of her day trailing after me.
At the moment, Lula and I were standing in the parking lot of a deli-mart on Hamilton Avenue. We were about a half-mile from the office and we were leaning against my yellow Ford Escape, trying to make a lunch choice. We were debating nachos at the deli-mart against a sub at Giovichinni's.