When things look grim outside (a pandemic will invariably cause a few lows), a Janet Evanovich book is just the right pick-me-up. The bestselling author has created one of the looniest and most lovable characters—Stephanie Plum, a bounty-hunter. Better than Plum is her sidekick, the Amazonian Lula, former hooker, who drives a red Firebird, thinks incessantly of food and shoes, has atrocious fashion sense, speaks her mind, whether anyone asks her opinion or not, and objects violently if called fat. The two of them together are a riot.
Like Sue Grafton’s alphabet series, Evanovich has a numbers series starring sassy Stephanie, and the new book, Fortune And Glory has the tagline Tantalizing Twenty-Seven. The plot carries over from the last novel, Twisted Twenty-Six, but it works as a standalone.
For those who haven’t read any books in the series before, Stephanie, a self-confessed Julia Rober’s look alike, is of Italian descent and has a crazy gun-toting Grandma Mazur, whose antics have driven her daughter (that is Stephanie’s mother) to despair and alcoholism. She also has a hamster as a pet, a cop boyfriend Joe Morelli and a standby ‘knight’ called Ranger—both of them impossibly hot and infinitely patient with her quirks. It falls to Ranger to replace the cars she wrecks with alarming regularity, and also to allow her access to his luxurious home when she craves soft sheets and healthy meals.
In the last book, Grandma Mazur’s new husband, gangster Jimmy Rosolli, died on their wedding night, the only thing he left her was a beat-up old easy chair and a key that could lead to a fortune. In this book they continue to hunt for the treasure, and fight off goons sent by Rosolli’s former mob cohorts, who want to grab that missing key.
While Stephanie and Lula chase various bail-jumpers, and she tries to sort out her convoluted feelings for Morelli and Ranger, one of the nutty felons, George Potts, attaches himself to her as her “protector” and provides additional comic relief when Lula is taking a breather. Stephanie narrowly escapes the goon attacks, manages to keep Grandma Mazur out of harm’s way, runs around in tunnels under the strip club called the Mole Hole that is the hangout of the mobsters, but is more concerned about the possibility of Morelli, in their off phase, hooking up with the mysterious and invincible Gabriela Rose. This black-clad, dark-eyed mercenary is to get her own series, starting July 2021 (an excerpt is offered at the end of this book, and she is quite a badass).
Fortune And Glory with its dizzy pace and effervescent wit is a laugh-out-loud fun read. While it may be true that Evanovich’s Plum books are getting to be somewhat repetitive, they remain as entertaining as ever, thanks in large measure to the irrepressible Lula.
Fortune And Glory
By Janet Evanovich