Stephanie Plum faces the toughest puzzle of her career in the twenty-fifth entry in Janet Evanovich’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.
There’s nothing like a good deli and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World famous for its pastrami, cole slaw and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, the only clue in each case is one shoe that’s been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it’s a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they’d better figure out what’s going on before they lose their new manager, Ms. Stephanie Plum.
Have you ever sat down, scrolled social media, saw one of those awful videos where the person gets hurt in a gut wrenching, nauseating way, and then proceeded to watch it multiple times? That’s what it’s like still reading the Stephanie Plum series. I have been reading these books since I first discovered the series in 2001. That’s every numbered book as well as the between the numbers. The first dozen or so books were amazing. Funny, witty, creative. The last few have gotten progressively worse. They’re so formulaic I can’t stand it, the writing has gotten worse and worse, and there has been no character progression in at least 7 books.
The main case? Managers of a deli keep vanishing and leaving behind a shoe. When Stephanie becomes the new manager of the deli, hijinx are bound to ensue as usual, with Lula on her side and Hal keeping an eye. Until Hal disappears and all that’s left behind is, you guessed it, a shoe.
Of course, every time a new one comes out, I read it immediately hoping for some kind of resolution. Can Stephanie make a choice already? This up down left right Ranger Morelli conundrum is driving me out of my mind. And it’s been 24 years since she started this series, why aren’t the characters aging in any manner? How is Rex still alive?
Here’s my recommendation, read at your own risk. It’s boring, contrived and just downright disappointing. I will probably continue reading just for a hopeful one day resolution.