Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich fulfilled the “Book with the Word ‘Twenty’ in the Title” category for the 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge. Yes, this is the twenty-sixth in the series and I have read them all. And all the supplemental Plum stories.
That’s a lot of books.
The main character for all the “numbered” novels is Stephanie Plum, a lingerie salesperson turned bounty hunter. Needless to say, she’s kinda inept at her job and catches many criminals by sheer luck. Which makes the series so much fun to read.
Stephanie’s blundering and failures make her human and funny. We never know who she’ll try to catch next, another killer clown or a naked shoplifter. Ms. Evanovich has given us a wonderful cast of heroes and villains in the series.
Let me just say I love Lula. She’s my favorite. I hear the voice of the audio person whenever I read the stories instead of listening and for weeks after a finish a book, I use the phrase “damn skippy.”
But—and there’s always a but—the books are repetitive. Like Sue Grafton, twenty-plus books with the same main character merge. Each book tells you what Stephanie does and what she looks like. The script is the same: Stephanie has to catch a bad guy out of her league, needs help from the cop boyfriend and sometimes lover, security man. Lula makes everything worse or better. Gramma Mazer shows and adds comic relief (besides the antics already going on).
But Stephanie never gets better at her job. She never chooses one of the men. She always blows up a car and her hamster is still alive after many, many years.
The constant reader knows all this coming in and we still gobble up the next episode. But this time Stephanie comments that her life is not going anywhere! I almost propped the book. It was like in X by Sue Grafton when Kinsey didn’t describe her run for the third time because it was repetitive.
Have these authors realized they are telling the same story over and over? (And they trash romance for doing the same thing…sigh.) Anyway, it was nice to see Stephanie Plum question her choices. And Ms. Evanovich came through with some changes too.
At the end of the book, Stephanie does not wrap up all the ends neatly. She solves the problem with her Grandmother, but the ending is a cliff hanger!
OMG, you could’ve knocked me over.
Ms. Evanovich never does that. She doesn’t have to. Her novels sell no matter what. Perhaps it’s a change in the series or an ending. The books have gone along for so long with the same storyline, perhaps we are in for a revolution in Book Twenty-Seven.
All I can say is I enjoyed the story, loved the author poking fun at herself and dammit, Ranger ate a donut! If you need a quick fun read, this novel is for you.
I give Twisted Twenty-Six Four Boston Creme Donuts.