Narrated by: C.J. Critt
Series: Stephanie Plum #1
Publication Date: June 21, 2011 (audio)
Date Read: February 18, 2016
Length: 8 hours 32 minutes
You've lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car's been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month's rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do?
If you're Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man who took Stephanie's virginity at age 16 and then wrote details on a bathroom wall. With pride and rent money on the line, Plum plunges headlong into her first case, one that pits her against ruthless adversaries - people who'd rather kill than lose.
The New York Times Book Review calls Stephanie Plum "a Jersey girl with Bette Middler's mouth and Cher's fashion sense." In Stephanie Plum, Evanovich has created a resourceful and humorous character who stands apart from the pack of gritty female detectives.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this series at this point. I used to absolutely love it. Stephanie Plum is what got me reading again after not picking up a book for several years when my kids where little. I devoured every book in the series that was available and when a new one was released, I would drive to my local Borders to get a copy. I pushed these books on my mom and anyone else that would listen.
Several years ago, I stopped caring about this series. I realized that I could give a summary of just about any book in the series even if I hadn't read it yet.....because they are all the same. Yes there are small differences but the similarities are overwhelming. I bought this audiobook years ago and decided to pull it out because I wanted to feel a little bit of the magic before Stephanie Plum became boring.
I have read this book at least two or three times before listening to the audiobook. I even watched that horrible movie - at a theater. I know the story and I know it well. Unfortunately, I didn't feel any kind of magic this time. The story was okay. It has its moments for sure if you are looking for a little bit of silly fun in book form. It is really a pretty simple story without a whole lot of complexity to the mystery.
I didn't love the narration. C.J. Critt did a good job with Stephanie which was really the bulk of the story. I really didn't care for the voices used for the other characters in the book. I guess that I have a definite idea about what Ranger, Morelli, and the rest the gang should sound like and the reality of this audiobook just didn't measure up. Benito voice was just odd. Some of the voices used seemed so wrong to me that I found myself being pulled out of the story. I don't think that any of my issues were the fault of the narrator. I just went into the book with definite ideas of what I wanted to hear and this was just different. Not wrong...just different. I would listen to another book narrated by C.J. Critt.
I do think that readers looking for a fun silly story will enjoy the Stephanie Plum series. I have a lot of fond memories of reading these books but I don't think that I will be reading this one again. I may try the next book in the series soon to see if it works better for me because I really want to find some of the magic I felt years ago.
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