For those of you who haven’t read the first seventeen novels, I’ll give you a quick overview. First, of note, the first book in the series, One for the Money, has recently been made into a movie that will open in January. Katherine Heigel plays the main character, Stephanie Plum. Please don’t judge the books off this casting – Katherine Heigel is actually kind of perfect to play Stephanie.
So, Stephanie Plum, after loses her job marketing knock off Victoria’s Secret underwear, divorces her sleazy, cheating husband and goes to work for her uncle as an incompetent bounty hunter. Each book has one overarching plotline where Stephanie and her cohorts track down a “big bad guy” wrecking havoc in her hometown of Trenton. In between, there’s plenty of comic relief as Stephanie attempts (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to capture local small time criminals who skipped out on bail so she can get paid.
Stephanie’s cohorts, and her over-the-top adventures capturing skips, are what really make the books. The books are downright campy, in a delicious way that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, rather than the over-the-top camp seen in shows like Glee. The supporting players include Lula (Sherri Shepard), Stephanie’s partner, a sassy, “big boned” former hooker who is a terrible shot, loves doughnuts and fried chicken, and helps keep Stephanie’s personal life in line. My personal favorite, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur (Debbie Reynolds), is a gun toting widow who acts like a teenager, dying her hair cotton candy pink, carrying a gun in her oversized purse, and trolling funerals for eligible men. Other characters of note include Uncle Vinnie (Patrick Fischler), the incompetent brains behind the bond agency, and Connie (Ana Reeder), the very, very “New Jersey” secretary at the bond agency.
No set of chick lit mystery novels would be complete without a love triangle. Here, Stephanie is torn between a local cop and a professional bounty hunter. There’s Joe Morelli (played by Jason Mara), the local cop who (hilariously) took Stephanie’s virginity in a bakery in high school, owns his own home and lovingly cares for his dog Bob. Classic husband material. Then there’s Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), the professional bounty hunter, who wears all black, drives fast, fancy cars, and occasionally has mind blowing sex with Stephanie in his impeccable apartment. A long term one night stand.