Between the Plums
Between the Plums by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between the Plums is an omnibus of three short Stephanie Plum novels; Visions of Sugar Plums, Plum Lovin’ and Plum Lucky.

Because I’m reading the Stephanie Plum series in the order that they were originally published, I’ve only read the first for now. The other two will wait until their proper time. This is the first time that I’m introduced to the character of Diesel who just appears in Stephanie’s kitchen literally out of thin air.

Despite the metaphysical stuff and the fact that it is a short story of under 150 pages, it still manages to tell the story of what our favourite plucky bounty hunter does best; tracking down an FTA. In this instance, it’s someone called Sandy Claws. Rather appropriate for a story set over the holiday period.

And even in a short story, all the regular cast are in place; Joe Morelli, Grandma Mazur and her long suffering mother and Lula. Stephanie’s sister, Valerie and Valerie’s girls are there too. Ranger doesn’t make an appearance but he’s mentioned. And what Plum story would be complete without a car death and impossible situations?

It’s a nice addition to the series, just too short!

Addendum 8th July:

I’ve now read the second holiday story; Plum Lovin’ and given the title it’ll be no surprise that this is set around Valentine’s Day.

Once again, Diesel makes a sudden appearance into Stephanie’s life and kitchen and needs her help in tracking down someone with unmentionable skills who is after Annie Hart who, coincidentally, is also Stephanie’s latest FTA. So Diesel makes a deal with Stephanie in that if she takes on Annie’s role as matchmaker to various couples, he will take her to where he has hidden Annie for protection.

And so it’s a race against time as it’s almost Valentine’s Day as Stephanie, Lula and Diesel try to get Annie’s clients hitched up one of whom is Albert Kloughn who wants to marry her sister, Valerie but faints at the prospect of doing so.

Needless to say that Stephanie fulfills her side of the bargain in getting various singles to form couples in her own style, that is more by accident than design.

Like the previous holiday story, Plum Lovin’ is a quick, short novella and is only going to appeal to those who are familiar with the Stephanie Plum series and have also read Visions of Sugar Plums. Although it is short, it’s still funny and makes me glad that I bought this holiday omnibus edition.

Addendum 11th September:

Plum Lucky is the third and final story in this omnibus and like the previous two, takes place over a holiday, specifically St. Patrick’s Day. Because it’s a holiday story, whilst the two main men in Stephanie’s life make brief appearances, it is Diesel who once again turns up in pursuit of an Unmentionable, a former jockey who thinks he is a Leprechaun.

What does this have to do with Stephanie? Only that Grandma Mazur got tired of living with Stephanie’s parents and by circumstance walked off with the quarter of million dollars that Snuggy (yes, that’s his name. Snuggy) himself acquired through not so legal means. Basically, he stole it from Lou Delvina, one of Trenton’s mob bosses.

So not only is Snuggy trying to get ‘his’ money back, but so Delvina whilst Stephanie is only trying to get her grandmother home from Atlantic City where she ended up and is quite happily spending the money.

Oh, and did I mention Doug, the horse?

As with the previous holiday stories, this is a quick light read and in continuing style funny as hell. Highlights that I have to mention are the way Lula provides a distraction in a casino, a phone call between Morelli and Stephanie when she reveals that she has Doug in her apartment and a spectacular car death.

Overall, a story worthy of four stars and the fact that these three stories are in this one omnibus just adds to the value.

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