To say that Notorious Nineteen is standard entry in the Stephanie Plum series sounds disparaging when it’s not meant that way. When people and by people I mean me, follow series because each instalment follows a set formula. For Stephanie Plum that involves one main FTA and one or more wacky FTAs, car explosions, perhaps a narrow escape from a deadly situation and maybe some fooling around with one or both men in her life.
And then there is the regular cast appearing alongside Stephanie herself; her grandmother, Lula, Connie, Ranger, Morelli, Box, Rex and Cluck in a Bucket. Check, check and check on all points.
These stories aren’t so much ‘whodunit’ but rather how did they do it and the adventures that Stephanie and company have whilst trying to solve the case. What’s quite astonishing is that even after the sheer amount of books so far given that One for the Money was first published in 1994, each adventure is unique, fresh and never fails to make me laugh.
Whilst none of the characters have obviously aged in real time despite various seasons passing else Rex would be looking at a world record for the longest lived hamster the series does keep itself up to date with the times with mentions of various types of car, smart phones and social networking websites.
A major plus point with this series though is that you don’t need to have read any of the previous books. If you have, then you get the bonus of knowing some back story behind the characters; Randy Briggs makes a return in this book, for example but otherwise there isn’t any ‘previously, in the Stephanie Plus series’.
So whilst Notorious Nineteen might be viewed as a standard entry, this is a good thing and an excellent example of the series overall.