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on January 8, 2009
With a sticker price of almost $29 and even with a discount price of almost $16, Plum Spooky is another waste of money. At 309 pages, it is the first full length, between the numbers, book featuring Diesel and the world of Plum.

The Plum series used to be fun books. Wonderful to read. Deserved to be read many times. They were purchased. They were keepers. I loved them. This series of books had many dog-eared pages from being lovingly read many times.

To me, Plum used to represent a book filled with wonderful characters, heart pounding fear, laugh out loud till I cried moments, fantastic one-liners from Stephanie, Lula, Ranger, Grandma Mazure, Vinnie, Connie, and Morelli. Words like edgy, sexy, funny, witty, sharp, thrilling, and emotional filled my mind as I read.

This book is another episode of the three stooges, running amok in the world of Plum.

Well, on with my difficult-to-write review. Synopsis: It is a sad, sad day when an author who gave us the Plum series has to issue a book filled with monkeys and characters that revel in gross bodily functions.

This book takes place in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. It should be very scary. It's not. The characters that live in the Pine Barrens should be scary. They are not. E. Bunny (retired Easter Bunny), Sasquatch (retired something) and, good grief, there is Elmer The Fire Farter! They are not scary. They are ridiculous. The villain is Gerwulf Grimoire. He is supposed to be scary. He's not.

There is a lot of Lula and Tank in this book. But who are They???? Tank lives in a cute little old lady bungalow, has three cats, carries their pictures in his wallet and Tank sweats a lot. Lula sneezes and farts throughout the book.

Of course, Carl the Monkey is back. He's not alone. There are a lot more monkeys. Wearing helmets with antenna's. Morelli? Yup, he's in there. He's babysitting his loser, cheating, brother Anthony. Ellen/Helen Plum's in there. Drinking whiskey disguised as ice tea. Connie and Vinnie are in there.

Ranger. He's in there. I'm assuming that when he told Janet he wanted to pass on being in this book, she didn't listen. He should have begged.

It goes without saying that Stephanie Plum is in there. She is apparently in an on-again with Morelli, sleeps in bed every night with Diesel (no sex, of course) and yet still relies completely on Ranger to always find her and keep her safe.

Diesel. Diesel is cute, sexy and funny. He needs his own world. Janet should have argued more with her publisher on this. Quite honestly, Plum does not need a third alpha male.

I have a suggestion for you, Janet Evanovich. Take your old Plum books off the shelf. Starting with One for The Money - read them. Then go back into your office and write.

When the next Plum book is released and I take it off the bookstore shelf, I want the pages between the front and back cover to be filled with the great Plum writing that I loved. The stuff that earned you that best selling status. I want a great book.

Plum Spooky is silly, slapstick nonsense. It might appeal to a lot of readers. If you like silly slapstick, the three stooges and stuff like pull my finger jokes, you will love this.

But is it the Plum that I have know and loved for years? No it is not. Doesn't even come close. It's juvenile and drivel.

Simply put, this was the last Plum book I will read until I get to read reviews that tell me that the nonsense and slapstick is over and the World of Plum as I knew and loved it is back.
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on January 8, 2009
I admit it. I am a Ranger fan. I look forward to each book hoping to learn more about him. Some books have more Ranger in them than others, but I'm an addict and I'll take what I can get. When it comes to literary heroes, I've never been as smitten as I am with Ranger. He trumps even Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy.

But no matter how much I love Ranger, I am first and foremost a Stephanie fan. She came onto the scene, armed with mascara and attitude, and I couldn't help but root for her. I wanted Stephanie to succeed, to get everything she ever dared dream, and I wanted to be there to see it when she did. Ranger may be my romantic fantasy, but Stephanie Plum is my hero.

Plum Spooky did not sit well with me. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it, either. In a week's time, I doubt I'll remember anything about it. (I can't remember much about it now.) It wasn't romantic or funny or witty. I didn't walk away feeling empowered or uplifted, like I used to do after a Plum book. In fact, I didn't walk away feeling anything at all...except maybe a little sad.

Some people are angry about the money, $30 for a book they felt wasn't worth it. Others are angry about the content, Diesel and fart jokes and monkeys. Those are both valid and reasonable complaints regarding this book. But what I was most disappointed with was Stephanie. This is her story. These books revolve around her. They don't work without her.

So where was she?

I know there are a lot of people who either think Stephanie should get married already and pop out a few kids, or on the flip side, train to be an assassin. I don't care for either of those scenarios. Neither mesh with the spirited bounty hunter we've grown to love, and you know what? I like Stephanie. I don't want her to change. I want her to grow and I want her to develop, but I don't want her to change. At her core, she's a kind-hearted, loving, resilient person whose mistakes and flaws make her human. What is there to fix?

The last several books have tampered with that, though. Her character hasn't grown or developed. It has withered under the weight of guilt and obligation. This character who used to admit freely (to us, anyway) that she had feelings for two men, has suppressed that honesty in favor of a politically correct (and fanbase pacifying) beauty queen speech. It isn't that she sincerely feels one way or another, but more accurately, that she thinks she should. And that has allowed her character (and the series) to stagnate.

Part of the the problem is her relationship with Joe Morelli. The difference between Morelli and Ranger is that Morelli is the person he will always be, both good and bad. Ranger, on the other hand, may not be relationship material right now, but he's still evolving, a character trait he shares with Stephanie. It doesn't take much to imagine what a life with Morelli would entail - messy house, messy kids, family dinner, Bob the Dog, and an SUV - but is that who Stephanie is, or is that who Morelli wants/needs her to be for their relationship to work? Before she settles down with either guy, I want to see Stephanie learn to accept and love herself. But for that to happen, Evanovich will have to take Stephanie out of her comfort zone and let her form her own shape before she tries to force her into some prefabricated mold of what a Burg wife "should" be.

When I close the last book in the series, I don't want to be plagued with nightmares of Stephanie ending up a stereotypical Burg wife like her mother, or worse, like Angie Morelli, Joe's sister in law. I want the satisfaction of knowing that whatever she got, it was exactly what she wanted, and she worked hard to get it. There may have been setbacks, but there were NO substitutions.

But when I read a book like this, the fourth book in a row that has made no progress whatsoever in the development of the three main characters, I can't help but wonder, what the hell happened?
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on January 14, 2009
I am a HUGE Janet fan. But by chapter 8 I was about ready to take out Carl the Monkey myself. Enough with the monkey giving everyone the bird! I did not find it funny when he keeps doing it over and over and over.
Carl a side... I love the Plum books.
I do not look at the Between the Numbers books as "real". I think of them as Stephanie's dreams. They are not realistic for a reason. There is a "magical" tone in them. Diesel just popping in out of no where and magic.
These are NOT like the number books.
Not that the number books are realistic either but they are not like the in betweens. I hope this makes sense. I think some people think they are the same when I read their reviews.
Take the in betweens for what they are. Entertainment while we wait for the next number book to be released. As fun as ever! ENJOY!
Something that has me upset is the book should be a small version book like the other betweens and not a full size edition. It looks like the font and spacing are to big for the book. I feel like they just wanted to get more money out of the readers. They are really pushing it by saying this is a full sized book. It was not worth $16 for the amount of reading material.
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on January 9, 2009
I have read all of Janet's book.....BUT I can't get through this one. Today I closed it half way through and thought ENOUGH. The story line is weak,if there is one. The characters are goofy, but not funny. It was just a big bore, Sorry Janet..this just isn't you...ghost writer maybe? Save your money fans!
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on January 8, 2009
I bought it, I read it, I wish I hadn't read it. It makes me sad and longing for the earlier Plum books. I loved those books. Where JE has taken this book is in to the silly, childish type of humor area. Farting and monkeys repeatedly do not make me laugh. Stephanie getting in trouble and having Ranger and Morelli in the mix are what I want. If you like Diesel and the "unmentionable" theme, then you might like this book. Personally, I am just saddened as I used to re-read these novels but have not enjoyed 13, 14 or plum spooky. Hopefully, JE will go back to what she had when she began the series or if not at least develop the characters and let Stephanie start making some decisions so that if JE is only going to write to #16, we can start getting some closure.
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on January 9, 2009
I have been a Stephanie Plum fan from the very beginning. I have often counted down the days until the next book is released. This latest book was a complete and absolute disappointment. The characters were stupid! The plot was stupid! Paying nearly $30 for this book was stupid! In my opinion Ms Evanovich has lost her touch. The once sharply written antics of Stephanie and the gang has turned into immature "bodily function tinged" nonsense. Count the number of times the word "fart" appears in this book and I'll bet it is far more than the word Ranger or Morelli. From now on I think I'll wait and pick up future installments in this series at the used book store!
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on January 8, 2009
Janet seems to have lost her touch with the past two books. I am not a big fan of the in between books but Plum Spooky was better than Fearless Fourteen. I was attracted to the Stephanie Plum books for the humor which seems to have disappeared. Can three goregous men really want Stephanie? I doubt it. Disappointing.
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on March 26, 2009
Plum Spooky, the newest book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, was disappointing to me. Am I the only reader who is tired of the main character being so desirable to all the male characters? Heck, I thought the old guy and the monkey were going to hit on her too! Maybe that would have given the book more of a plot...anywoo, I'll just tell you to get this one from the library or borrow it from a friend who was duped into buying it. You would be PLUM dumb to spend YOUR money on this one!
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on January 7, 2009
I always buy the Stephanie Plum books the day they come out. This book was no exception and I was able to finish it in about 3.5 hours and I am not a real fast reader. In the past, I have always found this series to be so funny that I laugh out loud. (This is the only series that this happens with.) Although Plum Spooky was amusing at times, I never came close to actually laughing. The story seemed to drag along and then in the last 20 pages (out of 309) the mystery is suddenly solved. It was like Janet Evanovich had reached the magic page count and was in a hurry to finish the book.

I will buy "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" when it comes out because I enjoy the interplay of Stephanie-Morelli-Ranger much more than the books that feature Stephanie-Diesel.
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on March 19, 2009
This was a huge waste of time. This was the first book I have read by Janet Evanovich, and now the very last! A train wreck, I couldn't put it down, because I have to finish every book I start, but what pure absolute crap! Fire-farting freaks, annoying monkey antics, a "wolf" man that disapears into flames...geez...[...]
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