Customer Review

229 of 264 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than I Expected!, June 21, 2011
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This review is from: Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum) (Hardcover)
I wouldn't exactly say that Janet is back, but she definitely made a U-ie and is heading back towards Jersey. I loved books 1-13. 14 was just plum bad. 15 started out great then went right down the toilet. 16 was a total snooze with no plot and copied/pasted dialog. So, I had no hopes for anything good. Especially after reading the excerpts.

But I was pleasantly surprised. I really think Random House had something to do with this by giving her a boot in the patoot to produce something of quality. It's not even close to the best book in the series, but it's much better than the last 4. Almost gone is the moronic slapstick. There were only a few eye rolling moments. I don't know what her obsession is with hobbits, midgets, and monkeys, but she has to at least mention them in each book. I haven't found any laugh out loud humor since the earlier books, but there were a few scenes that made me smile.

There was actually a plot. No scary bad guys like in the older books, but this bad guy didn't just fade into the darkness with no resolution. Janet limited her recycled ideas. There was only a couple thrown in there. And finally poor Ranger gets the girl for a change. This doesn't mean there was any movement in the triangle...which is really getting old. Lula didn't break wind nor did any character in this book. A nice and refreshing change.

It's obvious that this was part of a larger story that was watered down with a lot of food and eating to stretch the word count. That's probably why 18 will be out in November. But I enjoyed this book. Janet still has a way to go to get this series back to the level it once was, but at least she's heading in that direction. Will 18 be the final book and Steph picks a man? I don't know. I would rather see this series go out on top instead of the direction it was heading....Happy Days without Richie Cunningham. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to 18 now.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 21, 2011 7:33:31 PM PDT
Grey Parrot says:
I agree with you about the decline and fall of this series, so I value your opinion on this one. Janet should thank you, I will buy this book because of your review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2011 6:07:32 AM PDT
S. Dunham says:
Thanks. I try to be honest in my reviews. I save the 4 & 5 star reviews for books that I will reread. A 3 star is still a good review, but since I do want to reread this book it got a 3.75 star with the 0.25 star thrown in for effort. I'm not doing cartwheels on my lawn over this book by any stretch of the imagination, but I did really enjoy 17. I hope you do too.

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 12:58:20 PM PDT
Beth says:
I know from the Plum threads that you are a true Plum fan. I was surprised to see such a high rating, it must be so much better then the last ones. I stopped buying her books after 14, I won't buy this one either, but I will read it. And no passing gas.... amazing! Maybe the author finally realized that fart jokes aren't all there really is.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2011 1:09:31 PM PDT
S. Dunham says:
I did like it. Notice I didn't say that I loved it. But I thought the excerpts were so boring. I really expected to hate this book. As I explained in the above post, I know I will reread this book so I leaned on the higher side. And I wanted to acknowledge that there was some improvements in the writing and plot. It's just so much better than the crap she put out the past few years.

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 1:19:24 PM PDT
I totally agree with everything you had to say about this book!

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 6:43:09 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 22, 2011 6:48:37 PM PDT]

Posted on Jun 23, 2011 3:35:08 PM PDT
SD, I think it's great that so many folks are finding your review helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2011 5:42:25 PM PDT
S. Dunham says:
Thanks Dyan! I voted up your review as well. I wish we could give some partial stars, but we can't.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2011 9:07:51 PM PDT
Harper Lorax says:
Your review is spot-on about the decline of quality in the series. But I have to disagree that this was a "good" one. Some of the ridiculousness was gone, but I felt that a lot of it was still there. (Better than some of the past ones, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.) I was really disappointed the the climax-confrontation with the "bad guy" literally lasted for as many pages as some of the dinner scenes. I don't know if it is a problem with all of her books, or if I'm just now noticing it--but I am tired of the mystery lasting for 300 pages and then it is resolved in 5 pages! I always feel like description is missing and I'm left hanging. My family has been reading this series for YEARS, and we all agree that it is getting very tired and uncreative. I feel like it doesn't GO anywhere. Each book has the same relationship problems with a different murder. Wondering why a new one is coming out it November? Promotion for the movie? I've been reading the series for so long that I hate to stop, but with the last five books I've hated the time I've wasted when I'm done.
I reread the first five books in the series last summer and found myself laughing out loud all over again. I don't know where that magic has gone.

Posted on Jun 24, 2011 8:05:16 AM PDT
Amy Leo! says:
I am curious where you have seen book 18 will be out in November. Typically she releases the Plum books every June.
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