Dear Janet Evanovich by Laura Raphael

Thank you for writing a Stephanie Plum novel every year or so, and a plethora of non-Plum novels in between. Your fans love your humorous asides, your wacky characters, and your hold-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seats plots – nobody else quite elicits the same guffaws of laughter followed quickly by gasps of surprise.

But Janet. Dear Janet. Could you write even faster? Have you considered sleeping only four hours a night and scribbling those extra precious hours away? That seemed to have worked for the indefatigable Thomas Edison, and for Martha Stewart, too. Or what about doing some kind of James Patterson thing where you think up thirty plots and basic outlines per year and then farm them out to other writers to flesh out? That might begin to slake the thirst of your fans for your works.

If you don’t do it for your fans, eagerly awaiting the next Stephanie Plum adventure, think about the librarians. We brave, bold librarians, who wrack our brains and plumb our reading lists to find acceptable read-alikes for your fans.

Yours in Plum-dom,

Laura Raphael

Right now, my go-to title is a first novel from Daniel Friedman called Don’t Ever Get Old. Instead of a young female bounty hunter as the protagonist, Friedman gives us Buck Schatz, an 87-year-old WWII death camp survivor and retired Memphis cop. Buck goes on a madcap adventure, Stephanie-Plum-style (also a little Elmore-Leonard-style), with his .357 Magnum and his grandson, in order to get to the bottom of a Nazi gold mystery.

Don’t Ever Get Old has all the hallmarks of a great Janet Evanovich novel: it’s fast, it’s funny, it has snappingly great dialogue and minimal (or at least not graphic) violence, and the ending is satisfying without being too neat. If you’re an Evanovich fan, it’s worth a read.
 

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