“Eleven on Top” by Janet Evanovich

Eleven on Top

Eleven on Top

Janet Evanovich

Poor Stephanie Plum! Bounty hunting, never her dream career, just isn’t doing it for her anymore. After rolling in garbage one time too many, she quits her job at her cousin Vinnie’s office, and tries to find something better. Which turns out to be easier said than done.

Although the most recent Stephanie Plum novels have been reasonably entertaining, the first, oh, twelve or so are true classics for a reason. By “Eleven on Top” the triangle between Stephanie, Joe, and Ranger is maybe starting to get a little stale, but Stephanie’s job troubles are fresh and poignant for all their hilarity. In her search for something that will pay the bills and be safe and also at least a little enjoyable, Stephanie experiences sexual harassment, non-sexual bullying, extreme tedium, and various repetitive motion injuries and the deeply ingrained smell of frying you get from working fast food. Along the way she grapples with the fact that she doesn’t have any deep passions–except maybe for dessert–or special skills. She is haunted by the feeling that she’s a boring person and, in her mid-thirties, is living a directionless, pointless life.

But she *does*, of course, discover that she has some special talents: aside from being cute, she’s an excellent fibber and has a nose for investigation. The story zigzags back and forth, as they all do, between slapstick comedy of a very broad sort, and short but pithy examinations of the human condition. Plus there’s a murder mystery to solve.

“Eleven on Top” may not be the absolute best Stephanie Plum novel, in part because it’s hard to sustain a series like that for long (in my opinion), but it’s laugh-out-loud funny in places, while also exploring the sad world that so many live in of minimum wage, no-security employment doing tedious jobs that no one could enjoy. It asks the eternal question of “What do we live for?” Even for the Stephanie, the answer is not just cake alone.

Amazon buy link.

4 thoughts on ““Eleven on Top” by Janet Evanovich

  1. Elena, after reading your excellent review, I decided to give Janet Evanovich’s work a try. Just started “One for the Money” (the first Stephanie Plum book) and am enjoying it a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying it! The first few books are excellent comedic romantic suspense, or whatever you want to call it. The series does grow a bit stale after a while, but is still remarkably funny for something that’s been going for 25 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Elena! When I read a series, I often stop after a few novels. That’s been the case, for instance, with Sue Grafton’s alphabet mysteries and Walter Mosley’s “Easy” Rawlins books — both excellent series, but I had enough after a while. Among the exceptions: I can’t stopped reading Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s