Tuesday, July 29
To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
Stephanie Plum's a Jersey Girl. That's New Jersey, in case you're confused. Retrenched from her job as a lingerie buyer (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds), she took the only job she could get: working for her cousin Vinny, a slimeweasel who runs a bail bond agency. So now Stephanie's a bail bond enforcement agent - a bounty hunter.
Which isn't as glamorous as it sounds either. Particularly when you're no good at it, and she isn't. Stephanie gets by on luck, a little help from her friends, and extreme persistence.
This is the nine-and-a-halfth Plum outing, and the series has gotten into a comfortable groove. Which is good - you know what you're getting - and bad - you know, well, you know what you're getting. And that's what you get. To the Nines is smart, funny, and well-written, and it advances its characters maybe an eighth of an inch.
Still recommended. 4 out of 5.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
Also the latest in a series of bestsellers. In this volume, Harry turns into an adolescent git, blah blah, someone dies, the end.
This takes eight hundred pages. There are a couple of very effective scenes. In eight hundred pages. There's a good two-fifty or three hundred page novel in there, slowly suffocating. It's not the worst eight hundred page pile of excess verbiage I've ever read - Wizard's First Rule takes that laurel - but it needs the attention not so much of an editor's red pencil as a pair of electric hedge trimmers.
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