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(Headline, $38.99) How does Janet Evanovich do it? For each of the last 15 years she has religiously turned out a Stephanie Plum novel and although pretty much the same thing happens in every one, they’re truly not to be missed. Stephanie Plum is the world’s worst bounty hunter.

A native of the mean streets of New Jersey, she hunts down criminals who are mooching on their bail bonds and pretty good at jumping out of windows or setting things on fire. She has a huge, troublesome assistant called Lula, a mean pervy boss called Vinnie and two love interests: Morelli the hunky hometown cop, and Ranger, the hunky man of mystery. Usually her car gets blown up or torched and something dicey always happens at the local funeral parlour.

oeals at home with her long-suffering parents generally turn into hand-to-hand combat situations which her father eats pot roast while ignoring, and the star of the show is often Grandma oazur: a gnome-like comedian of Hungarian extraction who’s a magnet for trouble – and explosions. Stephanie Plum never grows old, literally or figuratively. After 15 years her exploits somehow remain fresh and hilarious despite the fact she still can’t choose between Morelli and Ranger – or do her own laundry. If you want an easy read that will make you laugh out loud, this bozo bounty hunter and her incompetent band of followers will definitely do the trick. As to how she does it, Janet Evanovich is more than a writer these days, she’s Evanovich, Inc. Seriously, you can read about it on her website (www.evanovich.com) and you can buy a hat or a T-shirt while you’re at it.

A former secretary, she gave up pantyhose and office politics for writing romance novels but ran out of sexual positions after five years so moved to the mystery genre. Now, she writes the books, her husband makes her do it on time, her son does the taxes and her daughter manages the website. They have a dog, too, but I think he just does dog stuff.

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