Book Review: Two for the Show

Title: Two for the Show

Author: Janet Evanovich

Alone

Two for the Show is the second book in the Stephanie Plum series. It was very similar to the first one, but with a different mystery to solve. Same characters, same world, same story of Stephanie being sent after a criminal she has no right to try to apprehend based on her skills and experience.

The one thing I really appreciated about this book was while it was a little richer if you already knew the characters in it, you didn’t have to read the first book to thoroughly enjoy and understand the second. I really like this in a series, especially a series I may only casually follow.

While the mystery was still intense in this one, it was also a lot funnier. I actually laughed out loud at a couple parts.

I am getting better at the mysteries as I was able to guess at least part of this one. I am learning the author, her writing style, and the how she organizes her plot. I have always been very good at figuring out patterns (sometimes to my own detriment).

I am not sure what I think of the series, exactly. Still processing it, and I still have 3 more books in the series sitting in my “to read” pile. Not sure how long the series actually is, but it looks like the author started writing it back in the mid-nineties.

I like the characters. They are fun caricatures of people I have known in my life. The mysteries are compelling, but some of the stupid stuff Stephanie does from time to time makes me roll my eyes. I still like her, but…

I think this might be a me thing. I prefer reading about competent characters doing cool stuff. One of my first book loves as a child was Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps Stephanie will grow into her role of bounty hunter. I sometimes wonder if she’d make a better police detective.

The one thing I will say is the author is spectacular at letting you see and feel places with minimal description. She also has a way of describing characters that makes them feel real. If she has ever “told” me something about them instead of showing me, I haven’t noticed. And, it has always been consistent. This is definitely a departure from the romance novels I have read lately. Frankly, I like this author’s way better.

Still not sure what I am hoping to learn from this series that I can apply to my own writing. The description difference is interesting, although I am not sure how well it would be received in the romance genre. Perhaps I need more time to let it percolate, or perhaps I just need to read the next book in the series . . .

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