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    Review of VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS by Janet Evanovich (see her website)


    St. Martin's Press, November 2002

    Hapless bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has an easy job this time--bring in toy maker Sandy Klaus before Christmas. When a strange 'man' literally pops into her apartment with the message that he's here to help, she is a little mystified, but not enough to let it get in the way of doing her job. For Stephanie Plum, though, doing her job is never easy. In this case, strangeness includes a band of little people with fake elf ears, the question of whether the toy maker might just be the real Santa Claus, getting her Christmas shopping done in the four shopping days remaining, her sister's sudden stomach distress, and Stephanie's ongoing relationship issues with Joe Morelli.

    The supernatural element (possible superhero Diesel, evil Ring, plausible Santa Claus and elves) adds to Stephanie's normally colorful life (ex-'ho' Lula plays a role and another car--well, you know what happens to Stephanie's cars).

    Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (see more reviews of novels by Evanovich) has achieved huge success because of its manic, over the top, humor and the sympathetic character of Stephanie. VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS gives us another dose of Stephanie, her disfunctional family, and her bumbling attempts to bring hapless criminals to justice. VISIONS is barely long enough to qualify as a novel (at 149 pages in the hardback edition), giving the reader a taste of Stephanie rather than the full meal normally delivered. Still, it's an enjoyable taste.

    Caution: VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS is a lot of fun. It is also 149 pages and $19.95 (U.S.) in the hardback edition. Readers will have to judge for themselves whether it is better to look for the paperback edition. (At the time of this writing, at least, is offering the book for $11.97--new. A much better deal. Click the buy button to check it out. And let me know if the Amazon price changes.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/31/03

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