Usually I am better in terms of keeping up with upcoming releases by authors that I enjoy, but this time I was not on the ball. I didn't realize I missed the 22nd book in the series until I saw that the 23rd had been released. I grabbed them both, happily, thinking that I would have an enjoyable evening ahead of me. Evanovich is one of my "fluff" authors. Her books, like Charlene Harris, require absolutely no thinking. They're mildly funny, they require next to no brain power, and you can just blank out. Now, I got hooked on the Stephanie Plum books around the time that the fourth one came out. I picked up the first book, and it was literally laugh out loud funny. The books have always had at least a few points where I have either chuckled or straight up guffawed. And then there came Tricky Twenty-Two.
Now, Evanovich is a busy lady. She is working on projects with other authors, and she's still churning out at least one Plum book, and sometimes another book as well, a year. She's got a full calendar. The thing is - she didn't used to. Her books flowed. This one did not. It felt rushed, it felt hurried, and it felt like it was following a template - like it hadn't gotten fully flushed out yet with all the details. I didn't laugh once, which disappointed me a lot.
It was okay, or so I thought, because I had Turbo Twenty-Three, and surely the same thing couldn't happen in two books in a row, right? Wrong. The same thing happened a few years back with Laurel K. Hamilton's work. She cut back her schedule and her books started to feel like books again. Evanovich hasn't yet gotten to that point. Again, I didn't laugh once, and Stephanie's antics felt as though she were pacing out an outline. You could tell which parts she was trying for funny, but it just never quite made it. I hope that the next one is better, but I think I maybe have two more books before I am willing to give up on the series completely.