I fell in love with Stephanie Plum the moment I met her. I could identify with the almost thirty single girl struggling to make ends meet, agonizing over her relationships, living on peanut butter sandwiches, always ready to mooch a home cooked meal. Her love life was complex, but hey, she had more than one hot hunk lusting after her. More than many readers had in their life perhaps?
I am sure Stephanie’s readers lived (and still live) vicariously through her, busting fugitives, eating junk food and livin’ it up with gal pals Lula and Connie. Nineteen books later, with Takedown Twenty set to release this November, Stephanie Plum is still almost the same. Ok, we all want to continue raising hell with her, imagining slurping meatball subs from Pino’s, hogging extra cheese and sausage laden pizzas, and Boston Cremes from Tasty Pastry without any adverse effect on our cholesterol levels, not to mention our pant size! But maybe we are ready for a small dose of reality?
Let’s take a look at some other contemporary hellions. Donna Andrews’s Meg Langslow met the dishy Michael in Murder with Peacocks, dated him over the course of several adventures with puffins, owls, mccaws and what not. She tied the knot and gave birth to twins. Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells might have started with finding bodies in elevator shafts, but we saw her date and ditch a professor, have a crush on her knight in shining armor and fall in love with him. Now she is set to tie the knot this Fall, trying to squeeze in her Size 12! Stephanie Plum’s sister Valerie got divorced, met Albert the Kloughn and also gave birth a third time. Why is only Stephanie frozen in time? Why?
Our loved ones are often our strongest critics, also the most fearless! I have ready every Numbers book from One for the Money to Notorious Nineteen, many of them several times over. I have read the spooky and the lovin’ books. And I have enjoyed every one of them! But a part of me is ready for something new in Stephanie’s life. So maybe Ms. Evanovich thinks she will turn into a vodka slugging, pot roast baking matron like her mother, and won’t fit into the role of a Fugitive Apprehension Agent or Bounty Hunter. But maybe she will?
Or what if Stephanie Plum ages a bit, or meets a third hot guy and gets over Morelli and Ranger?
It is not necessary to cast Stephanie Plum in any conventional roles. She could be a single mom and have a whole new demographic identify with her. But Ms. Evanovich, I think it is high time something changed in Stephanie Plum’s life over the span of twenty books. We are getting tired of ‘Rinse and Repeat’!