My mother got me addicted.

It started innocently enough. Once again, her birthday was coming around on the next line of the calendar, and I didn’t have a clue what to get her.I went for the simple solution, call and ask.

“Hi mom.”

“Oh, I was going to call you today. You must have read my mind.”

“Speaking of reading minds, I need to know what you’d like for your birthday.”

“Oww, don’t remind me. My Parkinson is getting worse; I walk in baby steps like a little old lady.”

“Mom you’ll be ninety two next Saturday, you are a little old lady - - but with a young mind.”

“Not sure of that, I don’t have Alzheimer’s like your dad had; I have Halfzeimer’s, now I forget half the things I’m supposed to do.”

“Still have your sense of humour I see. No slippers or flowers for you this year, young lady, I want to get you something you really want.”

“I still have the big cactus you got me years ago; it was in bloom last month. It’s beautiful I don’t really need anything. Patricia already got me slippers and a new bathrobe.”

“Maaa, don’t start with my perfect sister, there must be something I could get that you’d really like.”

“Well you could get me a Stephanie Plum, I love those.”

“What? You want a plum.”

“Don’t you know about Stephanie Plum books? She’s a bounty hunter with a crazy family.”

“I know about crazy families, I belong to one, but never heard of Stephanie Plum.”

“Ha, call yourself a writer, I’ve read six already, you want to learn about bigger than life characters and great dialog read Plum.”

“Okay, I’m duly chastised. Who’s the author?”

“Janet--- something, wait a minute. --- Janet Evanovich. She’s great. You can get me “Seven Up” and maybe “Hard Eight” if you want.”

It’s many months later, my mom is still snarky, and I’m waiting for Janet’s fifteenth book to come out. I’ve read all of the prior “Plums” and some of the between the numbers books. My mom got me hooked, I’m a Plumaholic. And she was right, Janet Evanovich should be required reading for all aspiring authors. Page by page, always a fun read, a classic example of it’s not the plot, but unforgettable characters and dialog that grab the reader and make a great story.


Michael Kent, August 2009.






Janet Evanovich


One for the Money
Two for the Dough
Three to Get Deadly
Four to Score
High Five
Hot Six
Seven Up
Hard Eight
Visions of Sugar
To the Nines
Ten Big Ones
Eleven on Top
Twelve Sharp
Plum Lovin'
Lean Mean Thirteen
Plum Lucky
Fearless Fourteen
Plum Spooky
Finger Lickin' Fifteen