Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Stephanie Plum, a woman after my own heart

How many of you who, like me, are fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum murder mystery/comedy novels, are also women? Probably a majority, I bet. Stephanie is a Bond Enforcement Agent, or, as most would say, bounty hunter. This is a job that calls for quick reflexes, killer instinct, and skill with firearms. Unfortunately, Stephanie has none of these. But as her boyfriend Joe Morelli often tells her, “It’s better to be lucky than smart.”

I’m kind of like Stephanie that way. Like when I was a Web designer, when bosses would ask me to create something I didn’t know how to code, I’d just gulp and say “Sure.” Then I’d desperately Google tutorials and cobble together something that worked, sort of. There was always somebody out there on an obscure Website offering a clever piece of code that did the trick.

Similarly, Stephanie stumbles through dangerous assignments that often almost get her killed. Her sidekick Lula, who considers the greatest things in life fried chicken, Spandex, and the importance of correctly accessorizing, is occasionally helpful. But the great thing about Lula is that she’s never needy. In fact, her soaring self-esteem could be a model for any of us to follow. And when she is helpful, she’s spectacular. In my current read, “Takedown Twenty,” Lula rescues Stephanie and her grandma from rapidly-hardening cement by calling the police, the fire department, and both of Stephanie’s badass studmuffins, Morelli and Ranger.

Hardcore feminists would say that Stephanie needs intensive mentoring in being strong, independent, and take-charge, preferably with attitude. Softcore, i.e., realistic, feminists like me acknowledge we need men, or more accurately, one or two good ones. Not to validate us, to fix the dryer vent or chase away bad guys trying to kill us. Also, we should all be so lucky as to have problems like Stephanie’s with her love life: whether to settle down with comfortable, reliable Morelli or yield to lust and go with noncommital but smokin’ hot Ranger.

Like most of us, Stephanie Plum is doing the best she can with what she’s got. Despite her shortcomings, she usually figures out who the killer is and manages, even if accidentally, to bring him or her to justice. This gives me hope; if she can do that, maybe I can continue indefinitely tapdancing on the edge of the abyss.

I often fantasize about what a great movie the latest Evanovich movie would make. There was one released in 2012, “One for the Money,” starring Katherine Heigl. (Trailer at I’d love to see "Takedown Twenty" as a film, but time marches on, especially for movie actors. If it were filmed in 2019, I’d cast Oscar Isaac as Ranger. I surmise he could invest the work “Babe” with as much promise as the novels’ character does. For Stephanie, I’d go with Margot Robie of “Suicide Squad.” For Morelli? Anyone but Ryan Reynolds. I don’t mean to diss him, but his eyelashes are just too long for that role. And there’s only one who could do justice to Lula: Leslie Jones.

So, Janet Evanovich, how about it? Are you/are you about to be in talks with a Hollywood producer? If you’d like to answer me directly, my Facebook page is (I’ve tried to find pages for jenny.mcdermott.38, .37, with no success.) Or if you like adult coloring, drop in to my fan page at Ciao.


  1. Come on, Stephanie has joie de vivre. And she knows her limitations. I quite admire her. Also, you have to be nice to Stephanie if you want to hang out with Lula and Grandma Mazur!

  2. Yeah, Grandma Mazur is a lot of fun!


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