Laughing Out Loud
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

There is never enough laughter in the world. And, in the world of books, those that can produce "laughing out loud" laughter for me are few. I'm not talking subtle chuckles. I mean laughing till your eyes water. The kind that makes you glad no one else is around to watch your reactions.

This kind of laughter is more precious than gold, and deserves to be applauded. At least the author that can produce it does. So, this is a tribute to Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series.

This month, Maria and I took a trip to Laredo. That trip usually takes about six hours. We ease the burden by listening to a book on tape. This trip I picked Plum Lucky, which is a "between the numbers" novel in the Stephanie Plum series.

Stephanie Plum is the main character in a series of novels that feature numbers in their titles. The first one in the series is One for the Money. The second one is Two for the Dough. The third one is Three to Get Deadly. You get the idea.

Plum Lucky does not follow the above naming convention so it becomes a "between the numbers" novel. But don't think it is a light weight effort.

Stephanie is a skip tracer. That's bounty hunter to you and me. Except she sort of chanced into this career and doesn't exactly have training. Well, not formal training. And her skips aren't Al Capone. But they sure don't want to be caught. Especially by a lady skip chaser.

Plum Lucky starts on St. Patrick's day. Stephanie's Grandma Mazur is seen walking down the street pulling a duffle bag. A little man in green pants jumps out of the car and tries to take to duffle bag. Stephanie and Lula, a rather large former ho, see the incident and Stephanie rushes in to protect her grandma. The little man in green pants disappears.

The rest of the book involves Grandma Mazur (an out-of-the-closet free spirit), Lula (an over-the-top super sized super model), a talking horse named Doug (well, he doesn't really talk to people. That would be unbelievable. Actually, he talks to leprechauns. Sort of telepathically), and a leprechaun (the credentials of the leprechaun involved (we saw him in the opening scene) leave some doubts about his bonafides). Of course, there are three guys who provide various love-interests for Stephanie, and there are a host of props like cars that won't go into reverse, rocket launchers, and apartment elevators that will barely lift a horse.

But this is all besides the point. The point is that Janet Evanovich is a genius at making me laugh out loud at the situations she creates. And that is why I am writing this review. Because the number of authors that can make me laugh out loud is a small universe. And you should know of this one so you can share the fun.

I recommend you start with One for the Money, and work your way up. Be warned that the language is explicit, and these are novels for adults. Real adults. Who unapologetically like pleasure. All kinds of pleasure. Including the kind the Puritans were especially against. So don't be a Puritan. Laugh out loud. It will do you and the world good.

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