On Stephanie Plum

Learning to Fly

Why Bounty Hunting Is More Theraputic Than Running Over Morelli With a Buick
By Sylvia Day

Bounty hunter. It held a certain cachet.

–Stephanie Plum, Three to Get Deadly (3)

This simple statement is Stephanie Plum in a nutshell. But it is important to note that while the statement itself is simple, the reasons why such a thing would be important to Stephanie are a little more complicated.

Yes, superficially, the job carries a certain prestige that Steph finds appealing. When Janet Evanovich first introduces us to our intrepid heroine, it’s only a few days before Stephanie pursues her first bounty. But as her story unfolds and we hear more about her past, our picture of her broadens. We learn that, as a child, she was stifled and misunderstood in a dysfunctional family in which she felt like an outsider. Her mother is Trenton’s second answer to Desperate Housewives’s Bree Van De Kamp (after Mrs. Morelli, who is said to make all other Burg housewives look second-rate), her father is negligent in his duty to provide a strong father figure, and her older sister Valerie is (or at least was, before her husband left her) perfect in every way, setting an example Stephanie could never live up to. Steph spent her early years feeling insignificant, and went on to a forgettable stint at Douglass College and a lamentable marriage to an unworthy man she never seemed to be very attached to. When asked why she married Dickie Orr, she replies it was because he had a nice car. Translation: She has no idea.

Stephanie made these choices knowing  …

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