If you like books by Janet Evanovich...
Thanks for requesting a Book Match from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library! You asked for series books with characters similar to Stephanie Plum, created by Janet Evanovich. Well! Here are some suggestions for funny heroines in series escapades:
Dorothy Cannell writes the Ellie Haskell series. With titles like How to Murder Your Mother-in-Law or How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams, you know you're in for fun. Start with the first, though: The Thin Woman: An Epicurean Mystery --- "Reluctant to show up at her family reunion carrying so many extra pounds, unmarried, overweight Ellie Simons hires Bentley T. Haskell to pose as her fiance, thus beginning a weekend of romance, jealousy, and murder." - amazon.com
M.C. Beaton writes several funny series. My favorite is the Hamish MacBeth cozies, but if you're looking for a spunky heroine, you might want to try her Agatha Raisin books. The earliest title in the series that we have in hardback is Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet --- "A glorious cross between Miss Marple, Auntie Mame and Lucille Ball with a tad of pit bull tossed in. She's wonderful." St. Petersburg Times Feisty Agatha Raisin, until recently a public-relations executive in London, has retired to peaceful Cotswold, where a romance is budding with the attractive new village vet, Dr. Paul Bladen. But Bladen accidentally kills himself while attending to Lord Pendlebury's horse, and Agatha must turn to her distinguished neighbor, the retired military man James Lacey, for comfort. Together, the odd couple begin to investigate Dr. Bladen's death . . . and the curious lack of sorrow shown by his divorced wife. But will they succeed in unmasking a killer before suffering an "accident" of their own?" - catalog summary
Sarah Strohmeyer's heroine is a beautician named Bubbles Yablonsky.
Start with the title, Bubbles Unbound --- "Convinced there's more to life than giving blue dye jobs at Sandy's House of Beauty, Bubbles sets her sights on a career in journalism. If her on-the-job training at the local newspaper isn't enough to make her break a nail, she's also got her wacky family to deal with - from her bottom-feeding, social-climbing ex-husband, "Dan the Man," to her precocious teenage daughter, Jane, to her gun-toting, shoplifting mother, LuLu, who's recently hijacked the shuttle bus from the senior center." "Then Bubbles gets what may be her dream assignment - her high-school physics teacher is threatening to jump off the Lehigh Bridge. Surely she can answer a simple physics question and change his mind. Surely writing the story will lead to her Big Break. But instead of the fame and fortune she expects, she finds herself accompanying a sexy but elusive photographer with the improbable name of Stiletto on a wild ride through town, and lands up to her platinum roots in a massive lawsuit...and a nasty murder investigation."
- Book Jacket
Sarah Shankman writes about Sam(antha) Adams. One of the earliest is titled Now Let's Talk of Graves --- "Shankman's witty mystery is the second to feature ace investigative reporter Samantha (Sam) Adams, last encountered in Then Hang All the Liars , which appeared under the pseudonym Alice Storey. Sam is visiting from Atlanta when she witnesses a car with a masked driver run down a member of an aristocratic New Orleans family during Mardi Gras. The victim's relatives, motivated by a lucrative insurance policy, hire Sam to determine whether there was foul play. She discovers that the victim, an alcoholic ophthalmologist, had blinded one patient and botched numerous operations. When the family has second thoughts about Sam's sleuthing, she enlists the help of a sexy insurance investigator and a voodoo priestess in locating enemies of the deceased. The trio make some enemies themselves as they uncover sordid details about the victim's life. Sam finds that the Big Easy is neither, and that Mardi Gras is not the only time its citizens conceal themselves behind masks. Shankman's engaging characters speak in authentic Southern dialogue and engage in swift repartee, and if her heroine is endowed with a few too many perfect attributes, readers will be charmed by her spunky style." - Publishers Weekly
I love historical mysteries, and the Amelia Peabody series written by Elizabeth Peters is a hoot. The first in the series is Crocodile on the Sandbank - "Elizabeth Peters's unforgettable heroine Amelia Peabody makes her first appearance in this clever mystery. Amelia receives a rather large inheritance and decides to use it for travel. On her way through Rome to Egypt, she meets Evelyn Barton-Forbes, a young woman abandoned by her lover and left with no means of support. Amelia promptly takes Evelyn under her wing, insisting that the young lady accompany her to Egypt, where Amelia plans to indulge her passion for Egyptology. When Evelyn becomes the target of an aborted kidnapping and the focus of a series of suspicious accidents and mysterious visitations, Amelia becomes convinced of a plot to harm her young friend. Like any self-respecting sleuth, Amelia sets out to discover who is behind it all." - amazon.com
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Hope you find something you like!
Michele R. Brown