The Stone Barrington Series by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington, a suave ex-NYPD detective turned defensive lawyer, is always in the middle of some spectacular investigation. Stone is the James Bond detective, nice suit wearing, bourbon drinking, and total ladies man living it up in New York. His character is totally cliche and I love it. I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve read the first 22 books in this series.
Stuart Woods follows the exact same formula for every single book. Stone goes out to eat at the same restaurant with his best friend, has his favorite wild turkey or knob creek bourbon, and something falls in his lap. He gets dragged into this interesting predicament that can only be handled by his expertise. He can’t make it through solving the predicament without the most beautiful women in the world throwing themselves at him though. Probably because he is flying his own plane to travel with a thick wad of cash.
You can already tell the typecast character Woods has created with Stone Barrington and the stories he writes with him. While the first books in the series keep you hooked, the formula gets old and repetitive as you delve deeper into the series. At the moment, there are 41 books in the series and a 42nd coming out this year. 41 BOOKS! I’m convinced you can’t write this much without recycling the same content over and over. Obviously the formula is still working for him, and they keep paying for all of these, so more power to him. I have to thank my mom for getting me into this series (and reading as a whole). She had a few of these stored away in a basement box and I thought I would try it out. I then read the next 22 of them so I couldn’t have disliked it that much. She described them perfectly to me when she said “They are good beach books. Super easy to read.”
That is where the beauty in these simple books comes into play. Every written work does not need to be a masterpiece. They don’t need to have award winning prose, and they don’t need to explore the deep intricacies of human emotion. You can just grab one of these and relax. There is no deep thinking and no stress. I compare it to getting home from work, plopping down on the couch, and watching a cheap action movie. I’m not going to learn much, but I’m going to enjoy the ride.