Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Review - Notorious Nineteen, by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum Novels, by Janet Evanovich
1. One for the Money    10/18/2007
2. Two for the Dough    11/19/2007
3. Three to get Ready    11/24/2007
4. Four to Score           11/25/2007
5. High Five                 11/26/2007
6. Hot Six                    12/6/2007
7. Seven Up                3/10/2008
8. Hard Eight                3/11/2008
9. To the Nines            3/16/2008
10. Visions of Sugar Plums    3/14/2008
11. Ten Big Ones          3/17/2008
12. Eleven on Top         5/2/2008
13. Twelve Sharp          5/12/2008
14. Lean Mean Thirteen        5/13/2008
15. Plum Lovin’                5/14/2008
16. Plum Lucky                5/15/2008
17. Fearles Fourteen        8/18/2008
18. Plum Spooky                TBR
19. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen    9/25/2009
20. Sizzling Sixteen             11/4/2011                   (My Review)
21. Smokin' Seventeen        11/11/2011  * * *      (My Review
22. Explosive Eighteen         2/1/2012     * * * *   (My Review)
23. Notorious Nineteen        4/5/2013    * * * *

From Goodreads:
"#1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are: “irresistible” (Houston Chronicle), “stunning” (Booklist), “outrageous” (Publishers Weekly), “brilliantly evocative” (The Denver Post), and “making trouble and winning hearts” (USA Today).

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . . ."

My Thoughts:
Wow - Number Nineteen!  Who would have thought that this series could go on for so long?

No really, who thought that?  Well, while certain things about the series may be getting a bit long in the tooth, I have to admit that Notorious Nineteen was quite a bit better and definitely more enjoyable than the last two books in the series.  All the expected elements are there where they should be, like comfortable slippers beside the bed - Grandma Mazur is crazy yet oddly helpful, chicken gets eaten, Joe is hot, Ranger is hotter, etc.

But somehow - and I totally can't put my finger on why, exactly - Notorious Nineteen ends up being funnier and much more entertaining than the previous few novels.  Evanovich may have found a new enjoyment and life in her characters, perhaps, but whatever it is, I liked it. 

Overall I continue to enjoy this series, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys light-hearted mystery romps with a touch of romantic comedy.  I still hope the series tops out at 20, but if not, I at least hope that Evanovich continues having a little more fun with the series.


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