Tuesday, July 02, 2013
REVIEW: Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publication Date: November, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Mystery
Description: 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 him down. 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: First of all, ask and you shall receive! Janet Evanovich must have heard my desperate plea for more Ranger after I read Explosive Eighteen because I am happy, no, not happy. I am deliriously ecstatic to report that where Eighteen left me with an extreme Ranger withdrawal, Notorious Nineteen more than made up for it and provided me with the Ranger fix I have been desperately needing!
One of my favorite things about this series is how Stephanie has several sticks in the fire. With every book, Stephanie has several FTA's she is actively looking for and occasionally she will have the opportunity to get involved in something exciting. Notorious Nineteen gave me more than I dared to hope for. In addition to looking for Cubbin, Stephanie finds herself saddled with a wooden Tiki carving that she confiscates from another FTA. There are several amusing scenes where the FTA continues to try to steal Tiki back and I loved how Stephanie resolved this FTA’s situation. The best part of this book for me was that Stephanie gets to work for Ranger as a bodyguard, of all things! I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but I think Ranger is one of the best written heroes in contemporary women’s fiction. I don’t think we have yet learned any of Ranger’s faults or shortcomings. And if there are any that have already been revealed to the loyal members of Team Ranger, we have blocked them from our minds because of all of his extraordinary traits dominate everything else. The man is either a saint or a god. He would have to be to put up with Stephanie’s crazy antics, especially when he has got to be out at least ten vehicles (though it’s probably more), due in large part to Stephanie. Unfortunately, for Joe, he loses a car in this book too, so these things seem to have a way of spreading out and sharing the love, so to speak. There’s definitely a lot more story there between Ranger and Stephanie and I’m anxiously waiting to see what happens next.
Another great part of this book is Lula really steps up her game in this story. On more than one occasion, Lula thinks outside the box and with some fast thinking actually brings about some interesting and hilarious results. I really like seeing this side of Lula. She’s great as a sidekick, but I think she would be brilliant as Stephanie’s equal partner.
My Final Verdict: If you enjoy light mystery, campy comedy, drool-worthy heroes and a wacky heroine who is a hot mess but manages to succeed and comes out ahead in spite of the odds, then I recommend this series. I believe they are best read in order. Notorious Nineteen may not be the best story of the series, but this book gave me hope that the series does not appear to be on the way out. That’s a very good thing.
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