Sunday, July 8, 2007

Stephanie Plum is back

I'm always delighted when a new Janet Evanovich book comes out. When I get my copy, I drop whatever I'm reading and dive right in. Lean Mean Thirteen is, as the title suggests, the thirteenth one in the series. This is a series that is definitely best read in order - and that's easy to do because it starts with One for the Money and moves on in numerical order from there.

In the first book, Stephanie loses her job and stumbles into a new profession as a bounty hunter. She is not what you'd call the bounty-hunter type - she is a Jersey girl who is afraid of the gun she's issued (she keeps it in her cookie jar), and she manages to total (in a hilariously creative variety of ways) every car she ever drives. But the money's good - many of the FTAs (people who fail to appear for their court date) have simply forgotten about it, and they willingly go with her to reschedule. But the ones that don't want to be caught? That's where the fun begins.

I remember reading the second book in this series on a plane, and I just couldn't stop laughing. The more I tried to be quiet about it, the funnier it all seemed, and I giggled the whole way to my destination. When we were all waiting to get off the plane, about five people came over to ask what I'd been reading - I hope they found Evanovich as funny as I do!

In this installment, Stephanie's ex-husband disappears not long after she has a heated argument with him at his office. Her alibi for the time of his disappearance is a bit shaky, and when partners from his law firm start turning up dead, she worries that she's going to find herself arrested for his murder. She pairs up with sexy Ranger to look for her ex, while Morelli, her hot cop boyfriend, is stuck taking care of a police witness, unable to help. As usual Stephanie leaves massive destruction in her wake, as she navigates the perils of exploding stuffed animals, bombs, and flamethrower-wielding psychopaths, not to mention scary muscle men intent on her capture. She is tough and resourceful, pigheaded and impetuous, and she and ex-ho Lula - as well as her outspoken Grandma - make a wonderful team that will keep you laughing.

This is a lighthearted, face-paced series with memorable characters, unexpected plot twists, and a nice touch of romance, and Lean Mean Thirteen delivers the goods. Definitely the perfect beach, pool or plane read.

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's Press, 2007)

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like something I might be interested in reading. Thanks for sharing. Your post on this book was very helpful.

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  2. You are so welcome. I envy you, getting to start from #1 and having all thirteen of them ahead of you. One of these days I'll go back and reread the whole series. I'd love to know what you think of them!

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  3. I took one of her books on my honeymoon in 2001. I enjoyed Stephanie Plum, but I haven't been compelled to read any more. In a way, it seemed like Danielle Steel writes a mystery (in other words, a bit trite for my taste). However, it was fast. It was witty.

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  4. virginia galJuly 09, 2007

    First Knuffle Bunny - what a great review and yes, it was Hamester Huey and the Gooey Kabluey (yes I remember that as well...but here is the big question what was the follow up sequel that Calvin has his dad read, I can't remember the title but its something equally funny rhyming).

    Thanks for the tip-off on 13th, how ironic coming so close to HP...I'll have to read this book before HP 7, both series I love! Is this more of a Ranger book...because 12 was a Ranger book also and I want more Morielli!

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  5. Bellezza - I understand what you're saying, and there's no denying they are formulaic - but it's a formula that tickles me each and every time. In fact, it's fun to see what she can achieve within that formula (you know, like a sonnet - you have to follow the rules, but if you are creative there's a ton you can do within the form). What keeps me coming back, aside from the humor, are the characters. I love going into that world for a little while and visiting with them, seeing what they're up to, and having a good laugh, too.

    And VA Gal - it is not entirely Ranger this time, there is some Ranger, some Morelli. I take it you're rooting for Morelli, eh? I like them both! And as far as Hamster Huey is concerned, you can't ask a librarian that and not expect her to try to find it out, can you? The sequel was Commander Coriander Salamander and 'er Single-Hander Belly Lander (and I did have to look that one up!).

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  6. The Stephanie Plum books are so much fun. I can always count on them to make me laugh out loud. Sure they're silly and outrageous, but isn't that part of their charm? I'm glad you enjoyed the latest in the series. :-)

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  7. Literary Feline, I totally agree. I just love when I'm at work in the library to see people's faces light up when their copy of the book finally comes in. You just know they're going to run home and cuddle up with it.

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  8. Great review. I'm reading #6 right now and really enjoying it. It's good to know the series continues to be good all the way to the current installment.

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  9. A psycho with a flamethrower? I have got to get hold of this book! I love the series and could do with a laugh or several. As for the question of Morelli vs. Ranger - I still can't decide!

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  10. Hi, Laura & coversgirl - thanks for stopping by! What's not to like about a psycho with a flamethrower? :-) You'll have to let me know what you think when you get to #13!

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