Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

A Stephanie Plum Novel

Notorious Nineteen

By Stephanie Plum

Book Blurb: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. . . 

I finished Notorious Nineteen earlier today and I had to digest my feelings. My first gut feeling was to review and grant a 3 heart rating but now I have reconsidered after pondering further. I am granting a 4 heart rating. When I rate a Stephanie Plum novel I am rating and comparing against each other. 

I have always been a member of the Ranger/Stephanie camp. One thing I noticed about Notorious Nineteen is that Morelli was more vocal about loving Stephanie and he even mentions marriage a time or two. One would think that maybe Janet Evanovich is trying to reach a "Timeless Twenty" book (or similarly named) and then have Steph finally get married off to Morelli. You know what? That would not be a bad thing. How about retiring Stephanie and Morelli and then write a spin off series about Ranger? I much prefer the story lines where Ranger plays an active lead and I guess that is why Twelve Sharp remains one of my favourites. I agree with a lot of fans that as much as we adore this series, I think it is getting close to retirement.

Some of the major things I liked about Notorious Nineteen was that there was an actual mystery to solve. It was less whimsical and the magical silliness was thankfully absent. Janet Evanovich's earlier books were great fun without having to add weird mystical elements. I just prefer the stories humourous sans wacko stuff. Admittedly the 3 ft Tiki wood carving was borderline mystical but not "way out there". Morelli didn't seem like the domineering chauvinistic man that I often peg him for. I actually liked him a whole lot more in Notorious Nineteen than I ever have before. I didn't out and out laugh in the story but it did give me plenty of smiles. I always feel really good after reading a Stephanie Plum book. The earlier stories are my favourite re-reads. 

Some things that I didn't care for was the over-done and over the top food cravings for Lula. We get it. She likes to eat greasy, salty and fatty foods. I wasn't a fan of this constant love triangle of Morelli/Stephanie/Ranger. I've always thought the play against each other to be brilliant but it has been really over done now. Enough already. It has become a bit of a turn off. 

So here is the kicker for me. I will continue to buy these books for as long as Janet Evanovich writes them. I know this. I have not bought into the Diesel series because I don't care for the magical storylines. I just love and miss the really fun, quirky but more serious mysteries that used to dominate this series. 

Teasers: Pepto-Bismol pink bridesmaid dress, new Ranger watch, Tiki strapped in by seat belt, graveside shooting

1 comment:

Di said...

I enjoy this series too - I think I've read up to #17 so I have a few to catch up on