Thursday, January 3, 2013

Notorious Nineteen - Book Review

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Format? - Ebook on my Nook
Source? Puchased from Barnes and Noble the day it was released

Why? Because I'm a sucker for a series, and this one in particular has provided some good laughs along the way.

Cover? big deal...same ole, same ole
Title? not sure what's notorious about it, but again, same little tongue teaser as the rest of the series...doesn't affect the reading one way or another

What Now? I'm relieved Evanovich has returned to classic Stephanie Plum.  Things were getting a little silly there for a while.  As always the book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts...this time with a promise for later from Ranger.
**fanning myself here ;)

Golden Lines

My mother made the sign of the cross and belted back half a glass of what looked like ice tea but smelled a lot like Jim Beam. (21 of 204)

Lula almost jumped the curb when she saw Grandma in front of the hair salon.  Grandma was wearing a blond Marilyn Monroe wig, a hot pink tank top, black Pilates pants, and black kitten heels.  She looked like the senior version of an inflatable sex toy doll that needed more air. (34 of 204)

"Is there a point to this?" I asked Morelli.
"No," he said.  "I'm venting.  It scares the crap out of me that I'm in love with you." (63 id 204)

"Oh boy," Lula said.  "You're not gonna have to work with Morelli, are you?  Last time you tried that he had to stop carrying his gun so he wouldn't be tempted to shoot you.  And remember the time he chained you to a pipe in his cellar?" (124 of 204)

Ranger walked to the edge of the grave and jumped in.  He lifted me up into the arms of one of his men, and I was back on solid ground.  The man gave Ranger a hand up, and Ranger was next to me, cutting the tape off my wrists. (185 of 204)

"Nuh-uh.  Lula doesn't dig up dead people.  You get cooties like that." (189 of 204)


Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger, Lula, Connie, Vinnie, Grandma Mazur and Stephanie's parents once again are neck deep in bond skips, pot roast, an albino Yeti, a dwarf, disappearing bodies, a deranged ex-military man, innuendo, exploding cars, a nudie beach, donuts, spandex, and a ton of comic relief.

What I Liked

Morelli - no surprise here...I've been a Morelli gal the entire series.  I like his honesty, his Sicilian background, his job, the way he admits he loves Stephanie even though he doesn't completely understand why, the way he takes care of Bob the dog, his home, the way he respects his mother and grandmother even though both are nuts, and on and on and on.  He's the one for Stephanie...but I'm just not sure exactly how...or when.

Ranger - ahem, ok, so maybe it took me longer than everybody else to see his quiet but dangerous charm...but I really warmed up to him in Notorious Nineteen.  One particularly feverish scene is when Ranger is fitting Stephanie with a listening device.  
Oh my.  
I still don't think he's for Stephanie though...we learn a little more about his background in Notorious Nineteen, and it's just enough to reinforce for me that Ranger is probably more damaged than Stephanie can even imagine...and may never be able to live a normal life. 

I get it.  I've been almost mad a Stephanie for a while bc she won't just marry Morelli...but I get it now.  Morelli and Stephanie are good together as is.  But, I don't see either of them being happy domesticated.  Morelli dealt better with Stephanie's job in Notorious Nineteen than he ever has, which is a good thing if he plans on keeping her.

Lula - by 10 pages in, I was snorting at Lula's sincere but humorous attempts at being a bounty hunter.  

The overall, major mystery was an effective one I that seemed well thought out and put together.  The final resolving of the issue and closure for the wife left behind was a nice touch as well.

FINALLY, Stephanie eats a salad or two instead of donuts and fast food all the time.  

What I Didn't Like

Pretty quick wrap-up of one of the main plotlines - so quick that for the next ten pages or so after it was resolved, I kept thinking Evanovich was going to pull the "the dead villain wasn't dead after all" scenario...but it really was over.  

The "how many cars can Stephanie blow up in a day" thingie is gettin a little old...just sayin'

Overall Recommendations

If you're a fan of the Stephanie Plum series, I think you'll enjoy this installment.  A book that can make you laugh out loud from time to time is very definitely a good thing.  Don't try to overthink it though...just go with the flow and let it entertain you.
If you're not a fan of the series, I definitely say start at the beginning.  I think you need the history of the characters and how their lives intertwine to add to the reading experience.


  1. I love her books because they remind me of home and they are laugh out loud funny.

  2. I was going to skip this one but my have to try it after all.

    1. I had decided this would be my last one, Kathy, if things didn't improve. It was definitely worth it :) I even laughed all over again as I polished up my review for today.

  3. After reading your review, I look forward to this book. I'm for Joe Morelli too!

    1. He's the only choice that makes any sense to me, Nise :)

  4. This sounds like a fun series. Terrific review, as usual (I like the format)! :)

  5. My mom really loves these books, and I know that she has this one and has loved it. I need to get started so that we can have some discussions about them!

    1. They're certainly not heavy thinking stories, Heather, but a lot of fun when you're in the mood for that kind of read. :)

  6. I checked out on this series a long time ago … just let me know if she picks Ranger or Morelli in the end.

    1. LOL! Formulaic and no brainer stuff for sure...but sometimes I need just that. Will do! :)