Book review: Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19)Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy the Stephanie Plum mystery series. The books are perfect beach reads (regardless of whether you are actually at the beach or not). I enjoyed “Notorious Nineteen” immensely, and it’s one of the stronger entrants in the series of late. The plot involves a truly creepy villain, Stephanie and Morelli seem to have their relationship in a stage that actually works for them, and Ranger is back. (I admit that I have a huge book crush on Ranger.) Add in the usual zany characters, both suspects and regulars, and what you have is a laugh out loud, entertaining book. This is mind candy at its best!

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Book review: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18)Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read the Stephanie Plum novels for hilarious dialogue, funny and idiosyncratic characters and a completely unrealistic but entertaining plot. And that’s what you get with this addition to the series. If the book seems a bit formulaic, well, yes, it is, but that’s the secret of the series’ success. I know exactly what the book will be, and the author delivers it well in this particular installment. Unlike the last book, where I thought there was too much angst devoted to the Morelli v Ranger dilemma (angst does not belong in Stephanie Plum novels), the angst was kept to a minimum. The plot is a bit loosely constructed but, again, that’s part of the charm of this series (wildly improbable coincidences happen all the time).
While this latest installment does not have the freshness of the earlier novels, it still provides solid entertainment. The new secondary characters are amusing, and the returning characters are still idiosyncratic and fun. This book is a fun and light-hearted read and a good addition to the series.

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Book review: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum, #15)Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know what you’re getting with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich–wacky characters, hilarious dialogue, improbable mystery, and a highly entertaining read. This addition to the series is no exception. While there is continuing angst over the Morelli vs Ranger romance angle, the book is rightly focused on the over-the-top characters whose favorite occupation is eating (a distant second is bounty hunting). The plot with its wildly improbable coincidences is secondary to the interaction between the characters, who are all infused with some degree of insanity, temporary or not.
While the series is best read in order, each book does stand on its own, with its laugh out loud dialogue and lighthearted mystery. This book is definitely a worthy addition to the series.

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Book review: Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum, #16)Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really like this series. The main characters are well-rounded and often goofily humorous, the dialogue is crisp and witty, and the plots are well paced. It’s a perfect beach read (or, as I like to say, excellent mind candy).
Sizzling Sixteen is no exception. The plot is more urgent than normal (instead of just chasing after skips, Stephanie’s way of earning money is at stake) and some of the ancillary characters get more developed in this book.
I enjoyed this latest installment to the series, but there are some plot twists that are getting a bit old. The Joe Morelli v Ranger dilemma just makes me want to shake Stephanie and demand that she choose and stop angsting over it. And the plots aren’t particularly complicated. But, overall, it’s an entertaining book when you’re looking for a fun read that’s not too intellectually demanding.

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