Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Notorious NineteenGeoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, disappeared from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy.   Vinnie put up the bond so it’s up to Stephanie Plum to bring Cubbin in.   He’s proving a bit difficult to find, so for cash in the meantime, Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding Ranger.  Yep, you read that right — the gal who regularly needs to be rescued by Ranger is now protecting him.  Anyway . . .

Notorious Nineteen is a fairly typical Stephanie Plum adventure — Stephanie’s short on cash, there’s a big skip to bring in, she and Lula indulge in a lot of donuts and fried chicken, a car gets blown up — etc.  If you’re looking for a light read, this will do the trick and may make you laugh a time or two.  Maybe — at 19+ books, most of the shenanigans have lost their charm.  What keeps me reading this series are the quirky secondary characters that Evanovich brings in  — Notorious Nineteen introduces Logan and brings back Randy Briggs.  Evanovich also sends Stephanie and Lula to a nude beach in search of a skip and I did find that entertaining.

As far as the mystery goes, the one involving Ranger was interesting, mainly for the fact that it gave us a little more information about him.  The fact that he would use Stephanie as back-up though?  Not likely — it would have been more believable to say that he needed a date so that women wouldn’t be hitting on him and distracting him from his job.  Stephanie may be lovable, she may be lucky, she may have sex appeal that even singed hair and an ugly dress can’t defy — but she’s not back-up for Ranger.

The mystery surrounding Cubbin had potential  — it was an interesting storyline but I had trouble believing that the security tapes provided as much difficulty as they did, particularly for Morelli.  Even Grandma Mazur going undercover, as entertaining as it was, couldn’t really make up for that.  It was also fairly easy for the reader to figure out what was going on, even though it took Stephanie and Morelli some time.  Why is Evanovich dumbing down Morelli and Ranger???

And that leads us to the love triangle.  Sigh.  It could be interesting if Morelli really wanted to get married and Stephanie was anti-marriage given the way her first marriage turned out.  Or, if all were agreed that marriage held no appeal but both guys wanted her to commit.  Or, if Stephanie decided to be a really good bounty hunter, handled her own dangerous situations, and didn’t need either man to rescue her.  That’s not the case, however.  Stephanie and Morelli entertain the idea of marriage but are about as ambivalent about marrying each other as I’ve become about who ends up with whom.

Is anyone else hoping that Grandma Mazur moves into the assisted living facility?  The potential for laughs that prospect holds might make reading #20 something to look forward to . . . .


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    April said,

    I’m number 64/75 on our wait list, so I’ll be waiting for a while. In fact, I don’t think I ever read Explosive Eighteen, so maybe I should request that one too!

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