February 27, 2013

Review: Lean and Mean

Lean Mean Thirteen
Stephanie Plum Book 13
Janet Evanovich

Mass Market Paperback,  Headline, 2007, 371p.
ISBN: 9780755337590

New secrets, old flames and hidden agendas are about to send Bounty Hunter Stephanie Plum on her most outrageous adventure yet!

Dickie Orr. Stephanie was married to him for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her with her arch-nemesis Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping to never see either one of them again.

Doing favors for super bounty hunter Carlos Manoso (a.k.a. Ranger). Ranger needs her to meet with Dickie and find out if he’s doing something shady. Turns out, he is. Turns out, he’s also back to doing Joyce Barnhardt. And it turns out Ranger’s favors always come with a price...

Going completely nutso while doing the favor for Ranger, and trying to apply bodily injury to Dickie in front of the entire office. Now Dickie has disappeared and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can she stay one step ahead in this new, dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, NJ is also keeping Stephanie on her toes—and he may know more than lets on about her…It’s a cat-and-mouse game for Stephanie Plum, where the ultimate prize might be her life.

I just love this series!  There is just something about Stephanie's continual cock-ups that just strikes me as funny.  This time round we see her interact with her ex-Dickie Orr (a real dick).  After the huge scene in his office, Dickie goes missing and - thanks to Joyce's big mouth - the police now have their sights set on Stephanie.  With Morelli curiously MIA, it's up to Ranger to fill the void.

Now I have to say this ... I hated Dickie!  He's such a... words don't describe him!  Maybe it's because he's SP's ex, or the fact that he is in Stephanie's own words a miserable 'dog turd'?  I don't care, I'm just glad he cops so much crap in this book.  I mean really, this was the same husband who was caught schtupping the bane of her existence, Joyce Barnhardt (although in the long run I think Joyce actually did her a favour by pointing out Dickie's short comings - pun intended).   I'm just soooo glad that SP is now with Morelli (and Ranger) and that Joe gets to slam Dickie up against a wall... ah, good times.

The deliciously dangerous Ranger is front and centre in this book (YESSSSS!) and even though Morelli meanders in and out, there is such chemistry between him and Stephanie that you can forgive it.  Dickie is the guy we all love to hate, and Joyce is her usually bitchy and manipulative self.  Grandma Mazur is as funny and irreverent as always, and Lula is just plain comedy gold.  Helen tipples, and Connie is always on hand to back up the girls.  The bad guys are by turns inept as well as scary and there are no attempts on Rex's life in this installment.

The plot line is simple to follow, and predict, with no real surprises except for the location of the key.  And since you don't need to work your grey matter so hard, it's easy to drift away and fall into the world created by Janet Evanovich.

Favourite scene:  Watching the fur fly :-P (Grandma Mazur getting woodchuck-ed!)

You don't have to have read all the previous books in the series before trying LM13, but I'd recommend it.  There are some tidbits that really don't make too much sense if you don't have all the back stories.  This is a fantastic book to take on public transport - if you don't mind people starring at you for laughing out loud - but I'd suggest that if you take it to work you leave it well out of reach.

Although not my favourite book in the series, it is a title I keep coming back to.

February 26, 2013

Rainy Days

Just great.  It's only been about 3 weeks since we'd last had torrential rain and flooding in the region - and my street - and now it's back again.  For the last two days it's been coming down in sheets.  I really shouldn't complain because this is my all time favourite weather, but I am worried about the flooding.  That being said, I'm whiling away the hours of enforced enclosure by reading a dearly loved - and always at the ready - series that never gets old.  Yes, that's right.  I've dipped back into the bookshelf for Stephanie Plum.  Now I know that I go there a lot, but there is just something about the series that just hits the spot.  It's funny and quirky, fast paced and just an all round great series - and if you love J.D. Robb, Jayne Ann Krentz, I'd highly recommend you check it out.   The characters are well written and seem to just jump off the page (especially after hearing Lorelei King's narrations).  Lula is a real card, and although I would pass out on the spot if I had her for my Granny, Edna Mazur is a real pistol.   With nineteen books under her belt for this series, Janet Evanovich has kept me interested in the eternal love triangle that is Stephanie, Joe and Ranger.   Even though we're up to book 20 this year, I have only found one or two that didn't really hit the spot with me.... plus I just love to daydream about Ranger and Morelli.  Really, who doesn't?

So, after I'm finished here I will make myself a hot cup of tea, break out the Tim Tams (Caramel, of course) and dive back into Lean Mean Thirteen.   Hope you find some fabulous books this week.

Happy Reading!