Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
Series: Stephanie Plum, Book #19
Published: November 20th, 2012
Publisher: Bantam
302 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Adult mystery/humour
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my review of Smokin’ Seventeen || Read my review of Explosive Eighteen}
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...


Notorious Nineteen, in my opinion, is the best thing Evanovich has written in years. For me, the Stephanie Plum series started going downhill several books ago, and I only continued reading them out of a sense of loyalty and curiosity. With each new book, I was shocked the series hadn’t come to an end, and I was getting extremely frustrated; the characters never changed, the jokes were always the same, and it seemed to me like Evanovich had become a very lazy writer.

I went into Notorious Nineteen with a healthy amount of trepidation. I vowed that if things didn’t begin to progress in this book, I would give up on the series until the final book, at which time I would see if Stephanie had chosen Ranger or Morelli. Since, at one time, this series was my absolute favourite, I am very pleased to say I actually enjoyed Notorious Nineteen.

It felt like the story was infused with a new light that’s been missing from the last few books. There was actual character progression, which has been lacking for a long time. We got some insight into not only Stephanie’s character, but also Ranger’s. There were new jokes, new problems, new characters, but at the same time, the story carried all the things that once made (and hopefully will now continue to make) the Plum books such a great series. The mystery held my attention and kept me guessing what would happen next, and there was the right amount of tension and humour. 

Overall, Notorious Nineteen was very enjoyable. I know many people who have given up on the series altogether, or who are undecided on this book, but I say if you’re a fan of the series, you should definitely read this book. It was nice to be reminded why I loved this series so much when I started it several years ago. I hope Evanovich keeps it up since the series doesn’t look like it’ll be ending any time soon. 

Have you read any of the Plum series? What are your thoughts? Who do you hope Stephanie ends up with?


  1. I find that these really long series often have several books that are so slow and pointless that you want to just give up but then one comes along that blows you away. Glad this one restored your faith.

  2. Speaking of series that just don't end! But I'm glad that this book was able to restore your faith in the series. I've thought of starting it, but with SO many books, it's really intimidating! I saw the movie with Katie Heigl last year, and from time to time I think about picking up the first book. Stephanie sounds like a character you'd want to cheer for!


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