Tag: Janet Evanovich

Dirty Thirty Book Review

Latest in Stephanie Plum Series

Dirty Thirty Book Cover, fuchsia colored with gold necklace of the word thirty.Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum novel, Dirty Thirty, is a treat for long-time series fans. The bad guys are really the good guys and plenty of sucker punches for characters and readers alike. Once again Evanovich leaves the reader hanging over a cliff waiting for yet another Plum novel.

Dirty Thirty Plot Line

The focus on this latest series entry is capturing skips. Stephanie, aided by the always colorful Lula, is after a wide range of bail jumpers. Some are dangerous and others hilarious. Furthermore, Stephanie is moonlighting for Martin Plover owner of Plover’s Jewelry store and an apparent victim. He was robbed twice. His request is for the recovery agent to also find his missing security guard.

As usual, things are complicated in the Burg. The missing security guard may have ties to the jewel thief, and they may or may not have the goods. Both these characters will be new to faithful readers.

Returning Characters

Dirty Thirty has a wide host of characters. At times I would mix the new characters up. Fortunately, the supporting cast remains constant-much like an old sitcom. Stephanie’s boyfriend Joe Morelli makes brief appearances but for the most part the romantic tension is sparked by Ranger.

Comic relief is provided by Lula, Grandma Mazur and Bob, Morelli’s shaggy dog. Evanovich is still golden with her quips and actions. Many smiles as well as laughs keep the reader engaged. Not to mention the double entendres all the way through Dirty Thirty. But even the foreshadowing will leave readers (like I was) surprised at the outcomes of the various plot lines. I will have a tough time waiting for the next in the series.

Recommendation for Dirty Thirty

I love this series and this book is no exception. However, I do not see it as a stand-alone. Dirty Thirty will be enjoyed the most by readers engaged in the series. Indeed, the biggest surprise will fly over the head of a reader brand new to the series. So, if you have read previous books featuring Stephanie Plum, this is a shouldn’t skip. If you are a novice, find the original-One for the Money and proceed from there.

Thanks for the entertainment, Ms. Evanovich.

The Recovery Agent Book Review

New Evanovich Series

I first encountered recovery agent Gabriela Rose in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series release Going Rogue. I was delighted to spot the book on the new release table at my local library. Gabriela Rose promises to be a character worthy of a spin-off series. As the first in the sequence, The Recovery Agent proves delightful with strong characters able to support a new direction for Evanovich’s writing.

Plot of The Recovery Agent

Altruism is the motive for finding hidden treasure. In a straightforward plot, Gabriela Rose and ex-husband Rafer Jones crisscross the continents of North and South America. Encountering danger and dangerous people, the two remain true to the idea of saving their hometown, Scoon, South Carolina with any found fortune. Devastated by a hurricane, Scoon needs rebuilding. Naturally, opportunistic developers are swooping down on the seaside hamlet creating a time crunch. Can Gabriela and Rafer set aside differences for a shared goal?

Since action scenes dominate Evanovich novels, readers will find plenty of scenes reminiscent of the type of adventure found by swashbucklers on screen as well as in print. Ms. Rose is quite skilled and delightfully unique from many of author Evanovich’s previous heroines. The quick-thinking protagonist more than her carries own weight. However, Mr. Jones does get to play the role of the rescuer upon occasion. (And sometimes he needs rescuing.)

Secondary Characters

One of Evanovich’s greatest talents is fleshing out secondary characters. She creates a strong supporting cast with The Recovery Agent. Indeed, the seriousness of the primary character is complemented by the (sometimes) unintended humor of those surrounding her.

Best of all, bad and evil are differentiated. Lots of grey areas in The Recovery Agent. Drug dealers are favored over psychopaths. Readers can decide just how often to look the other way, much like Gabriela Rose must.

Chemistry in The Recovery Agent

True to Evanovich form, the novel includes romance. So, sparks fly between the exes. And the two seem more compatible than most. Perhaps they married too young. Furthermore, the reader keeps wondering if or when something will happen. Just the right amount of tension.

Unlike recent attempts at new series, Evanovich penned this refreshing story alone. Her distinctive style makes The Recovery Agent a fun book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful story with appealing characters.

Going Rogue Book Review

Number 29

Book Cover with teal background and Janet Evanovich Going Rogue in large type with gold coins scattered across the cover.Going Rogue is Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum novel. Loyal fans will be delighted. Because the book fleshes out old characters with more in-depth personalities. And Stephanie Plum is showing growth as well. As usual there are several laugh out loud moments from the delightful supporting cast.

Missing in Action

The story opens up with bail bonds office manager Connie Rosolli missing and three Failure to Appear (FTA) accounts lined up for skip tracer Plum to chase down. Complications quickly arise as one of the skips is Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella. The Sicilian grandmother able to wreak havoc by giving those she despises the “evil eye.”

Kidnappers contact the office wanting an exchange. A valuable coin was put up for collateral. The trade is simple, Connie for the coin. But the coin is missing from the evidence room. One of the skips palmed it. Millions fall into the wrong hands and the madcap chase is on.

Going Rogue

Evanovich keeps her Stephanie Plum character fresh after twenty-nine iterations by fleshing out established characters and introducing new ones. In Going Rogue, Grandma Bella becomes more than just an evil eye throwing Nonna. She is a bit more rounded and a bit more human in her treatment of Stephanie. But just a tad bit.

And the character of Stephanie Plum continues to mature. Although she is still divided between her feelings for Joe versus Ranger (the key tenet for the series) her behavior is more virtuous…to a point.

Furthermore, the protagonist is finding herself. Going Rogue replaces the unhappy with work vibe with an acceptance of the career path. Quite refreshing to be honest.

Pure Entertainment

Books serve many purposes. The Stephanie Plum series is designed for entertainment. These books offer a much-needed release from the realities of life. Evanovich is a pro at instilling complete personalities into secondary characters. Her love triangle between Stephanie, Joe and Ranger is classic and can divide households.

Best of all, this series stays fresh for the many loyal followers. If you have not read any of this series, I encourage you to begin with the first. You will have plenty of reading material to last for the near future. Each addition is a fun read.

Game On Book Review

New Stephanie Plum

Game On is the latest in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. The fun read brings back Diesel, a character introduced a few years ago and then spun off into the Lizzy and Diesel series. A contemporary problem, hacking, is the catalyst for the usual murder and mayhem. However, Game On is not just the same.

Freshness in a series that dates across decades can be elusive. Evanovich accomplishes the task with Game On. However, identifying the source of the novelty eludes me. Perhaps tighter editing? Maybe a change of focus for the lead character? The result is satisfying.

Protagonist in Game On

Stephanie Plum is the lead character in Game On. For readers unfamiliar with this comedic series, Plum is a bounty hunter with extraordinary luck in capturing elusive quarry. And the luck? Mostly bad. So she has a bevy of support characters. The regular cast ranges from sexy to spasmodic. Plum’s luck in Game On has a twist.

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the book, is the return to character development. The protagonist shows growth lacking since the novels in the mid-teens were released. A much needed change.

Game On Story Line

The plot of Game On centers on the competition between Stephanie Plum and Diesel (Just Diesel) to capture the elusive Oswald Wednesday, hacker extraordinaire. But Wednesday’s evil deeds don’t end at hacking. Thwarted by amateurs, the villain of the story begins to knock off his victims one-by-one.

Plum and Diesel work together to keep two young hackers alive. Melvin and Charlotte portray nerdy IT geeks, only interested in computers and each other. Thus, they are no match for a supervillain intent on crashing the International Space Station. The nerds need saving and Stephanie and her co-horts are ready to rescue.


The Plum series is pure entertainment. Zany characters and unbelievable situations keep readers chuckling. One can only take so much strife. Game On balances out a library containing tomes on climate change, social behavior and the like.

An added benefit to reading an Evanovich release is the good natured humor sprinkled throughout. The light-hearted novel provides a needed escape for a few hours. Then the reader can return to reality with a game on approach.

The Bounty Book Review

The Bounty is a Fox and O’Hare adventure written by Janet Evanovich with Steve Hamilton. The series features mastermind Nick Fox and his FBI handler Kate O’Hare. A series that I started reading with the first release- The Heist. But the series has had a change of co-writers through the years. And I will admit, The Bounty is the first of the series I have read in a while.

Plot of The Bounty

The Bounty is one of those around the world adventures. The opening scene has Fox and O’Hare consulting with the Vatican Security to stop a theft. However, a problem arises and it is a huge conflict of interest for Nick Fox. The successful burglar is none other than Quentin Fox. Nick’s Dad.

For readers, the action scenes at the Vatican provide the hook to keep reading the novel. This remains the case throughout The Bounty. Each time I was tempted to stop reading, the action pushed me forward. From one country to another. All in pursuit of gold-stolen by the Nazis.

In other words the action is quick paced. So the story shouldn’t drag. Yet at times there was drag…something was off.

Writing Duos

I have reviewed many books featuring co-authors. The most recent, the excellent offering by Christina Lauren with The Soulmate Equation. I also enjoy novels by popular duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Further, I love the combination of Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison.

Since The Bounty is the first collaboration between Evanovich and Hamilton, I am willing to read a follow-up attempt. I will be looking for more tension between the main characters as well as quick paced action.

I envy prolific writers. There are times when I struggle with each sentence. Furthermore, I respect authors such as Evanovich that can capture the reader with the same character such as Stephanie Plum for decades. So, I was a bit disappointed in the characters of The Bounty. The personal interactions were forced and out of character.

Recommendation for The Bounty

The copy of The Bounty that I read was a large print edition borrowed from the public library. Perfect for reading on a day one needs to stay indoors. My suggestion is to look for a copy at your local library or read an E edition. And if you are not fans of either author, another book choice may be for you.

Hardcore Twenty-Four Book Review

Hardcore Twenty-Four


Janet Evanovich strikes again. Her latest Stephanie Plum novel, Hardcore Twenty-Fore hits all the pins. Zombies and paid protesters divert attention from the hardcore topic of synthetic drugs. In Hardcore Twenty-Four the key ingredient to a new drug is human brains.

If you have never read a Stephanie Plum novel, my advice is start with One For The Money. I was given this advice back in 2004 at a headache inducing conference meeting. It was good advice. However, the books certainly stand alone.

Stephanie Plum is torn between two lovers, cop Joe Morelli and the mysterious Ranger. In Hardcore Twenty-Four a third good looker pops backs into play. Diesel, a character most often seen in the Between the Numbers Plum mysteries, is crashing at Stephanie’s apartment. All end up in pursuit of a villainous master mind.

Evanovich creates characters that are zany and fun. But the true strengths in her writing lay elsewhere. The descriptive writing is among the best. The details she gives throughout allows you to visualize the people, the clothing and the setting. A reader sees Grandma Mazur. Women argue over Ranger and Morelli. Longtime readers view the Plum characters as family because we know how they look and think.

The other part of Evanovich’s writing I like is that she comments instead of preaches. I have noticed a trend lately among serial writers. They are using their writing to posit their opinions. While I think they are free to do that, I believe in some cases the positioning detracts from the writing. This is not the case with Hardcore Twenty-Four.

Janet Evanovich’s approach to current issues is done tongue in cheek. For example, in Hardcore Twenty-Four, paid protesters are protesting at a Korean grocery because the store lacks diversity. Evanovich utilizes one of her zaniest characters, Lulu who in a previous life was a hooker, to point out the irony.

The same approach is used with regards to the synthetic drugs. Here in the United States we currently have a problem with the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs. Shortly before Thanksgiving, I read a serial novel with the same topic. I did not review it because the author ruined the story line with the preaching. However, Evanovich’s approach gave the same message without interfering with the story. In fact, her zany approach allows you to enjoy the story and reflect on the current issues of the day.

Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite writers. I would love to have lunch with her! She makes me laugh out loud with her writing. Life can be tough and laughter is great medicine. Her latest Stephanie Plum novel, Hardcore Twenty-Four made me smile, chuckle and laugh out loud in more than one place. This would be a good present under the tree.






Curious Minds Book Review

Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite writers. A fellow Zontian at the 2004 Zonta International Convention in New York recommended Evanovich’s work for fun reading. I have been reading her novels ever since. Recently, Evanovich began collaborating on novels. Curious Minds is a collaboration with Phoef Sutton. Sutton is an acclaimed writer with Hollywood connections and ties to one of my favorite college campuses.

First of a Series

Curious Minds is the first of a series. Evanovich and Sutton create a zany cast of characters. Protagonist Riley Moon is in her first real job after graduating with multiple degrees from Harvard-on a scholarship and student loans. She drives a Mini Cooper because her parking space at work is miniscule. Riley grew up in West Texas and has expressions and mannerisms to prove it.

Emerson Knight may not be a complete opposite, but it is close. He is a trust fund eccentric with multiple cars and no driver’s license. He also wants access to the family gold. As in actual possession of the gold. Thus begins the story line.

The firm Riley works for is steeped in traditional Washington-New York family power. The family has one outcast brother Gunter Grunwald. Gunter was Riley’s mentor before he disappeared. The prologue shows Gunter face-to-face with trouble in a vault of gold. The disappearance is tied tightly into the plot. It is unclear if Gunter will play a continuing role in the series.

Curious Minds Supporting Cast

The supporting cast of characters for the most part are down to earth. Emerson’s Aunt Myra and cousin Vernon hail from the Harrisonburg area of Virginia. An area a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. filled with everyday people. Vernon works as a blogger on a website, Mr. Mysterioso, sometimes co-authored by Emerson.

Riley’s Texas roots have a background in law and order. Her dad is a retired cop and the one family member appearing in the book is a brother who followed his father’s footsteps.

The backgrounds for both Riley and Emerson create likeable characters. As with many books which begin a series, back stories are detailed. In the case of Curious Minds, the zany characters are appealing to the reader.

I read many genres and many authors. Prolific writers like Evanovich often team up with co-writers. Sometimes it works as is the case with Curious Minds. The voice created by Evanovich and Sutton flows as one. I will keep my eye open for the next Knight and Moon book to hit the new arrivals shelf at my library.