Monday, June 25, 2007

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
St. Martin’s Press, 2007
Mystery; 310 pgs

Completed: 06/24/2007
Rating: * (Good)

First Sentence: For the last five minutes, I’d been parked outside my cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office in my crapola car, debating whether to continue on with my day, or return to my apartment and crawl back into bed.

Reason for Reading: After a serious reading material streak, I thought something light and fluffy was in order. What better way than to visit old friends in the Burg?

Comments: Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is in fine form for the 13th installment of Janet Evanovich’s popular series. Stephanie once again finds herself in the middle of trouble when her ex-husband, Dickie Orr, goes missing soon after she paid a visit to him that got a little out of hand. She had gone to his law offices at the request of Ranger who suspected Dickie and his partners may have been involved in some shady dealings. As a result her burst of temper, Stephanie is the prime suspect in his disappearance. Not only do the police have her in their sights but so does Dickie’s girlfriend, Joyce Barnhardt, the woman he cheated with while married to Stephanie. And if things weren’t bad enough for Stephanie already, she soon finds her own life on the line.

Lulu fans will be happy. Ranger fans will swoon. Morelli is as sexy as can be. Grandma Mazur is hotter than ever (read the book and you will know what I mean). Joyce is her usual annoying self, although she earns a little of my respect this time around. And Stephanie is, well, Stephanie. She fumbles her way through most of the book in her usual style. The fur certainly flies, and she’s still not sure which man is the better catch. There is plenty of action, slapstick comedy, and Ranger sightings in Janet Evanovich’s latest novel. Although the story itself is not that strong, with a loose main plot that gets somewhat lost with everything else going on in Lean Mean Thirteen, the narrative was entertaining and funny. This wasn’t the best of the Stephanie Plum novels, but it was still an entertaining and fun book to read.

Favorite Part: I just adore Grandma Mazur. She’s such a pip and can always pull a laugh out of me. Lulu is a hoot in this one too, and I was glad to see she too had such an active part throughout the novel. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments, but I truly think they are better left for the reading of the book than my spoiling them here.

Miscellaneous: My husband and I are watching the first season of The Wire, and I have to say, I love that show! It’s edgy, has an awesome cast, and a great story line. Does anyone else watch this show?


  1. This is the ONLY series that I am completely caught up on (or am on the last installment anyway.) I have this one on the way to me from paperbackswap right now.

    I am a Ranger girl, so glad to know he has some air time in this one. Morelli is awesome, but the scenes with Ranger curl my toes.

  2. Oh, I didn't know the next one was out yet! Thanks! :)

  3. I've only read through book 4 (although I am reading 5 and 6 for the Summer Reading Challenge). I love this series as a break from the serious reading. Good to see that these books are still good reads even at #13!

  4. I've been a Wire fan since the first season. It's amazing, so smart. And what's cool about it is that Dennis Lehane, Richard Price and George Pelecanos, all crime novelists, have written episodes. Best crime show ever on TV. The fifth season has been shot and hopefully will air in the fall!

    (And FYI: David Simon, creator/producer/director/writer is married to mystery writer Laura Lippman, who writes fantastic books, the latest being WHAT THE DEAD KNOW. Highly recommend it!)

  5. Wow, Kitty, you plowed through that book really fast. Didn't it just come out?

    My husband loves 'The Wire', but I could never get into it.

  6. Does she manage to blow up another car?! :)
    I really liked the Plum books but I kind of lost interest in the series after #10. I really wanted more... I felt like it was a lot of the same. Still, they are funny books. Grandma Mazur and Lula are the best. My favorite Lula moment is when she goes on a diet -- either book 9 or 10.

  7. I have had this on my list for awhile now.

  8. It's one of a handful I'm caught up with. :-) I almost didn't read this one right away, but my husband encouraged me to since we bought it in hardback. :-) I admit, I prefer Morelli because I like stable and steady--but Ranger is quite a catch too. :-)

    Alisia - It came out this past week. I had a coupon that expired over the weekend so I decided to snatch it up.

    Laura - Some are better than others, but that can probably be said for any series. :-) The series is still fun to read even at 13.

    Karen - The Wire is amazing! And as you said, very smart. Why did I wait so long to watch it? I knew about George Pelecanos' writing for the show but not Dennis Lehane and Richard Price.

    There was one episode in the first season where one of the detectives is reading a Laura Lippman novel and I pointed it out to my husband because I've read a book by the author (and I have most of her other books waiting to be read--I'm so bad), but I didn't know she was married to David Simon. Thank you for sharing. :-)

    We rented the first season through netflix, but this is definitely a show we want to own.

    I'm so excited about it, can you tell? I could go on and on . . . I loved everything about the show.

    Kookie - I did read Lean Mean Thirteen fairly quickly. Those books are pretty easy reads and don't take much time to get through.

    Iliana - There's plenty of car action, but not quite the kind we're used to. :-) Is that too much of a spoiler? Oops. I agree with you, they are pretty predictable at this point and very similar. It's the humor that keeps me coming back. And Grandma Mazur and Lulu. Oh! I loved Lulu's diet book! That was so funny. :-)

    Kelly - I hope you are able to read it soon!

  9. I just read this one today. I purposely didn't read your review until after I finished. I wasn't as impressed with this one as I had been in the past. I thought something was missing. I did a review on my blog.

  10. Lynne - Isn't interesting how we can have such opposite opinions of the book? I think we both agree though that it wasn't her best. :-)

  11. Thanks for writing about this series as I've been thinking about whether or not to read them. Now, I'm looking forward to starting the series soon. Love the little paw print next to your comment link.

  12. Thanks, Susan! I do hope you will enjoy the series if you decide to read it. The books are fun--nothing too serious--which makes them perfect for those moments when you just need a good laugh or something light to read.

  13. I stalled out on #9, but someday I'll probably get the urge for a Stephanie Plum reading and catch up. Stevi Mittman's books are very similar and equally fun. I highly recommend them, if you're ever looking for something similar.

  14. Tevi Mittman's on my list to try out thanks to a review you wrote, if I remember correctly, Nancy. :-) I can understand stalling out on Ms. Plum. I read several of Janet Evanovich's books back to back when I first discovered the series and although I enjoyed them very much and really got into the series that way, I'm kind of glad now that I only have to read her adventures once a year. The books are fun, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to keep my reading varied.


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