Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Notorious Nineteen (Audio)

Summary: 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. . . . -- Random House Audio

It used to be that I couldn't wait to read the next installment in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I depended on these fun mysteries to entertain me while I spent a few hours at the pool, and I looked forward to seeing what messes Stephanie got herself into (and out of!) However, I stopped around book sixteen or so (I'm not entirely sure) because they became kind of "'old" for me. I found that I wasn't laughing as much at Stephanie's antics, and all of the stories seemed the same.

When I heard that Ms. Evanovich was up to book #19, I could hardly believe it -- and I admit I was almost ready to try again. But what pushed me over the edge was the opportunity to review the audio version of NOTORIOUS NINETEEN. My neighbor told me that she always listens to these books and absolutely loves them, so I figured maybe this was the answer for me.

It might be because I haven't read one of these books for awhile or that the narrator was a hoot, but I really enjoyed NOTORIOUS NINETEEN. Keep in mind that I am training for a half marathon and listen to audio books while I run, so a cute action-packed story was just what I needed to get through some cold five mile runs during the holiday season. I can't really say that anything was especially different about this novel than the other ones I've read, but I enjoyed revisiting some of the zany characters and Stephanie's crime-solving abilities.

In NOTORIOUS NINETEEN, Stephanie finds herself searching for Geoffrey Cubbin, a man accused of embezzling millions from a retirement community. When he mysteriously disappears from a hospital and misses his court appearance, no one is even sure if he is alive, including his wife. In the meantime, Stephanie is working for Ranger once again. This time moonlighting as a bodyguard to help him find an adversary from his days in the Special Forces. Naturally, Stephanie gets some help along the way from her family and friends including Lulu, Grandma Mazur, and Joe Morelli, as she attempts to solve the crimes and keep herself out of trouble.

Honestly, I don't have a lot to say about NOTORIOUS NINETEEN besides it was a fun story that made me chuckle quite a bit. It was very similar to the other Stephanie Plum books, so I think fans of Janet Evanovich's books will enjoy it. There is some romance, some tension, some mystery, and lots of silly scenes; and overall, I thought it was pretty good. The mysteries were somewhat predictable, but honestly, I don't read these books because the mysteries are so intriguing. Rather, I turn to these books because I like to laugh at Stephanie, Lulu and Grandma Mazur.

One reason that I enjoyed NOTORIOUS NINETEEN as much as I did was because I listened to the audio version read by Lorelei King. She was extremely entertaining, especially when she did the various voices. Her Lulu and Grandma Mazur are hilarious -- of course, she gets some pretty good material from Ms. Evanovich! Take a quick listen to get an idea of how much fun she is:

I am very glad that I decided to try NOTORIOUS NINETEEN after a few years off from Ms. Evanovich's books. What I'm even more glad about is that I chose to listen to the audio book rather than just reading the hard copy!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Beth F said...

I'm not quite sure why I haven't warmed up to this series. I know I'm in the minority.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

One of these days I'm going to dig into this series and then I'll be so happy because there are so many of them! LOL

bermudaonion said...

I haven't read one of the Plum books in a while either. You're not the first person to tell me the audios are great!

Ann Summerville said...

I haven't read any of this series for a while. I think I got a bit burned out with them. Maybe an audio is the way to go. Sounds like we have a lot in common I like to crochet and knit and love mysteries.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I kind of took a vacation from them too, because it was just the same old stuff. Crazy Grandma antics, sexual chemistry with her and the two guys, Lula and the cheese puffs and spandex leopard pants...

But honestly it IS easy listening. Don't have to think too much. I may pick up the audio if my brain cells need a break.

Selena Blake said...

I wonder if they'll do another movie. How successful was the first one?

Anonymous said...

I love Stephanie Plum, and I really enjoyed this book too! I've read a few audio books in the past, but just one-off ones - I think it would be interesting to hear the voices that the reader gives to the characters compared to how I hear them in my head!