Friday, June 05, 2009

Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich

Author: Janet Evanovich
Published: 2007, St. Martin's Press
Category: Fiction
Rating: 5.5/10

I've had this book sitting in the TBR pile since it came out two years ago. I read the first 8 or so books in this series with absolute enjoyment -- really great reading. The later books just haven't been living up to the earlier ones. I'm not really sure why, though I'm guessing that it's because they're really all the same at this point. The characters aren't developing, the plots and the jokes all feel like slight variations on an earlier theme. And the love triangle, which was cute at first, is now just annoying.

But I picked this one up finally when I saw adds for Finger Lickin' Fifteen, which is due out at the end of the month. Lean Mean Thirteen was a fun read, though still pretty disappointing.

Stephanie is again broke and struggling in her job as a bounty hunter. She's chasing her usual list of crazy FTAs (failure to appear in court), this time including a grave robber and a taxidermist with anger management issues. She has another fight with her slimy ex-husband, Dickie Orr, and when Dickie goes MIA everyone thinks that she's murdered him. We soon find out that Dickie's law firm was definitely into some shady dealings and 40 million dollars is missing along with Dickie. The partners in his firm (who are really mobster-types) are all looking for Stephanie to find out where their money is.

This book had me rolling my eyes almost constantly. I think the problem is that Evanovich feels the need to top the craziness of the previous book. So while originally it was funny that Stephanie's cars all get destroyed, now she goes through 2-3 of them per book. It just all becomes too ridiculous. And if Joe Morelli asked my advice on his love life, I'd tell him to move on because he deserves better.

I'm not sure if I'll read #14. Any advice here? I'm definitely not shelling out hardcover price for it. Maybe one day I'll get it from the library. Or maybe I'll go back to One for the Money and start re-reading the next time I'm in the mood.


Wendy said...

Well I'm read up on the series - and honestly the last several have blended together so badly that they're all interchangeable in my mind. Reading your review I was like "Oh yeah, that was what 13 was about..." LOL

IMHO - if you read 14, you can really wait for pb. Heck, buy it used or get it from the library. I found it to be more "ho-hum" than usual, and it lacked that one really good LOL moment that I come to expect from Evanovich. Heck, I'll be honest - I only still listen to this series on audio because of that one LOL moment I usually get. Didn't get that in #14.

nath said...

I've given up on this series around book 9. I do have 10 and 11 and 12 I think, but I bought them really cheap. Seriously, this series has just lost its appeal. It's way too repetitive and in the end, not funny anymore.

Poor Morelli :( I was rooting for him, but I think you're right Jennie. He deserves better, he deserves someone who really loves him and is ready to commit and settle.

Jennie said...

Wendy -- They definitely blend together in my mind -- the plots are much much too similar. Maybe one day I'll be at the library and be moved to check out #14. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll skip right to #15 -- I don't think I'll have missed any important plot developments. :)

Nath -- Yeah, the love triangle is getting old. I find Stephanie sort of pathetic at this point. Like she really needs to get her life together.

Li said...

Agree with Wendy - #14 is better than #13, but not fantastic. Definitely a library book as opposed to buy.

Having said that, I've just ordered #15 - I can't kick the habit!

Anonymous said...

I think she needs to think up a new series -- this one is done.