Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

Paperback | November 27, 2012 | Large Print

byJanet Evanovich

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#1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are: “irresistible” (Houston Chronicle), “stunning” (Booklist), “outrageous” (Publishers Weekly), “brilliantly evocative” (The Denver Post), and “making trouble and winning hearts” (USA Today).
 
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 him down. 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.

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From the Publisher

#1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are: “irresistible” (Houston Chronicle), “stunning” (Booklist), “outrageous” (Publishers Weekly), “brilliantly evocative” (The Denver Post), and “making trouble and winning hearts” (USA Today).   New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’...

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.From the Hardcover...

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Format:Paperback | Large PrintDimensions:368 pages, 9.16 × 6.08 × 1.05 inPublished:November 27, 2012Publisher:Diversified PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0739378236

ISBN - 13:9780739378236

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love her :) Fast read...love that she makes my life seem simple :)
Date published: 2014-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Notorious Nineteen. I think Janet Evanovich is a real good writer, each and every one of her books I have read I have enjoyed and I have read most of them and hope to enjoy more.
Date published: 2014-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader Good and funny as usual. Entertaining to the end.
Date published: 2014-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader Love all the Plum books. They never fail to make me laugh.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader Love all of Stephanie Plum books. Great summer reads. Anytime Ranger and Joe Morelli is involved is always mouth watering. I love the disfunctional family and humor. Grandma Mazur is a great character that I can't get enough of. Can't wait to read Takedown Twenty.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader As always. So much fun! I have recommended Evanovitch. To all my reader friends,
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader Classic Evanovich. Hillarious!
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader I have really enjoyed most of the Stephanie Plum novels. Humour is a very valid genre and Plum does it well. Occasionally she digresses into the truly silly, but usually she nails it. I felt that this book was a bit less laugh-out-loud funny than most in the series. It seemd that there was a bit more sober tone throughout the book. However it was still a treat to read something light and amusing for a change. You can always rely on Evanovich for a light hearted tale to tickle your funny bone, and leave you smiling.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader A real slow starter but picked up toward 43% of the book. I can say it was the same ole, same ole. I liked 18 as it looked like the story might finally be moving along but nope...at the beginning of 19 we are back in the same plot rut. I thought okay finally Stephanie is going to be working with Morelli. This could bring back the dynamics of book one. It didn't happen, in fact this book made Joe look even more of a moron than before. It's pretty bad that Ranger has to save them both! Ranger does so much for her and she treats him like dirt, especially in the first part of the book. He has to pay her for having his back when he is in the trouble! What the...?!? How many times has he saved her life now? You can now add him saving Morelli's too. What does he get out of this? He has to really love her because only love can be this blind! There was nothing new in this book. It's all been done before in all the previous books of the series. The only thing is now I have a even more dislike for Morelli who goes off on Stephanie after some psycho tries to kill her and she bursts into tears. He then compares her to his dog! OMG! What a keeper there! Ranger would never do that to her. It's obvious she has chosen Morelli for reasons I'll never understand. He's an idiot and verbally abusive. She still needs Ranger to save her from trouble every time she's in a fix and like a lovesick puppy he does. I had the mystery figure out right away. There was nothing to keep the suspense other than the psycho trying to kill Ranger and his buddy. I'm not sure what to think of the ending. I think 20 should be the series finale or a major plot change because this series is growing stale and old. Not to mention both male romance interests are really looking pathetic now after this book. For someone like me on Team Babe it's really sad to see it come to this. Ranger deserves someone better! Three Stars because I did laugh through some of scenes with Tiki. It had a Ranger subplot and Joe looked more incompetent than ever.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader Another fantastic "Stephanie Plum" novel from Janet Evanovich. Light and humorous, its the perfect read for a rainy weekend or a day on the beach.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Notorious Nineteen What's to say, really! ?! Hysterically funny, incredibly steamy and still a whole lot of can't put - down thriller action with that Jersey attitude we've come to love! Janet, may I say, YOU are Notoriously BRILLIANT!!! and thank you 20 times over.
Date published: 2014-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Notorious Nineteen Excellent book very well written
Date published: 2013-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Notorious Nineteen Another hit. After over 19 books, the characters are still funny, original and fresh. Yet, it is Stephanie and Lula at their best. I lliked that Ranger has a history in the book
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book' tons of laughs Loved this book as usual!!!!
Date published: 2013-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Birthday Gift Okay, I'm an opportunist and I admit it. I purchased this book as a birthday gift for a friend with the hope to read it after. Right now I'm making my way through the entire Stephanie Plum series after it was recommended by a Chapters employee. I LOVE this series and eagerly look forward to reading this and #20. Keep writing Janet Evanovich because I can't get enough of your cleverly written dialogues and scenarios.....they make me laugh out loud.
Date published: 2013-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Number 19 Best one yet cannot wait for the next one
Date published: 2013-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nifty nice novel... Looking forward to her next - Terrifying Twenty? - Thunderous Twenty? -Tumultuous Twenty?
Date published: 2013-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Notorious Nineteen Took me a bit to get into this book, but it didn't disappoint. Love the dynamic this run, the Ranger angel is always a fave. Keep up the good work.
Date published: 2013-05-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reminded me why I love this series! 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.
Date published: 2013-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Notorious Noneteen Love all of her number series!
Date published: 2013-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finished! Not the best Stephanie Plum...
Date published: 2012-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Had to ponder a day before reviewing Reviewed at Another Look Book Reviews I finished Notorious Nineteen earlier today and I had to digest my feelings. My first gut feeling was to review and grant a 3 heart rating but now I have reconsidered after pondering further. I am granting a 4 heart rating. When I rate a Stephanie Plum novel I am rating and comparing against each other. I have always been a member of the Ranger/Stephanie camp. One thing I noticed about Notorious Nineteen is that Morelli was more vocal about loving Stephanie and he even mentions marriage a time or two. One would think that maybe Janet Evanovich is trying to reach a "Timeless Twenty" book (or similarly named) and then have Steph finally get married off to Morelli. You know what? That would not be a bad thing. How about retiring Stephanie and Morelli and then write a spin off series about Ranger? I much prefer the story lines where Ranger plays an active lead and I guess that is why Twelve Sharp remains one of my favourites. I agree with a lot of fans that as much as we adore this series, I think it is getting close to retirement. Some of the major things I liked about Notorious Nineteen was that there was an actual mystery to solve. It was less whimsical and the magical silliness was thankfully absent. Janet Evanovich's earlier books were great fun without having to add weird mystical elements. I just prefer the stories humourous sans wacko stuff. Admittedly the 3 ft Tiki wood carving was borderline mystical but not "way out there". Morelli didn't seem like the domineering chauvinistic man that I often peg him for. I actually liked him a whole lot more in Notorious Nineteen than I ever have before. I didn't out and out laugh in the story but it did give me plenty of smiles. I always feel really good after reading a Stephanie Plum book. The earlier stories are my favourite re-reads. Some things that I didn't care for was the over-done and over the top food cravings for Lula. We get it. She likes to eat greasy, salty and fatty foods. I wasn't a fan of this constant love triangle of Morelli/Stephanie/Ranger. I've always thought the play against each other to be brilliant but it has been really over done now. Enough already. It has become a bit of a turn off. So here is the kicker for me. I will continue to buy these books for as long as Janet Evanovich writes them. I know this. I have not bought into the Diesel series because I don't care for the magical storylines. I just love and miss the really fun, quirky but more serious mysteries that used to dominate this series. Teasers: Pepto-Bismol pink bridesmaid dress, new Ranger watch, Tiki strapped in by seat belt, graveside shooting
Date published: 2012-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Brain candy 3.5/5 I used a rare three days off last weekend to get all of my Christmas decorations up. And at the end of the day, I thought I just needed something fun to read by the twinkle of my newly hung lights. My choice? The latest in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich - Notorious Nineteen. (For those of you unfamiliar with these books - it is indeed the 19th book!) Stephanie is still working as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinnie in New Jersey. Her trusty sidekicks Lula (a one time self described 'ho ), office manager Connie and her Grandma Mazur are still by her side. But not too close - Stephanie seems to be a magnet for trouble - notably for destroying cars. The rent is due, so Stephanie is happy to get a skip that could pay her big bucks. A local retirement home owner has embezzled millions from the facility. He went into the hospital for emergency surgery, then vanished - along with the money. Detective Joe Morelli is also looking into the case. Security expert Ranger has hired her to watch his back at a wedding for one of his staff. (A horrible pink dress is involved.) And Steph seems to growing quite attached to a Tiki statue that may or may not be giving her advice. All in all, a typical day in the 'Burg. And yes, the sexual tension is still there - between Steph and Ranger......and Steph and Morelli. Although, Evanovich does let Stephanie have some thoughts about her future in this book. Marriage? It might be time for Steph to make a decision. And Evanovich too - the last few books are virtually copies of themselves with the names of the skips changed. But, the Plum books are fun to read. They're light-hearted and won't tax your brain. The whodunit isn't overly difficult to figure out, but it's the journey there that's enjoyable. And we all could use a good chuckle. Reading these books is like a bowl of your favourite candy - you keep dipping your hand in, knowing what to expect, but you still enjoy every mouthful. (Yes, there was some Christmas candy involved in my reading...) And of course there is the burning question.....who would you pick? Morelli or Ranger? I'm kinda leaning towards Ranger.....
Date published: 2012-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Stephanie's back! I really liked this story. It's a quick read and not as meaty as the first ten in the series but it's a strong story that's funny and sexy without over the top slapstick that would make me do a 'Stephanie eye roll'. This one is definately a fresh installment in the series though it skims. I generally rate books on the idea will I read them again. The first 12 in the series I'd read over and over and still have fun each and every time but the ones after that have been lacking and are more for reading once because I follow the series and I wouldn't buy them if I hadn't collected the first 12 in the series because I feel the rest are more of a one read and done kind of thing. The reading is easy. The descriptions colorful. I didn't get lost in the story but I didn't get bored either. All in all, a fun read. I've given up on hoping that there will be some growth on the relationship front and I guess the multi-boyfriend limbo and car explosions has become par for the course when it comes to the stories. And, if you love this series I highly recommend reading Liliana Hart's Whiskey series which has the flavor of an early Plum with a style that's definately eye catching and entertaining.
Date published: 2012-11-22

Extra Content

Read from the Book

ONE“I don’t know why we gotta sit here baking in your car in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer, in the middle of this crummy neighborhood,” Lula said. “It must be two hundred degrees in here. Why don’t we have the air conditioning on?”“It’s broken,” I told her.“Well, why don’t you have your window open?”“It’s stuck closed.”“Then why didn’t we take my car? My car’s got everything.”“Your car is red and flashy. People notice it and remember it. This is the stealth car,” I said.Lula shifted in her seat. “Stealth car, my big toe. This thing is a hunk of junk.”This was true, but it was my hunk of junk, and due to a professional dry spell it was all I could afford. Lula and I work for my cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office in Trenton, New Jersey. I’m a fugitive apprehension agent, and Lula is my sometimes partner.We were currently parked on Stark Street, doing surveillance on a rooming house, hoping to catch Melvin Barrel coming or going. He’d been accused of possession with intent to sell, Vinnie bonded him out of jail, and Barrel hadn’t shown for his court date. Lula makes a wage as the office file clerk, but I only make money if I catch skips, so I was motivated to tough it out in my hellishly hot car, hoping for a shot at snagging Barrel.“I worked this street when I was a ’ho,” Lula said, “but I was in a better section. This here block is for losers. No high-class ’ho would work this block. Darlene Gootch worked this block but it turned out she was killing people as a hobby.”Lula was fanning herself with a crumpled fast food bag she’d found on the floor in the back of my car, and the smell of stale French fries and ketchup wafted out at me.“You keep waving that bag around and we’re going to smell like we work the fry station at Cluck-in-a-Bucket,” I said to her.“I hear you,” Lula said. “It’s making me hungry, and much as I like the aroma of food grease, I don’t want it stuck in my hair, on account of I just had my hair done. I picked out the piña colada conditioner so I’d smell like a tropical island.”Lula’s hair was fire-engine red today and straightened to the texture of boar bristle. Her brown skin was slick with sweat. Her extra-voluptuous plus-size body was squeezed into a size 2 petite poison-green spandex skirt, and the acres of flesh that constituted her chest overflowed a brilliant yellow spaghetti-strap tank top. At 5'5" she’s a couple inches shorter than me. We’re about the same age, which puts us in the proximity of thirtysomething. And we’re both single.My name is Stephanie Plum and I haven’t got Lula’s body volume or the attitude that goes with it. My attitude goes more toward survival mode. I have shoulder-length curly brown hair, blue eyes almost always enhanced by a swipe of black mascara, decent teeth, a cute nose in the middle of my face, and I can almost always button the top button on my jeans.“Look at this fool coming at us, walking down the middle of the street,” Lula said. “What the heck is he doing?”The fool was a skinny guy dressed in homie clothes. Baggy pants, wifebeater T‑shirt, $700 basketball shoes. He was jogging more than walking, and every couple steps he’d look over his shoulder and scan the street. He spotted Lula and me, made a course correction, and ran straight for us. He reached my car, grabbed the driver’s side door handle and yanked, but nothing happened.“What’s with that?” Lula asked.“My door’s stuck,” I said. “It happens when it gets hot.”The skinny guy had his face pressed to my window, and he was yelling at us.“What’s he saying?” Lula asked. “I can’t make it out, and I’m gonna go blind from the sun reflecting on his gold tooth with the diamond chip in it.”“I think he’s saying if I don’t open the door, he’ll kill me.”“That don’t sound appealing,” Lula said. “Maybe this is a good time to go get lunch.”I turned the key in the ignition, and the engine cranked over and died. I turned it again and there was silence. I looked back at the skinny guy and realized he had a gun pointed at me. Not just any old gun either. This gun was big.“Open your door,” he yelled. “Open your damn door.”Lula had her purse on her lap and was fumbling around in it. “I got a gun in here somewhere,” she said. “Keep him busy while I find my gun.”I fidgeted with the door handle on my side so it would look like I was trying to open it. “Here’s the plan,” I said to Lula. “When you find your gun you let me know so I can duck down and you can shoot him.”“That would be a good plan,” Lula said, “but I might not have my gun with me. I might have left it home when I changed from my red purse to my yellow purse. You know how I am about the right accessories.”The guy was really agitated now. He had the gun against my window and his forehead was glued to the gun, like he was sighting for the kill.“Maybe you should open the door and see what he wants,” Lula said. “Maybe he just feels like going for a ride. In which case he could have this piece of dog doodie car, and I’d be happy to take a bus home.”“Hold on,” I yelled at the guy. “I’m going to open the door.”“What?” he yelled back.“Hold on!”I hauled back and rammed the door full force with my shoulder. The door flew open, catching the guy by surprise, the gun discharged, and he went down to the ground and didn’t move.We got out of the car and stared down at the guy. He was statue-still and bleeding from his forehead.“You killed him,” Lula said. “You hit him with the door, and he shot hisself.”“It was an accident.”“Don’t matter. You killed him all the same.” Lula toed him, but he still didn’t move. “Yep,” she said. “He’s dead.”I looked at my car and realized a bullet was embedded in the roof, just over the window. I bent down and took a closer look at the skinny guy.“He’s not shot,” I said. “He got hit in the head when the gun kicked back. He’s just knocked out.”“Hunh,” Lula said. “That would have been my second theory.”We dragged him to the gutter so he wouldn’t get run over and we got back into my car. I tried the key, but there was no response.“I bet your battery’s no good,” Lula said. “That’s my professional opinion. You’re gonna have to call someone to juice up your battery. And in the meantime I’m going across the street to that sad-ass grocery store to get a soda. I’m all dehydrated.”I crossed the street with Lula, we got sodas, and we stood in front of the store chugging them down. A black Cadillac Escalade rolled down the street and stopped by my car. Two idiots wearing gang colors got out, scooped the skinny guy up, and threw him into the Escalade. A yellow Hummer careened around the corner, jerked to a stop half a block in front of the Escalade, and two guys in the Hummer leaned out the window and opened fire. The Escalade returned fire. A guy wearing a crooked ball cap popped his head out of the sunroof on the Hummer, aimed a rocket launcher at the Escalade, and phoonf! the rocket went wide of the Escalade and blew up my car. There was a moment of silence, then both cars roared away.Lula and I stared wide-eyed and openmouthed at the fireball consuming my car.“Jeez Louise,” I said.“Yeah, but you gotta look on the positive side,” Lula said. “You don’t have to worry about charging up the battery.”Lula’s comment might have seemed casual considering the gravity of the situation, but truth is this wasn’t the first time someone had exploded my car.My cellphone rang, and I knew from the ringtone it was Ranger.“You’re off the grid,” Ranger said when I answered.“Someone blew up my car.”There was a moment of silence. “And?”“I guess I could use a ride.”“Babe,” Ranger said. And he disconnected.“He coming for us?” Lula asked.“Yep.”Ranger is Latino and former Special Forces turned semi-legitimate businessman. He’s part owner of a security firm located in an inconspicuous seven-story building in the center of the city. I work for him on occasion, I’ve had one or two romantic skirmishes with him, and he has the sometimes annoying, sometimes convenient habit of installing tracking devices on my vehicles. His hair is dark brown and currently cut short. His eyes are mostly black. His body is perfect from the tip of his toes to the top of his head. He plays by his own rules, and his attitude is uncompromising. He only wears black, and he only drives black cars. He’s smart. He’s strong in every possible way. And being in his crosshairs is flat out scary.No one came out of the little grocery store to look at the fire. No police cars or fire trucks screeched to the scene. It was as if this was business as usual and best ignored.I looked down the street at the rooming house, wondering if Melvin Barrel was in there melting down in a pool of sweat. No air conditioners sticking out of any of the windows in the rooming house. For sure no central air.“I bet that skinny guy you almost killed was running away from someone, and that’s why he wanted your car,” Lula said.I leaned against the building. “It was a bad choice of cars.”“Yeah, but he didn’t know that. All’s he saw was two women sitting in a car like a couple dummies. He probably figured if we was stupid enough to be sitting in the car, we was stupid enough to give it over to him.”“He was wrong.”“Not by much,” Lula said.Fifteen minutes later Ranger eased his black Porsche Cayenne to a stop in front of Lula and me. I got into the front passenger seat, and Lula got into the back.Ranger glanced at the charred cadaver of twisted metal and smoldering tires that used to be my car. “Yours?” he asked me.“Yep,” I said.“Do I need to know how this happened?”“Nope.”Ranger idled in front of the bonds office and Lula got out. I moved to follow Lula, and Ranger wrapped his hand around my wrist. “Stay. I want to talk to you.”I’m not currently in a physical relationship with Ranger. Ranger has clear priorities and matrimony isn’t high on the list. In fact, it isn’t on the list at all. Until recently marriage hasn’t been high on my priorities list either, but my mother feels otherwise, and as much as I hate to admit it my mother is wearing me down.“I need a date,” Ranger said.My voice ratcheted up an octave. “You want me to get you a date?”“No. I want you to be my date. I have to attend a black tie event, and I need someone watching my back.”“Me?” I wasn’t exactly The Terminator.“People would talk if I brought Tank.”Tank is appropriately named. He’s Ranger’s shadow and second in command at Rangeman. And Ranger was right. Tank would make a controversial date.“When is this?” I asked Ranger.“Tomorrow night.”“Tomorrow? I can’t just drop everything and do this tomorrow. You should have asked me sooner. I’m seeing Morelli. It’s Friday date night. We’re going to the movies and then . . . ”“I can give you a better and then,” Ranger said.I went breathless for a beat at the thought of Ranger’s and then. Morelli was an amazing lover, but Ranger was magic. I pulled myself together and narrowed my eyes at Ranger, hoping I looked determined.“You and I are done doing and then with each other,” I said. “There is absolutely no more and then. Morelli and I have an understanding.”“Which is?”“It’s vague.”“Babe.”“I’m serious this time. I might be ready to have a committed adult relationship.”Joe Morelli is a Trenton cop working plainclothes, crimes against persons. I’ve known him forever and our relationship has progressed from downright hostile, to deliciously hot, to maybe we could actually live with each other without complete mayhem. He’s six feet of hard muscle and Italian libido. His hair is black and wavy. His eyes are brown and assessing. His style is casual. He wears jeans, untucked shirts, and a Glock 19, and he has a big shaggy dog named Bob.“I’ll pay you,” Ranger said.“Excuse me?”“I’ll hire you for the night. You can be my bodyguard.”At the risk of sounding mercenary, this got my attention. I was a month behind on my rent, and I wasn’t having great luck with the fugitive apprehension stuff. Vinnie had mostly low bond skips this month, and I was barely making pizza money, much less rent money. And I was pretty sure I could muster enough self-control to keep from ripping Ranger’s clothes off.“What exactly would bodyguarding entail?” I asked him.“The usual. You take a bullet for me if necessary, and you manage the small talk.”“You can’t manage your own small talk?”“Making polite conversation isn’t at the top of my skill set.”“I’ve noticed.” Okay, so this doesn’t sound so bad, plus I’d get dinner, right? “What time will you pick me up?”“Six o’clock. This event is in Atlantic City. Dinner is at eight.”TWOI left Ranger and joined Lula in the bonds office. The building was brand-new and light-years better than the old office. It had been built on the same footprint as the old office but the walls were freshly painted, the tile on the floor was unscuffed, the furniture was inexpensive but comfortable and free from food and coffee stains.Lula had claimed her usual spot on the faux leather couch, and Connie, the office manager, was at her desk. Connie is a couple years older than me, a much better shot, and better connected. Connie’s family is old school Italian mob and far more professional than Trenton’s gangsta morons when it comes to crime-related skills such as whacking, hijacking, and money laundering. Connie looks a lot like Betty Boop with big hair and a mustache. Today she was wearing a short black pencil skirt, a wide black patent-leather belt, and a tight red sweater with a low scoop neck that showed a lot of her Betty Boopness.

Editorial Reviews

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are:
 
“Making trouble and winning hearts.”—USA Today
 
“Brilliantly evocative.”—The Denver Post
 
“Irresistible.”—Houston Chronicle