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    Review of LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN by Janet Evanovich (see her website)


    St. Martin's Press, June 2007

    Incompetent bounty hunter Stephanie Plum never seems to get easy bail-jumpers to track down and this latest batch is no exception. There's the guy with the snake, the taxidermist who stuffs roadkill, and the graverobber. Plus ever-dangerous Ranger has asked for a favor. With no money and no food in the refrigerator, Stephanie gets to work--starting with that favor for Ranger. Getting a chance to plant a bug on ex-husband Dickey Orr is likely to be a lot more fun than chasing someone across a moonlit graveyard.

    When Dickey turns up missing shortly after the confrontation, and blood is found on his doorstep, Stephanie becomes a suspect--and her arch-nemesis Joyce starts tracking her. Joyce wants the money Dickey supposedly had and thinks Stephanie must have it. Unfortunately, Joyce isn't the only person who thinks Stephanie knows more than she's letting on--and some of those people are dangerous.

    Author Janet Evanovich (see more reviews of novels by Evenovich) goes back to what works in this series--the romantic triangle between Morelli, Stephanie and Ranger, lots of zany action by Grandma Mazur and ex-Ho Lula, and over-the-top action by Stephanie that nevertheless manages to keep her sympathetic and interesting.

    In some of the recent Stephanie Plum books, it's seemed to me that Evanovich has tried too hard to make the humor work. In LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN, the writing, plot, characters and situation jelled into an enjoyable and highly readable novel. Sure Stephanie seems a little stuck between Morelli and Ranger--but who wouldn't be. I do wonder about how she's going to get her hamster back, though.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 8/05/07

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