Book Review: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Series)

 Hey Ya'll!  I'm back with another review of one of my favorite authors and series. I understand it's going to take me until my death bed to read this whole series, but there are so many books I want to read in the world and so little time to read them all. For those that are new, I've been reading this series since I was about 16ish years old and it's taken me this long to get to 13 (technically 15 since there are 2 holiday books). But enough of my babbling, onto the review!


About the Author

Janet Evanovich has been and still is a #1 New York Times best seller for multiple books she has put out over the years. Her first installment of the Stephanie Plum series is called One for the Money, which was released in 1994 (the year before I was born), and is still going with Going Rogue, the 29th book in the series. If you haven't heard of the Stephanie Plum series, it is basically about a young, bounty hunter from New Jersey just wanting to pay her rent and not wanting to have a regular 9-5 job, a.k.a not the button factory! Seven up came out in 2001, but still has lots of charm and handfuls of laughs



About the Story

Stephanie Plum is used to dealing with crimes in the neighborhood, but she’s not used to being accused of committing  the crimes.  Her no-good ex-husband, Dickie, has gone missing the day after Stephanie was seen having an argument with him, threatening bodily harm.  Now Stephanie is suspect number one.

Stephanie is going to have find Dickie, and fast, to clear her name.  Hot cop Joe Morelli can’t tell her anything, and mentor Ranger is offering to help… for a price that doesn’t involve money.



 Reading an on-going series, it may seem that things can start to feel stagnant and the same story every time, but not Stephanie Plum. Our author does a fantastic job on keeping the readers engaged throughout the years and Lean Mean Thirteen is no different. In the 13th book of the series, we get something a little different than the Stephanie Plum stories that we are used to. We get to see Stephanie not really being chased by anyone (except for her arch nemesis and home-wrecker Joyce), but other than that, she's really not the one being pursued here. The focus is on finding her extremely obnoxious ex-husband, Dickie. Of course, at the end she is chased a little bit, but it's not the main topic of the story and I appreciate our author shaking things up a bit every story.

Another aspect of reading an on-going book series is that we can read the story getting more and more up-to-date with the times (but still behind). When we first meet Stephanie, she's in a car that has an attached phone to it. Fast forward and there are no mentions of car phones anymore, but now she's using Mapquest, something my mom used all the time when dropping me off at friends houses or just finding new places. While it definitely is not modern, it's cool to see that our story is getting with the times as time moves on in these books. 

 "I don't know what I'd do without my Costco membership. Sometimes, I even buy shit there. Coscto's got everything. You can buy a casket at Costco."

Something I didn't like about our book was Dickie. We hear from Dickie very few times throughout the series, and we know he's an ass but this time he's an even bigger one. Our author does a great job at making us ask ourselves what Stephanie could have possibly seen in this guy? This kind of diverges to another topic I want to touch on which is the fact that all our characters get their own time to shine in different books, which I appreciate. Did I want a Dickie focused storyline? Not really, but I get it. Got to work with what you have.

Lastly, I have to talk about Ranger and Morelli. They're a topic that comes up each time there's a Stephanie Plum book. I felt that this round really was for Team Morelli. As much as Ranger was in this story, it was Morelli who Stephanie wanted to stay with at the end of the book. He's her safe space and I thought that was kind of cute.

Overall, definitley keep reading Stephanie Plum if you're in the middle of it or debating on starting it. It's a fun ride that you won't regret starting. Until next time and next Stephanie Plum book, Happy Reading!

 "It isn't diamonds that's a girl's best friend. It's a .9mm Glock."


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