Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum Series #15)

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Overview

"Unbuckle your belt and pull up a chair. It's the spiciest, sauciest, most rib-sticking plum yet." "Recipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton to participate in a barbecue cook-off and loses his head - literally." "Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she'll talk to is Trenton cop Joe Morelli." "Pump up the heat: Chipotle's sponsor is offering a million-dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers." "Stir the pot: Lula

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Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum Series #15)

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Overview

"Unbuckle your belt and pull up a chair. It's the spiciest, sauciest, most rib-sticking plum yet." "Recipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton to participate in a barbecue cook-off and loses his head - literally." "Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she'll talk to is Trenton cop Joe Morelli." "Pump up the heat: Chipotle's sponsor is offering a million-dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers." "Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help her find the killers and collect the moolah." "Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur. Enough said." "Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, and five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, and solve Ranger's problems and not jump his bones?" Warning: Habanero hot. So good you'll want seconds.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Evanovich writes with flair in an absurdist vein that her imitators can only envy.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Veteran Evanovich narrator Lorelei King seems perfectly at home when in command of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and her colorful Garden State band of relatives and colleagues. The action here centers on the mysterious death of a prominent cable television barbecue master. As a witness to the crime, Plum's larger than life office assistant Lula lands in the center of the drama, and King delivers a deliciously over the top performance of her antics, especially the reformed prostitute's convoluted plot to solve the case by entering a barbecue cook-off. The abridgment seems a bit choppy, as the details surrounding the motives and methods of the cast of villains seem lost in the shuffle. Yet King's talent and Evanovich's beloved characters still make for an entertaining summer escape. A St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, May 25). (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Stephanie Plum chases killers, burglars and romance-well, not romance this time-through the flames that threaten every square inch of Trenton. It's not as if there weren't enough work for the bounty hunters of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, dedicated professionals charged with bringing in Failures to Appear like serial flasher Junior Turley, who's known to every housewife in his neighborhood, and retired pharmacist Myron Kaplan, who robbed his dentist at gunpoint when his new choppers began to ache. They really don't need the two unrelated cases that pop up like mushrooms. Stephanie's pal Lula arrives at work one evening to report that she just saw a man getting beheaded outside the Sunshine Hotel, and smoldering Ranger, the bounty hunter who's long lusted after Stephanie, reveals that clients using his security systems are getting robbed left and right. Stephanie would turn to her main squeeze, Det. Joe Morelli, if an argument about peanut butter hadn't sent them skittering to opposite corners. Looks like she and Lula will be on their own as they go after the $1 million reward offered by Fire in the Hole Red Hot Barbecue Sauce for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the parties Lula watched decapitate celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle. To get in the mood, Lula naturally takes up barbecuing, and soon, as Stephanie says, "I'd been involved in so many fires in the past week I'd lost count"-and that's with two more still to come. Don't get too invested in figuring out the crime wave that motivates a parade of transvestite jokes, diarrhea jokes and fart jokes, because Evanovich (Fearless Fourteen, 2008, etc.) certainly doesn't.
From the Publisher

"Evanovich writes with flair in an absurdist vein that her imitators can only envy."
--The New York Times
 
"Evanovich dishes up her usual mixture of shoot-'em-up action (numerous cars explode) and quirky characters (notably a neighborhood flasher with a devoted following)."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"The 15th chapter of Evanovich's long-running Stephanie Plum series still keeps the wacky factor hilariously high. Only Evanovich can make the shenanigans of this nutty crew seem almost reasonable.... There are giggles galore!"
--RT Book Reviews
 
"Read “Finger Lickin' Fifteen” for the laughs."
--Omaha World-Herald

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312383299
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Series: Stephanie Plum Series , #15
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 71,096
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet  Evanovich

JANET EVANOVICH is the #1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. She lives in New Hampshire and Florida.

Biography

When plucky Stephanie Plum lost her job as a lingerie buyer, she had little other choice than to take a position working for her cousin Vinnie's bail-bonds office where she'd spend her days and nights hunting down fugitives, solving mysteries, and falling ass-backwards into adventure. Come to think of it, Ms. Plum has more than a little in common with her creator Janet Evanovich.

Much like the panty-pushing Plum, Evanovich once made her trade in erotica as a romance novelist for the trashy Bantam series "Loveswept." Tiring of the genre and finding herself increasingly fixated on crime, mystery, and the kind of adventures she came to love through comic books like Uncle Scrooge, she decided to ditch steamy stories in favor of off-the-wall humor and feats of daring. As Evanovich said on her website, "after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre."

The resulting Stephanie Plum Mysteries reflect Evanovich's love for comics, toys, shoe-shopping, Cheez Doodles, and beer. Evanovich also created a memorable character that shares many of the author's distinctive traits, such as her self-effacing, dirty-minded wit. The Plum Mysteries, while often rambling and thin on plot, are never anything less than entertaining, hilarious, and refreshing in every way.

Stephanie Plum made her debut in 1994's One For the Money, in which she tracked down Joe Morelli, an ex-cop and murder suspect who'd also been guilty of taking Stephanie's virginity when she was 18. The novel's sly mix of sexiness and childlike playfulness made for a sort of young adult novel for adults.

Since then, the red-hot bounty hunter and a crew of misfits that includes retired hooker Lula, aging bail-jumper Eddie Decooch, and Plum's own hipster granny have romped their way "through the numbers," establishing Evanovich as one of the best and most inventive writers of "Strong Woman" mysteries and guaranteeing her a place on the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2004, Evanovich introduced a smart, savvy new series featuring Alexander "Barney" Barnaby, a sexy Baltimore car mechanic, NASCAR nut, and amateur sleuth with her own posse of delightful eccentrics. She's not Plum, but she's definitely a peach. Hey, what else would you expect from a Janet Evanovich heroine?

Good To Know

Evanovich's motorcycle-riding daughter Alex has created an online comic about her hamster called "Batster," which her mother proudly displays on her web site. With episodes like "Batster vs. Beerzilla," it's clear that wackiness runs in the Evanovich genes.

If you think the Stephanie Plum novels are zany, wait till you hear about what Evanovich was writing before she started getting published. As she explains on her web site, "The first story [I ever wrote] was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Steffie Hall
    2. Hometown:
      Hanover, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 22, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      South River, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Douglass College, 1965
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

One

WHEN I WAS a kid, I was afraid of spiders and vegetables. As an adult, I’ve eliminated vegetables from my fright-o-meter, but I’ve added a whole bunch of other stuff. Homicidal maniacs, serial rapists, cellulite, Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella, rabid bats, and any form of organized exercise.

My name is Stephanie Plum, and I work as a bond enforcement officer for Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. It’s not a great job, but it allows me to avoid organized exercise, and I hardly ever encounter rabid bats. The remaining fright-o-meter items lurk in the dark shadows of my daily life. Fortunately, there are also good things in those shadows. Joe Morelli without his Grandma Bella, fellow bounty hunter Ranger without his clothes, my crazy family, my hamster, Rex . . . and Lula. Lula actually fits somewhere between the rabid bats and the good stuff. She’s a former ’ho, now working as the office file clerk and apprentice bounty hunter. Lula’s got a plus-size personality and body, and a petite-size wardrobe. She’s got brown skin, blond hair, and last week she had tiny rhinestones pasted onto her eyelids.

It was Monday morning. Connie, the office manager, and I were in the bonds office enjoying our morning coffee, and Lula slid her red Firebird to a stop at the curb. We watched Lula through the big plate-glass window in the front of the small office, and we did a joint grimace. Lula was in a state. She lurched out of the Firebird, beeped it locked, and burst into the office, her eyes wild, rolling around in their sockets, her hands waving in the air.

"I saw it all," she said. "It was terrible. It was horrible. I couldn’t believe it was happening. And right in front of me." She looked around. "What do we got? Do we got doughnuts? ’Cause I need a doughnut. I need a whole bag. And maybe I need one of them breakfast sandwiches with the egg and cheese and bacon and grease. I got a big grease craving."

I knew it would be a huge mistake to ask Lula what she’d seen, but I couldn’t stop myself.

"What was terrible and horrible?" I asked.

Connie leaned forward, elbows on her desk, already knowing the telling of the story would be a car crash. Connie is a couple years older than me, and while my heritage is half Hungarian and half Italian, Connie is Italian through and through. Her hair is jet black, her lipstick is fire-engine red, her body is va-va-voom.

Lula paced in front of Connie’s desk. "First off, I hardly had time for anything this morning. I had a big date last night, and by the time I booted his butt out of my bed, I already missed a lot of my beauty sleep. Anyways, I got up late, and then I couldn’t decide what to wear. One day it’s hot out and next thing it’s cold. And then I had to decide if I needed to wear shoes that kicked ass or were good for ass kicking, on account of there’s a difference, you know."

"Jeez Louise," Connie said. "Could you get to it?"

"The point bein’ I was late," Lula said. "I was tryin’ to put makeup on and drive, and I missed a turn, and before I knew it I was someplace I didn’t want to be. So I pulled over to look around and figure things out, and when I did that my makeup case rolled off the seat next to me, and everything went all over the floor. So I was bent over to get my makeup, and I guess it looked like there was no one in the car, because when I came back up there were two big hairy morons standing right in front of my Firebird, and they were removing a head from some guy’s body."

"Excuse me?"

"This one moron had a giant meat cleaver. And the other moron had a hold of this man in a suit. And whack! No head. The head popped off its neck and bounced down the street."

"And then what happened?" Connie said.

"Then they saw me," Lula said. "They looked real surprised. And I know I looked real surprised. And then I laid down about two feet of rubber and took off."

"Do you know who they were?"

"No."

"Did you know the guy in the suit?"

"No, but it was a real nice suit. And he had a nice striped tie, too."

"Did you go to the police?" Connie asked.

"No. I came straight here. It’s not like the police were gonna put Humpty Dumpty back together again," Lula said. "Didn’t seem like there was a big rush, and I needed a doughnut. Holy cow. Holy shit. I really need a doughnut."

"You need to call the police," Connie told Lula.

"I hate the police. They give me the willies. Except for Stephanie’s Morelli. He’s a hottie."

Joe Morelli is a Trenton plainclothes cop, and Lula is right about Morelli being a hottie, but Lula is wrong about Morelli belonging to me. Morelli and I have had an off-and-on relationship for as long as I can remember, and we are currently off. Two weeks ago, we had a disagreement over peanut butter that turned into a disagreement over everything under the sun, and we haven’t seen each other since.

Connie dialed into the police band, and we listened for a couple minutes to see if we could pick up anything to do with decapitation.

"Where did this happen?" Connie asked.

"The three hundred block of Ramsey Street. It was right in front of the Sunshine Hotel."

The Sunshine Hotel is a roach farm that rents rooms by the hour. No one coming or going from the Sunshine Hotel would ever report anything to anyone.

"I seen lots of stuff," Lula said, "but this was disgustin’. Blood shot out like one of them oil gushers. And when the head hit the ground, I swear the eyes were lookin’ at me. I guess I need to tell the police, but I only want Morelli." Lula fixed on me. "You gotta call Morelli."

"No way. I’m not talking to him. You can call him."

"I don’t know him like you know him."

"I don’t know him that way anymore. I’m done with him. He’s a jerk."

"All men are jerks," Lula said. "That don’t mean they aren’t good for some things. And Morelli’s a hot jerk. He could be a movie star or a underwear model if he wasn’t a cop. He got all that wavy black hair and dreamy brown bedroom eyes. He’s kind of puny compared to some men I know, but he’s hot all the same."

Morelli was actually six foot tall and solid muscle, but Lula used to be engaged to a guy who was a cross between an Army tank and Sasquatch, so I suppose by comparison Morelli might measure up short.

"I’ll call Morelli," Connie said. "He’s a cop, for crying out loud. You don’t need a complicated relationship to call a cop."

I was halfway to the door. "I’m leaving. Things to do. And I don’t want to see Morelli."

"Oh no," Lula said. "You get your boney ass back here. We’re in this together. Through thick and through thin."

"Since when?"

"Since now. And before that, too. Remember when I rescued you from that big snake in the mobile home? And what about when we were lost in the Pine Barrens?"

"You ran screaming like a little girl when you thought you saw the snake. And Ranger found us in the Pine Barrens."

"Yeah, but if he hadn’t found us, I would have got us out."

"You were up to your armpits in a cranberry bog."

"I don’t never want to see another cranberry, neither," Lula said.

Twenty minutes later, Morelli sauntered in to the bonds office. He was dressed in jeans and running shoes, a blue button-down shirt that was open at the neck, and a navy blazer. He looked entirely edible and a little wary.

"What’s up?" Morelli asked, eyes on me.

Okay, so I was no longer interested in Morelli. At least I was pretty sure I wasn’t interested. Still, I was wishing I’d spent more time on my hair and makeup this morning, so he’d feel really rotten about what he was missing. I have naturally curly shoulder-length brown hair that was currently pulled back into a ponytail. I have blue eyes that look a lot better when they have a swipe of liner and mascara, an okay mouth that so far hasn’t needed artificial plumping, and a little nose that I consider my best feature. Morelli always thought my best feature was located considerably lower on my body.

"It was horrible! It was terrible!" Lula said. "I almost fainted."

Morelli shifted his attention to Lula. He didn’t say anything, but he looked over at her and raised his eyebrows a little.

"I never saw nothin’ like it," Lula told him. "One minute, I was having a day like any other, and then whack and this guy didn’t have no head. And blood came out of him like he was a fountain. And when his head hit the ground, his eyes were lookin’ at me. And I think the head might have smiled at me, too, but I’m not sure of that."

Morelli was back on his heels, thumbs hooked into his jeans pockets. "Is this for real?"

"Hell yeah," Lula said. "Who makes up shit like that? Don’t I look traumatized? I’m practically turned white. I think my hand might even be shaking. Look at my hand. Is it shaking?"

Morelli’s eyes cut back to me. "Were you with her?"

"Nope."

"Did anyone call 911?"

"Nope."

Lula was hands on hips, starting to look pissed. "We called you," she said to Morelli.

Morelli did a fast office scan. "You don’t have the head here, do you?"

"So far as I know, the head and everything else is still in front of the Sunshine Hotel," Lula told him. "And I’m not sure I like your attitude. I’m not sure you’re takin’ this seriously."

Morelli stared down at his shoe. Hard to tell if he was trying hard not to laugh or if he was getting a migraine. After a five-count, he took out his cell phone, called dispatch, and sent a uniform to the Sunshine Hotel.

"Okay, ladies," Morelli said when he got off the phone. "Let’s take a field trip."

I made a big show of looking at my watch. "Gee, I’ve got to run. Things to do."

"No way," Lula said. "I need someone with me in case I get faint or something."

"You’ll have him," I said.

"He’s a fine man, but he’s the cop representative here, and I need someone from my posse, you see what I’m saying. I need a BFF."

"It’s not gonna be me," Connie said. "Vinnie is picking up a skip in Atlanta, and I have to run the office."

Morelli looked at me and gave his head a small shake, like he didn’t believe any of this. Like I was a huge, unfathomable pain in the ass, and in fact maybe that was how he felt about women in general right now.

I understood Morelli’s point of view because it was precisely my current feeling about men.

"Terrific," I said on a sigh. "Let’s get on with it."

Lula and I followed Morelli in my ten-year-old Ford Escort that used to be blue. We didn’t take the Escort because we liked riding in it. We took it because Lula thought she might be too overwrought to drive her Firebird, and she suspected she would need a bacon cheeseburger after visiting the scene of the crime and Morelli might not be inclined to find a drive-through for her.

______

THERE WERE ALREADY two cruisers angled into the curb in front of the Sunshine Hotel when Lula and I arrived. I parked, and Lula and I got out and stood next to Morelli and a couple uniforms. We all looked down at a red splotch that sprayed out over about a four-foot diameter. A couple smaller splotches trailed off the big splotch, and I assumed that was where the head had hit the pavement. I felt a wave of nausea slide through my stomach, and I started to sweat.

"This here’s the spot," Lula said. "You can see it’s just like I told you. There was a big gusher of blood when they whacked the head off. It was like Old Faithful going off, only it was blood. And then the head rolled down the sidewalk. It was like the head was a bowlin’ ball with eyes. And the eyes were like big googly eyes kinda popping out of the head and lookin’ at me. And I think I might have heard the head laughin’, or maybe it was the guys who did the whackin’ who were laughin’."

The uniforms all did a grimace, Morelli was impassive, and I threw up. Everyone jumped away from me, I gagged one last time and did some deep breathing.

"Sorry," I said.

"No problem," Morelli told me. "I feel like throwing up a lot on this job."

One of the uniforms brought me some paper towels and a bottle of water, and Lula stood a good distance away.

"You got lots of room for lunch now that you’re empty," she yelled to me. "I could get a early start with one of them extra-crispy bird burgers they’re servin’ at Cluck-in-a-Bucket. Have you heard about them? They got some new secret sauce."

Excerpted from Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich.
Copyright 2009 by Evanovich, Inc.
Published in June 2009 by St. Martin’s Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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First Chapter

Chapter One
When I was a kid I was afraid of spiders and vegetables. As an adult I’ve eliminated vegetables from my fright-o-meter, but I’ve added a whole bunch of other stuff. Homicidal maniacs, serial rapists, cellulite, Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella, rabid bats and any form of organized exercise.My name is Stephanie Plum, and I work as a bond enforcement officer for Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. It’s not a great job, but it allows me to avoid organized exercise, and I hardly ever encounter rabid bats. The remaining fright-o-meter items lurk in the dark shadows of my daily life. Fortunately there are also good things in those shadows. Joe Morelli without his Grandma Bella, fellow bounty hunter Ranger without his clothes, my crazy family, my hamster Rex…and Lula. Lula actually fits somewhere between the rabid bats and the good stuff. She’s a former ‘ho, now working as the office file clerk and apprentice bounty hunter. Lula’s got a plus-size personality and body, and a petite sized wardrobe. She’s got brown skin, blond hair, and last week she had tiny rhinestones pasted onto her eyelids.It was Monday morning, Connie the office manager and I were in the bonds office enjoying our morning coffee, and Lula slid her red Firebird to a stop at the curb. We watched Lula through the big plate glass window in the front of the small office, and we did a joint grimace. Lula was in a state. She lurched out of the Firebird, beeped it locked and burst into the office, her eyes wild, rolling around in their sockets, her hands waving in the air.“I saw it all,” she said. “It was terrible. It was horrible. I couldn’t believe it was happening. And right in front of me.” She looked around. “What do we got? Do we got doughnuts? ‘Cause I need a doughnut. I need a whole bag. And maybe I need one of them breakfast sandwiches with the egg and cheese and bacon and grease. I got a big grease craving.”I knew it would be a huge mistake to ask Lula what she saw, but I couldn’t stop myself.“What was terrible and horrible?” I asked.Connie leaned forward, elbows on her desk, already knowing the telling of the story would be a car crash. Connie is a couple years older than me, and while my heritage is half Hungarian and half Italian, Connie is Italian through and through. Her hair is jet black, her lipstick is fire engine red, her body is va va voom. Lula paced in front of Connie’s desk. “First off, I hardly had time for anything this morning. I had a big date last night, and by the time I booted his butt out of my bed I already missed a lot of my beauty sleep.Anyways I got up late, and then I couldn’t decide what to wear. One day it’s hot out and next thing it’s cold. And then I had to decide if I needed to wear shoes that kicked ass or were good for ass kicking, on account of there’s a difference, you know.”“Jeez Louise,” Connie said. “Could you get to it?”“The point bein’ I was late,” Lula said. “I was tryin’ to put make-up on and drive, and I missed a turn, and before I knew it I was someplace I didn’t want to be. So I pulled over to look around and figure things out, and when I did that my make-up case rolled off the seat next to me, and everything went all over the floor. So I was bent over to get my make-up, and I guess it looked like there was no one in the car, because when I came back up there were two big hairy morons standing right in front of my Firebird, and they were removing a head from some guy’s body.”“Excuse me?”“This one moron had a real big knife, like a machete. And the other moron had a hold of this man in a suit. And whack! No head. The head popped off its neck and bounced down the street.”“And then what happened?”“Then they saw me,” Lula said. “They looked real surprised. And I know I looked real surprised. And then I laid down about two inches of rubber and took off.” “Do you know who they were?”“No.”“Did you know the guy in the suit?”“No, but it was a real nice suit. And he had a nice striped tie, too.”“Did you go to the police?” Connie asked.“No. I came straight here. It’s not like the police were gonna put Humpty Dumpty back together again,” Lula said. “Didn’t seem like there was a big rush, and I needed a doughnut. Holy cow. Holy shit. I really need a doughnut.”“You need to call the police,” Connie told Lula.“I hate the police. They give me the willies. Except for Stephanie’s Morelli. He’s a hottie.”Joe Morelli is a Trenton plainclothes cop, and Lula is right about Morelli being a hottie, but Lula is wrong about Morelli belonging to me. Morelli and I have had an off and on relationship for as long as I can remember, and we are currently off. Two weeks ago we had a disagreement over peanut butter that turned into a disagreement over everything under the sun, and we haven’t seen each other since.Connie dialed into the police band, and we listened for a couple minutes to see if we picked up anything to do with decapitation.“Where did this happen?” Connie asked.“The three hundred block of Ramsey Street. It was right in front of the Sunshine Hotel.”The Sunshine Hotel is a roach farm that rents rooms by the hour. No one coming or going from the Sunshine Hotel would ever report anything to anyone.“I seen lots of stuff,” Lula said, “but this was disgustin’. Blood shot out like one of them oil gushers. And when the head hit the ground I swear the eyes were lookin’ at me. I guess I need to tell the police, but I only want Morelli.” Lula fixed on me. “You gotta call Morelli.”“No way. I’m not talking to him. You can call him.”“I don’t know him like you know him.”“I don’t know him that way any more. I’m done with him. He’s a jerk.”“All men are jerks,” Lula said. “That don’t mean they aren’t good for some things. And Morelli’s a hot jerk. He could be a movie star or a underwear model if he wasn’t a cop. He got all that wavy black hair and dreamy brown bedroom eyes. He’s kind of puny compared to some men I know, but he’s hot all the same.”Morelli was actually six-foot tall and solid muscle, but Lula used to be engaged to a guy who was a cross between an Army tank and Sasquatch, so I suppose by comparison Morelli might measure up short.“I’ll call Morelli,” Connie said. “He’s a cop, for crying out loud. You don’t need a complicated relationship to call a cop.”I was halfway to the door. “I’m leaving. Things to do. And I don’t want to see Morelli.”“Oh no,” Lula said. “You get your boney ass back here. We’re in this together. Through thick and through thin.”“Since when?”“Since now. And before that, too. Remember when I rescued you from that big snake in the mobile home? And what about when we were lost in the Pine Barrens?”“You ran screaming like a little girl when you thought you saw the snake. And Ranger found us in the Pine Barrens.”“Yeah, but if he hadn’t found us I would have got us out.”“You were up to your armpits in a cranberry bog.”“I don’t never want to see another cranberry neither,” Lula said.Twenty minutes later Morelli sauntered in to the bonds office. He was dressed in jeans and running shoes, a blue button down shirt that was open at the neck, and a navy blazer. He looked entirely edible and a little wary.“What’s up?” Morelli asked, eyes on me.Okay, so I was no longer interested in Morelli. At least I was pretty sure I wasn’t interested. Still, I was wishing I’d spent more time on my hair and make-up this morning, so he felt really rotten about what he was missing. I have naturally curly shoulder length brown hair that was currently pulled back into a ponytail. I have blue eyes that look a lot better when they have a swipe of liner and mascara, an okay mouth that so far hasn’t needed artificial plumping, and a little nose that I consider my best feature. Morelli always thought my best feature was located considerably lower on my body.“It was horrible! It was terrible!” Lula said. “I almost fainted.”Morelli shifted his attention to Lula. He didn’t say anything, but he looked over at her and raised his eyebrows a little.“I never saw nothing like it,” Lula told him. “One minute I was having a day like any other, and then whack and this guy didn’t have no head. And blood came out of him like he was a fountain. And when his head hit the ground his eyes were lookin’ at me. And I think the head might have smiled at me too, but I’m not sure of that.”Morelli was back on his heels, thumbs hooked into his jeans pockets. “Is this for real?”“Hell yeah,” Lula said. “Who makes up shit like that? Don’t I look traumatized? I’m practically turned white. I think my hand might even be shaking. Look at my hand. Is it shaking?”Morelli’s eyes cut back to me. “Were you with her?”“Nope.”“Did anyone call 911?”“Nope.”Lula was hands on hips, starting to look pissed.“We called you,” she said to Morelli.Morelli did a fast office scan. “You don’t have the head here, do you?”“So far as I know the head and everything else is still in front of the Sunshine Hotel,” Lula told him. “And I’m not sure I like your attitude. I’m not sure you’re takin’ this seriously.”Morelli stared down at his shoe. Hard to tell if he was trying hard not to laugh or if he was getting a migraine. After a five-count he took his cell phone out, called dispatch and sent a uniform to the Sunshine Hotel.“Okay ladies,” Morelli said when he got off the phone. “Let’s take a field trip.”I made a big show of looking at my watch. “Gee, I’ve got to run. Things to do.”“No way,” Lula said. “I need someone with me in case I get faint or something.”“You’ll have him,” I said.“He’s a fine man, but he’s the cop representative here, and I need someone from my posse, you see what I’m saying. I need a BFF.”“It’s not gonna be me,” Connie said. “Vinnie is picking up a skip in Atlanta, and I have to run the office.”Morelli cut his eyes to me and gave his head a small shake, like he didn’t believe any of this. Like I was a huge, unfathomable pain in the ass, and in fact maybe that was how he felt about women in general right now. I understood Morelli’s point of view because it was precisely my current feeling about men.“Terrific,” I said on a sigh. “Let’s get on with it.” Lula and I followed Morelli in my ten-year old Ford Escort that used to be blue. We didn’t take the Escort because we liked riding in it. We took it because Lula thought she might be too over-wrought to drive her Firebird, and she suspected she would need a bacon cheeseburger after visiting the scene of the crime, and Morelli might not be inclined to find a drive-thru for her.
There were already two cruisers angled in to the curb in front of the Sunshine Hotel when Lula and I arrived. I parked, and Lula and I got out and stood next to Morelli and a couple uniforms. We all looked down at a red splotch that sprayed out over about a four foot diameter. A couple smaller splotches trailed off the big splotch, and I assumed that was where the head hit the pavement. I felt a wave of nausea slide through my stomach, and I started to sweat.“This here’s the spot,” Lula said. “You can see it’s just like I told you. There was a big gusher of blood when they whacked the head off. It was like Old Faithful going off, only it was blood. And then the head rolled down the sidewalk. It was like the head was a bowlin’ ball with eyes. And the eyes were like big googly eyes kinda popping out of the head and lookin’ at me. And I think I might have heard the head laughin’, or maybe it was the guys who did the whackin’ who were laughin’.”The uniforms all did a grimace, Morelli was impassive, and I threw up. Everyone jumped away from me, I gagged one last time and did some deep breathing.“Sorry,” I said.“No problem,” Morelli told me. “I feel like throwing up a lot on this job.”One of the uniforms brought me some paper towels and a bottle of water, and Lula stood a good distance away.“You got lots of room for lunch now that you’re empty,” she yelled at me. “I could get a early start with one of them extra crispy bird burgers they’re servin’ at Cluck-in-a-Bucket. Have you heard about them? They got some new secret sauce.”I wasn’t interested in secret sauce. I wanted to go home and go to bed and not get up until it was a new day. I was done with this one.“We got a couple footprints heading south,” a uniform said. “One of these guys had real big feet. Looks like a size fourteen. And there’s some skid marks where they dragged the body to the curb. Imagine they dumped it into a car and took off.”“You need to come downtown and give me some information,” Morelli said to Lula.“No way. Un ah. I got a allergic reaction to police stations. I get irritable bowel and hives and the hebejebes.”“You witnessed a murder.”“Yeah, but there’s extenuating circumstances here. I got a medical condition. I got a extreme sensitivity to cops.”Morelli looked like he wanted to pull his gun out of its holster and shoot himself.“I’ll get you some cheese burgers and a side of onion rings,” he said to Lula.Lula stood hands on hips. “You think I could be bought for some lame ass burgers? What kinda woman you think I am?”“I’ll throw in a bucket of chicken and an ice cream cake from Carvel,” Morelli said. “That’s my final offer.”“Deal,” Lula told him. “We goin’ in your car? On account of I’m not riding in a cop car, and I hate to say this but Stephanie don’t smell too good.”Twenty minutes later I parked in the lot to my apartment building. My building straddles the line between Trenton proper and Trenton improper. It’s a three-story utilitarian brick box filled with tenants who are struggling to make ends meet. Frequently I have a gap between my ends, resulting in a lot of dinners mooched from my parents who live ten minutes away in a blue-collar chunk of Trenton called The Burg.My apartment is on the second floor and my windows look out at the parking lot. My only roommate is a hamster named Rex. I manage to keep a good supply of hamster food in my fridge and in my cupboard. People food is spotty. I own a fry pan and a pot. Perfectly adequate since I mostly eat peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter and banana, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and potato chips, peanut butter and olives, and peanut butter and marshmallow goo. So sue me, I like peanut butter. The rest of the apartment consists of dining alcove, living room with television, one bedroom and bath.I hustled from my car to my apartment, stripped and jumped into the shower. I was approaching boiled lobster skin tone when I finally emerged and wrapped myself in a towel. I stepped out of the bathroom and spotted Ranger lounging in the club chair across from my bed. I gave a startled yelp and jumped back into the bathroom.“Babe,” Ranger said.I stuck my head out and looked at him. “What are you doing here?”“I need to talk to you.”“You could have called. Or how about ringing my doorbell?”Ranger looked like he was thinking about smiling.His attention focused on the top of my towel and slowly moved to the bottom hem that hung a half-inch below my doodah. His brown eyes dilated black, and I took a stronger grip on my towel.Ranger was the second biggest complication in my life, and now that Morelli is out of the picture, I suppose Ranger is elevated to numero uno. He’s close to six foot, one way or the other, is Latino with medium brown skin and dark brown hair cut short. His teeth are white and even, and he has a killer smile that is only seen on special occasions. He dresses in black, and today he was wearing black T-shirt and black cargo pants. His given name is Carlos Manoso. His street name, Ranger, is a holdover from time spent in Special Forces. These days he does the occasional high-risk bond enforcement job, and is the managing partner of a security firm located in a stealth building in center city. I’ve seen him naked, and you can take it to the bank when I tell you he’s all hard muscle and perfect in every possible way. And I mean every possible way.Ranger and I have three things in common. We’re the same age. We’re both single. And we both were previously married for about ten seconds. That’s where the common ground ends. I’m an open book with a lot of blank pages. His book is filled with life experience but written in disappearing ink. I have three locks on my front door plus a sliding bolt, and I’m sure they were all in place. Somehow this never stops Ranger. He’s a man of mysterious talents.Ranger crooked his finger at me. “Come here.”“No way.”“Afraid?”“Cautious.”“That’s no fun,” Ranger said.“I didn’t know you were interested in fun.”There was a very slight curve to the corners of his mouth. “I have my moments.”I had a big, cuddly pink robe in my closet, but I had to cross in front of Ranger to get to it. I wasn’t worried Ranger would jump me. My fear was that if I got too close, I’d get sucked into his force field, and I’d jump him. And jumping Ranger was a dangerous deal. He’d made it clear that his emotional involvement would always have limitations. Plus, there was Morelli. Morelli was currently out of the picture, but he’d been out before, and he’d always slid back in. Getting naked with Ranger would make a reconciliation with Morelli much more difficult. Of course that wasn’t currently an issue because I wasn’t in a mood to reconcile anything.“What did you want to talk to me about?” I asked him.“Three of my clients have been robbed in the last two months. All three had state of the art security systems. And in all three cases the systems were shut down for exactly fifteen minutes and then reactivated. My clients weren’t home at the time. There was no sign of physical tampering.”“I see them using gizmos in the movies that can figure out codes.”“This isn’t a movie. This is real life.”“Someone hacked into your system?”“No.”“That leaves an unpleasant possibility,” I said to Ranger.“In theory there are only a few people in my organization who have access to the codes, and I can’t imagine any of those men being involved in this. For that matter everyone I employ is rigorously screened. Plus, the entire building, with the exception of private living spaces, is monitored 24 hours.” “Have you changed the codes?”“I changed them after each break-in.”“Wow.”“Yeah,” Ranger said. “Someone on the inside is beating my system.”“Why are you telling this to me?”“I need you to come in and snoop around without raising suspicion. I can’t trust anyone already inside.”“Even Tank?”“Even Tank.”Tank is exactly what his name would imply. He’s big and solid inside and out. He’s second in command at Rangeman, and he’s the guy who watches Ranger’s back.“You’ve worked for me before doing computer searches, and that’s where I’d like to put you again. Ramon has been doing the searches, but he’d like to get out of the cubby and back on the street. You’d be working on the fifth floor in the control room, but you’d have total access within the building. Every man in my organization knows you and understands that you’re my personal property, so they’re not going to talk freely when you’re around, but they’re also not going to think I hired you to snoop. They’ll assume I gave you the job to have you close to me.”“Personal property?”“Babe, you’re the only one who would question it.”I narrowed my eyes at him. “I am not personal property. A car is personal property. A shirt is personal property. A human being is not personal property.”“In my building we share cars and shirts. We don’t share women. In my building you’re my personal property. Deal with it.”At a later time, when I was alone and gave it some thought I’d probably find the flaw in that reasoning, but oddly enough it made sense at the moment.“What about my cases at the bond office?” I asked him.“I’ll help you.”This was a really good deal because I was a crappy bounty hunter and Ranger was the best. Not to mention I’d be drawing salary from Rangeman. All I had to do was keep my hands off Ranger and everything would be peachy.“Okay,” I said. “When do you want me to start?”“Now. Do you have uniforms left from the last time you worked for me?”“I have a couple T-shirts, and I have some black jeans.”“Good enough. I’ll have Ella order some more.”Ella and her husband Louis serve as live-in property managers for Rangeman. They keep the building clean and running efficiently, and they keep the men fed and clothed.“I assume you still have your key fob?” Ranger asked.“Yep.”The key fob got me into the high security Rangeman building, and it also got me into Ranger’s private 7th floor apartment. In the past I’d used the apartment when I felt I was in danger. It wasn’t a move I made lightly because I had to weigh the danger at hand against the danger of living with Ranger. Ranger’s cell phone buzzed, and he looked at the screen. “I have to go,” he said. “Tank and Ramon are expecting you. Ramon will bring you up to speed and then you should be able to take over. You know the drill.” His eyes moved from my face to the towel and then back to my face. “Tempting,” he said. And he left.Finger Lickin' Fifteen Copyright © 2009 by Evanovich, Inc. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1227 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1234 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 26, 2009

    Same, Same, Same.

    First, I've actually read this book and the review that says Ranger and Steph tie the knot and Ranger looks to his East coast partners is no where in this book. Whoever wrote that review didn't read JE's Fingerlickin' Fifteen.

    This book is 1-14 with different names and crimes. Well, even some of the crimes are the same. Firebombers, flashers, a murderer or two. Steph loses a few cars (2 are Rangers, 1 is Lula's Firebird). She's off-again with Joe but that doesn't last, as always. She spends half the book in Ranger's apartment but nothing happens, he's concentrating on saving his business. Lula and grandma provide a chuckle or two with bbq sauce and Joyce gives Joe a toxic supper.

    In summary, I'm getting seriously tired of Steph reflecting on her life and saying "WHAT am I doing?" After a certain period of time in a normal series, a person has to answer that question and move forward. It's part of what holds interest in the storyline. JE might have wanted to draw out her books by keeping Steph 30 yrs old, and it might have worked for a while, but after reading the same book for years it's not working anymore. Save your money and get it from the library.

    30 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Author is losing her audience

    The author needs to break the Stephanie Plum series rut and give the readers a new direction. The book is the same old, same old. Time to give Stephanie and Ranger a romance. since she is contracted for only sixteen books, its time to let Ranger and Stephanie have a romantic mystery challenge. The chemistry and the laughs are better brtween the two. Morelli and Stephanie's romance has run its course, should have been over in book six. Why drag it on - its predictable and tiring. It's time for Stephanie Plum to grow up and let go of her teenage years. You can't stay a teenager forever in a thirty something year old body. And,no latino man would wait this long for a woman to make up her mind. If the author doesn't want to put Ranger and Stephanie together, then give Ranger a woman with substance. Time to shake this series up!!!!!! If not it doesn't pay to keep reading or spending the money for the books. By the time Stephanie Plum makes it to the movies no one will care!!!!!

    24 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2009

    She should just end it

    This series is way past it's prime. It should have ended three books ago with 12.

    This was supposed to be a book that had Ranger and Steph together. What happened to that?? Instead we will get Steph feeling guilty about helping Ranger. Same old stuff.

    Ms Evanovich has stated that a choice will be made as to who Stephanie will end up with. She is making it perfectly clear what that choice is. Since I have no desire to read about Joe and his "Cupcake" I will spend my dollars elsewhere.

    24 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2009

    Ranger book??

    After last year's abysmal Fearless Fourteen, it was hinted that Finger Lickin Fifteen would be a "Ranger book". I think that I, like many readers, were hoping for something new a different in this book. A book, where after fifteen years of the titilating triangle, we would finally get a book where the author would "shake it up", give readers the long awaited chance to see what would happen if Stephanie and Ranger tried "together" - just ONCE.

    At least that is what I interpreted what a "Ranger book" would be. Oh, he's in there - a LOT - but, alas, it once again goes NOWHERE. In fact, I would say all those Ranger Pages are just a tease, to keep us reading and buying books.

    In fact, without rehashing the whole plot(?) of this book, nobody goes anywhere. It is the same old, same old - characters bumbling along, my heroine is STILL broke, is no better at what she does, cars explode, an apartment is fire-bombed - yada, yada, yada.

    This is NOT the Ranger book I anticipated. In fact, it is no different that any of the other books. The triangle lives on.

    I will have to say goodbye to Plum. I cannot see myself reading the same old stuff for fifteen more years. After all, just how long can this go on? Even if the world of fiction, it has to be somewhat believable.

    16 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

    Same story

    The 15th instalment for Stephanie Plum has her helping Ranger, sort of off again with Morelli, blowing up cars and spending time sleeping at Ranger's apartment, while also juggling Grandma Mazur and Lula. The scenes and situations read pretty much the same as in previous books, although this time Stephanie gets knee-deep in barbeque sauce and stuffed into a hot dog. This is probably a book for someone who's either new to the series or who is looking for a beach read to skim in an hour or two.

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Finger Lickin Lousy

    I'm surprised by all the five star reviews given to this book. I can only give it two since it was a major improvement over fourteen and I actually borrowed the book instead of buying it. Either you love that JE follows a formula for each book with the same conversations, bounty hunting mistakes and lack of progress in the love triangle, or you're frustrated by the lack of any character growth, editing mistakes and dialogue pulled directly out of previous books. I also wonder at the age demographic she's writing these last two or three books for. The fart jokes, runs, flasher...etc. just seem a little pre-teen. I don't expect great literature when I pick up a Stephanie Plum book, but I do expect a fresh story where the author has put in some effort out of respect for her loyal readers. What a disappointment. Again.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2009

    It could have been so much better

    After the abysmal Fearless Fourteen last year, I was ready to give up the series, but then I heard Finger Lickin' Fifteen was a Ranger book, and I got excited all over again.

    Big mistake.

    While there's slightly more Ranger in 15 than there was in 14, the book just didn't cut it for me. It was better written than 14, back to Janet's old standard, but executed just as poorly. What disappoints me the most, though, is that it had the potential to be so much better. The plot of Ranger having a mole inside his security company is largely underused and more or less discarded at the very end, while the plot of Lula witnessing a murder is stretched so thin it tears itself apart. If the time spent on those two aspects of the book had been reversed-more of Rangeman and less of Lula-it would have been a more interesting and action-packed book. As it is, the book moves at a snail's pace until the last ten pages, when Evanovich tries to wrap everything up as abruptly as possible. It's almost as if she stops at the precise moment she reaches the minimum word count for a book priced at $27.95 and decides, plausibility be darned, the book is finished.

    And am I the only one who's sick to death of teenage geek gamers and crude bathroom humor and male genitalia?

    I also hate that Evanovich takes great strides in keeping Stephanie stagnant and inept, both in her professional and personal lives, often at the expense of the plot and other characters surrounding her. What used to be endearing and humorous is now irritating and monotonous, like a word that loses its meaning when repeated over and over again. I find it very hard to root for or empathize with a character who routinely internalizes the problems in her life yet does nothing to resolve them.

    Overall, the book was a waste. A waste of time. A waste of money. A waste of words.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Please end this series

    I used to love this series, but it has become the same thing over and over again, Stephanie's cars blowing up, back and forth between Joe and Ranger, crazy grandma etc. It is time to end this series. How about Sixteen Over and Out.

    10 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Funny in spots but overall very disappointing...

    I so agree with Christy Brooke's assessment of this book. I was so excited to read this installment, and I must say that I am very disappointed. Whereas I have laughed and laughed--OUT LOUD-- at the antics of the characters in earlier books, I found myself rolling my eyes instead at many of the scenes. I mean just how many cars can Stephanie really destroy?!! There were story lines that weren't tied up as I felt that they needed to be. Was there a reward to be gained at the end or not? And--come on--no lovin' in the whole book??? This is a sad review to write as I have so looked forward to this book--now I will read the reviews BEFORE I buy my own copy.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Stephanie's at it Again..

    Stephanie Plum is back out looking for skips in Janet Evanovich's 15th Plum novel.. 15 is fun, funny, and a bit frustrating. I wish she would just break-up Stephanie and Morelli already and get Ranger and Stephanie together again and STOP nibbling around the edges! This would have been the perfect story to do that in. With Steph staying at Rangers' and helping him out with his problem it would have made much more sense. But, the story is entertaining Lula & Grandma are always good for a hoot. I'm already waiting for #16!

    9 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    STEPHANIE PLUM RULES THE WORLD

    I have been reading this series for quite some time. I encourage everyone I know to read it as well. It is so nice to sit down and laugh out loud with people staring at you wondering what is so funny. What a wonderful escape from the stress of daily life. Thank you and continue to entertain us with your creativity. What about the movie?

    6 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    This is more like it!

    I was ready to jump the Evanovich ship after her last two offerings, the boring Lean Mean Thirteen and the horribly executed Fearless Fourteen. I was pleasantly surprised to find a book that will keep me interested in a series and characters that I'd come to love. I had hated the silly slapstick humor of the last two books and I was happy to see the witty writing that Evanovich can do so well. Yes, there is some potty humor but I found myself laughing throughout this book in a way I've not laughed in a long time.
    Ranger figures prominently in this book due to the thefts at his security accounts and there are numerous, toe curling Ranger moments to keep a Ranger fan happy.
    As a previous reviewer stated, the plot, not a Evanovich strong point, is pretty good and Stephanie does a good job figuring out the thefts. She's at her best when she's encouraged to use her head and Ranger does a good job of encouraging and respecting her talents.
    I suspect old time Plum fans may be frustrated with the lack of a decision in regards to Stephanie's personal relationships. If you're expecting resolution to that thorny problem, you will be disappointed. Morelli isn't around much and I have to laugh at Ms. Evanovich's skill in writing situations which bring a little indignity to the character of Morelli. In this book, he's suffering from a case of the 'scoots'.
    All in all, an enjoyable, humorous book. FLF is the book I expected after the dark and moving Twelve Sharp. This reader gives FLF a solid B.

    6 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Big Improvement from Fourteen

    Finger Lickin' Fifteen has elements that long time fans will appreciate, as Janet is back to the writing style we know and love after the deviations of Fearless Fourteen and, to a lesser extent, LMT. As a friend just said to me, "Ahhh - we have Ranger back." Plot is not Janet's strongest suit, but this one is good enough, with Stephanie on board to help Ranger identify the saboteur of his company. The fact that Ranger turned to her to help save his company speaks volumes about his feelings for her, although Janet keeps the physical expression of that mostly in check. There is some sexual tension and innuendo, but true Ranger-philes will bemoan the lack of intense physical activity, while Morelli-philes will bemoan the complete lack of Morelli, whose brief appearances function as a plot device to keep Steph and Ranger platonic.

    Ranger enlists Steph's help in finding out who is trying to destroy his business by turning off the security system and robbing clients. The ending is a bit abrupt, and seasoned fans will miss the Merry Men, who, with the exception of Tank and Hal, do not appear. Meanwhile, Lula observes a beheading of a celebrity chef and works with Grandma Mazur to develop the perfect barbeque sauce to 'smoke' out the rather inept killers, who are now after her.

    Meanwhile Steph still has her bunch of crazy FTA's, including a flasher, and she is still is lacking the skills to catch them. While her brain is right on the money figuring out Ranger's problem, she is still woefully uninterested in upping her skill level to advance herself. Most annoying - especially after 15 books.

    On the whole, the book is a vast improvement on Janet's most recent offering (#14), but doesn't quite equal the quality writing of Twelve Sharp. The one thing I absolutely hated was the last line, which was exactly the same as one Steph spoke in Eleven on Top. I know it's not plagiarism, but really - isn't there some sort of rule against authors duplicating their lines?

    6 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Evanovich does it again...

    Stephanie Plum is at it again, in another adventure by the numbers. Janet Evanovich entertains us again with another season in the life of Stephanie, her sidekick Lula, her family, and the men in her life. I read this book in about 2 days, as it is so hard to put down! I have followed the series from book 1 and HIGHLY recommend all of Evanovich's books to anyone who likes fast action and thrills along with the laughs and entertainment. I can't wait for the next installment!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Just Didn't Cut It!

    I love JE and have read all her books but this one was flat, redundant and really only funny in a couple places. Very disappointing. JE is going to have to come up with some new ideas before I shell out bucks for her hardcover next time. Is she running out of story lines? We'll see.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sloppy and unoriginal

    I fell in love with Stephanie Plum and the whole gang years ago. I drove hundreds of miles to have my book signed and read everything that JE had even written while waiting for the next number book. I have to say that after reading the majority of her books I have found the storylines used over and over again. There are blaring inconsistencies that maybe JE doesn't care about but as an avid reader I find it almost disrespectful that no one seems to edit. No one checks to make sure Stephanie's mom has the same name in each book or like in this book Stephanie's mother mentions they will have pineapple upside down cake for dinner and then 2 chapters later Stephanie talks about finishing the chocolate cake. These are minor things that someone needs to double check and JE and her editor need to give her readers a little more credit.

    I also felt like the last 20 pages of the book were in fast forward and the whole thing was haphazardly put together. The Morelli/Ranger thing is going no where and has not been going anywhere since Twelve Sharp. Is the author just trying to drag us along? This is getting almost painful.

    I expect more of Janet Evanovich, perhaps that is wrong of me. I would love to see more quality or at least entertaining books from her and if that ship has sailed and she is done writing then I wish she would wrap things up and move on.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    Quick easy read but series should end

    While I find the stories funny. I am tired of the so called love triangle and the plots are getting weaker by the book. Maybe it is time to end the series. Marry Stephanie off and start writing a new character like Barney from Motor Mouth.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    So typical of the others...

    Sorry it just is the same as the others...

    If you read any of the others you've read this...

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    ALWAYS A HOOT!

    I love Janet's sense of humor and her talent for putting it on paper! Truly entertaining with Stephanie's bumbling but she's multi-dimensional, cognitive endeavors, love of life and love....ALWAYS A HOOT!! Yet another bestseller! Well worth your time!!! Don't miss it! I also recommend THE 8th CONFESSION by Patterson and EXPLOSION IN PARIS by Pirrung

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    Very Disappointed

    It seems as if Janet Evanovich has gotten tired of Stephanie Plum. The characters aren't as funny as they were, the people Stephanie is chasing have no depth as in the past, the story didn't seem to go anywhere. There was a lot of potential for the hilarious interactions of the past but everything fell flat. Glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't buy it!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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