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Motor Mouth (Alex Barnaby Series #2)

Motor Mouth (Alex Barnaby Series #2)

4.0 117
by Janet Evanovich

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Miami is still freakin' humid. The nights are even hotter. And there's a body on ice. And that's just the beginning of this adrenaline-rush of a hot-wired ride from phenomenal number one New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

A woman with a taste for speed and a talent for breaking the rules, Barney also knows a little too much about


Miami is still freakin' humid. The nights are even hotter. And there's a body on ice. And that's just the beginning of this adrenaline-rush of a hot-wired ride from phenomenal number one New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

A woman with a taste for speed and a talent for breaking the rules, Barney also knows a little too much about cheating. First there was Hooker and that salesclerk. Now she's convinced one of the competitors is up to no good on the track. Snooping to find evidence, Hooker and Barney "borrow" a NASCAR hauler. Turns out, the hauler is carrying two race cars and a dead guy. It looks like Barney and Hooker are facing multiple counts of grand theft auto and homicide.

So buckle up as Barney, Hooker, a 150-pound bundle of Saint Bernard love named Beans, and the Super Cigar Ladies Felicia and Rosa shift into gear on a wild race around South Florida and Concord, North Carolina.

Everything you always wanted to know about righteous indignation, stealing an eighteen-wheeler, and sex in the fast lane.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
In this much-anticipated sequel to Janet Evanovich's Metro Girl (the first installment in a series that introduced readers to Baltimore mechanic turned amateur sleuth Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby), the sexy bleached blonde and her hunky NASCAR driver and sometime boyfriend, Sam Hooker, stumble into a high-octane misadventure that implicates them in numerous felonies, including multiple murder, breaking and entering, kidnapping, and, of course, grand theft auto. Now working as Hooker's race-day spotter -- and trying to come to grips with the handsome driver's recent infidelity with a salesclerk -- Barnaby guides her former boyfriend to a second-place finish in the last race of the season. But when they come to the aid of a friend who got himself locked inside a competitor's hauler during the race, they accidentally uncover an illegal high-tech traction control device -- and the fresh corpse of the team's owner. After hijacking the hauler, Barnaby, Hooker, and his 150-pound Saint Bernard become fugitives from justice -- and the real race begins…

The Barnaby novels are described on Evanovich's web site as "the big sister to the Stephanie Plum series. The stakes are higher. The sex is sexier. The nights are hotter." With that in mind, fans of Evanovich's Plum novels (Twelve Sharp, Eleven on Top, et al.) looking for something to read until the feisty New Jersey bail bond enforcement agent's next adventure will be more than satisfied with the equally endearing heroine Alexandra Barnaby. Powered by Evanovich's uproarious sense of humor and masterful knack for eccentric characterization (a well-endowed assassin named Horse, egomaniacal driver Dickie Bonnano, etc.), readers who enjoy humorous mysteries (and especially those who are also auto racing fans) will thoroughly relish this wildly entertaining romp through the heart of NASCAR country. Paul Goat Allen
Patrick Anderson
If, like me, you are profoundly ignorant of NASCAR racing, Janet Evanovich's funny, naughty new novel will introduce you to a world where men who drive cars at ridiculous speeds are rewarded by a lifestyle that most of us associate with rock stars.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
At the start of this cool comedy thriller from bestseller Evanovich, her second novel to star Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby (after 2004's Metro Girl), Barney and her unfaithful NASCAR racing honey, Sam Hooker, find themselves in trouble after discovering the shrink-wrapped body of ruthless businessman Oscar Huevo in a rival racer's car hauler. The pair must pull together to protect a high-tech gizmo that can revolutionize racing-and save their lives. Evanovich burns some rubber and only hits the brakes a few times, thanks to her bright dialogue, race-track savvy and expert depiction of romantic mayhem. Though sometimes it seems as if she's still taking a test drive with this new cast of eccentrics, the pages fly by as the racy tension between Hooker and Barney adds heat to the fun. Action on the menu includes destruction of valuable race cars, a dognapping and a kidnapping. While Barney isn't likely to beat Stephanie Plum in a popularity contest, she's still a hoot. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
In her second mystery, Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby races to challenge the bad guys with a hot NASCAR driver by her side. With a one-day laydown; a five-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The second entry in a female action/romance/humor series for fans who find Stephanie Plum's megaselling annual appearances (Twelve Sharp, 2006, etc.) too infrequent. As his recent dalliance with a salesclerk attests, Sam Hooker is a womanizing cheat. But there's nothing wrong with his skills as a racing driver, or with the vehicle he's just piloted to a second-place finish for Stiller Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. So Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby (Metro Girl, not reviewed), his race-day spotter and sometime lover, figures the winning driver, Spanky Bonnano, of Huevo Motor Sports, must have had some sort of illegal edge, and she wants to know what it was. If only Barney, who's a trained mechanic, could get a look at the winning car, she's sure she could find evidence of cheating. All too soon she gets her wish. Gobbles Warner, another Stiller spotter, phones to say that he's gotten himself locked into the truck containing the suspect race-car and doesn't dare call for help to the Huevo employees outside. Barney and Hooker rush to rescue him by stealing the whole truck, but things get deliciously worse when Gobbles turns out to be sharing storage space with the murdered Oscar Huevo. "I hate dead guys," opines Hooker. "Especially when . . . they're in a hauler I just stole." Even though two more murders will spice up the increasingly wild-eyed proceedings, Barney insists gamely that "I'm not Nancy Drew." Wrong. In her indifference to clues and detection, her tropism for unsought adventures and her constant brushes with danger, Barney is Nancy Drew in a pink lace thong, with a studly NASCAR driver standing in for Ned Nickerson. About the only person Barney resembles more closely than NancyDrew, in fact, is Stephanie Plum: the raffish associates, the outlandish scrapes, the sexed-up romance, the smart mouth. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Agent: Robert Gottlieb/Trident Media Group

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Alex Barnaby Series , #2
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Read an Excerpt

Motor Mouth

By Janet Evanovich

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006

Janet Evanovich

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060584033

Chapter One

Sometimes there's a decision to be made between winning fairly and cheating for a good cause. And sometimes, in the heat of competition, I've slipped south of fair. So I understand the temptation. But here's the thing about cheating . . . don't cheat me. I take it personally.

And I was pretty sure I had my eye on a guy who was cheating at my expense. He was wearing a red suit. He was driving a flashy car with a big 69 painted on the side. And he was going too fast. I had my binoculars trained on him as he took a turn, his left-front tire tight to the curve.

I was standing on the flat roof of the Homestead-Miami Speedway grandstand, getting a bird's-eye view of the scrubby Florida landscape. Heat waves shimmered on the track below me, and the air was thick with fumes from scorched rubber, high-octane gas, and the euphoria NASCAR brings to a race. I was with forty-two guys on the roof. I was the only one on the roof wearing a pink lace thong. At least I was almost certain I was the only one in a thong since I was the only female, but hell, what do I know? I was wearing tight black jeans and a Stiller Racing shirt. The shirt had short sleeves, was white with black and gold trim, and the Stiller Racing logo was embroidered on the front. The embroidered name on the back was a garage joke: Motor Mouth. I'm Sam Hooker's race-day spotter. I'mthe lip-glossed, bleached blonde who whispers into Hooker's ear while he sweats his brains out in a black-and-gold fire-resistant jumpsuit each week.

This week Hooker was running his black Metro-sponsored car around and around the Homestead 1.5-mile oval. It was the last race of the season and I was looking forward to a change of pace. I love my job, but there comes a time when a girl just wants to shimmy into a sexy little dress and sip a cosmo at a restaurant that doesn't feature barbecue. Not that I don't like barbecue, but I'd had a lot of it lately.

Hooker's voice was loud and clear in my headset. "Earth to Motor Mouth. Talk to me."

"I'm thinking thoughts that can't go public."

"Are these thoughts about getting naked?" Hooker asked.

"No, they're about getting even."

"Listen, it was an accident, I swear. I was drunk and I don't remember a thing. I don't know how I ended up in bed with that salesclerk. Darlin', you know I love you."

Mental head slap. "Not that, you moron. I'm talking about the race."

Hooker got his start on Texas dirt tracks. He's raced open-wheel karts, trucks, and everything in between. He's my age but he looks like a college kid. Sun-bleached blond hair, and a nice body that's got some muscle and stands a couple inches taller than me. The difference between Hooker and the college kid is in Hooker's eyes. There are lines at the corners that tell his age and grit. And there's a depth that comes from living hard and gaining something from it.

I'd done some racing when I was in high school. Strictly local amateur stuff. I'd wreck the cars, and then I'd fix them up in my dad's garage in Baltimore. Turned out I was a lot better at fixing them than racing them, so I bailed on the driving and got an engineering degree instead. Hooker isn't worth anything as a mechanic, but he can really run a car. I've worked as his spotter and also as part of his R & D team for an entire season, thirty-six Cup races, and I'm knocked out by his consistently aggressive attitude and his ability to drive.

There are those who question Hooker's balls-to-brain ratio. I've never seen an X-ray of his head, so I'm taking a winger on his brain, but I've seen the other equipment in question and I'm pretty confident the ratio is two to one.

I'd been involved in a romantic relationship with Hooker when I'd taken the job with Stiller. And I'd been idiot enough to think the relationship was serious. Hooker had proved me wrong at four months with a one-night stand that had gotten splashed onto every tabloid. I was now over Hooker . . . pretty much. The only thing I was currently serious about was my job. I was devoted to Stiller Racing.

"You've done two hundred and forty-four laps," I said. "You have twenty-three laps to go. The red sixty-nine car is four car lengths in front of you."

The 69 was sponsored by Lube-A-Lot and owned by Huevo Motor Sports, a Mexican powerhouse with money to burn on race cars. Huevo built good cars, but sometimes the 69 was too good, and I was willing to put money down that the 69 car was cheating, running with illegal technology.

"Four car lengths," Hooker said to me. "That's too much. Do something."

"I can tell you when it's safe to pass, and when it's okay to pit, and when there's trouble ahead. Being that I'm up here on the roof, and you're down there on the track, and I've left my magic voodoo dust back in the motor coach, it's going to be hard for me to do something."

And that was when the big one happened. The monster car crash that car owners dread and fans love. A Stiller car driven by Nick Shrin got loose, slid out of its groove, and the car following it made contact and punted Shrin into the wall. Six other cars got caught in the wreck and were instantly turned into twisted, shredded scrap metal. Fortunately, they were all behind Hooker.

When racing resumed and everyone lined up for the restart, the gap would be closed between the red 69 Lube-A-Lot car and Hooker's Metro car.

"Back her down," I told Hooker. "You just got lucky."


Excerpted from Motor Mouth
by Janet Evanovich
Copyright © 2006 by Janet Evanovich.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Janet Evanovich is the winner of the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award and multiple Romantic Times awards, including Lifetime Achievement. She is also a long-standing member of RWA.

Brief Biography

Hanover, New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
April 22, 1943
Place of Birth:
South River, New Jersey
B.A., Douglass College, 1965

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Motor Mouth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name changed, location changed but this is Stephanie Plum series. I hated the book. It did nothing for the imagination. Story long and drawn out. Nothing to hold the readers attention. Struggled to get to the end. I wouldn't buy another book in this series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the Stephanie Plum series and was excited to find this book from the same author. What a stupid story! And how low!!! Between the disgusting details about the dead bodies and the prune stuff... The romantic angle was also very adolescent and predictable. I will never read another book by this author!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy Janet Evanovich. The Plum books are good, but was just bad. Hooker and Barnaby belonged in jail for their stunts. There is no chemistry between the two of them, and Hooker isn't even all that likeable. The plot was boring. I am sooo glad I didn't buy it. I got it from the library. It will be returned today unfinished. I really hope her next '13' will be better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a big Janet Evanovich fan, but this series is disappointing. Metro Girl drove me nuts with Hooker constantly referring to himself as 'Nascar Guy'. Thankfully, the phrase was not in Motor Mouth. I think Motor Mouth tries too hard to be on an equal footing with the Plum series, and what makes this book especially disappointing is that the author recycled ideas and events from the Plum series. After reading the part about the dog and the prunes, I was fed up and decided that I was done with this series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of this author and NASCAR is boring to me, but this one rates better than Metro Girl. Beans the St. Bernard stole the book and to me this was the best part of the book. The rest was too technical and mechanical for my taste.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At Homestead-Miami Speedway Stiller Racing driver Sam Hooker finished second at the track (and first in some woman¿s bed). Much of the accolades for his fine showing go to the pit crew, but the majority to his spotter, Alexandra 'Barney' Barnaby, whose guidance was perfect. However, Barney may have gave directions when to ease and when to speed up to Sam, but something disturbed the spotter about the winning car driven by Spanky Bonnano of Huevo Motor Sports though she is not sure what that is.--------------- Stiller spotter Gobbles Warner calls from a cell phone to ask Barney to get him out of the truck containing the winning race driver as he is locked inside and fears asking for help from the Huevo crew. After looking over the situation Barney with Sam¿s assistance steals the truck. However, that proves a minor felony because inside the vehicle along with the trapped Gobbles is a dead Oscar Huevo, an apparent homicide victim. Though neither wants to deal with a corpse in a stolen truck, the driver and the spotter know they must solve the murder before the police decide they committed the crime.-------------- As with METRO GIRL, MOTOR MOUTH is a delightful caper that will lead readers to think Stephanie Plum goes NASCAR. The story line is fun and zany as everything that could go wrong does with Barney believing that she makes Murphy look like an optimist as he had no St. Bernard, corpse, stolen vehicles, and the queen of fruit to contend with besides a killer and the racing circuit. Alas, this is all part of the life of a NASCAR spotter.----------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it great book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yet another half cooked book by Evanovich......very poor plot with flat jokes and a total waste of time.She is still banking on one or two good books she wrote.Disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Sam & Barney team!
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PauletteRose More than 1 year ago
If you like Evanovich you will love this book. I give it a 10+
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read most of Janet Evanovich's books. I am a night-time reader and I find it relaxing to sit and read her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE all of her books. Her sense of humor is just what I need some days. Would highly recommend that you read them all, especially the Stephanie Plum series. I can hardly wait for the next one to come out.
sunny46 More than 1 year ago
Love Janets characters,you can visualize with her writing..as always she has interesting , believable people...fast paced and never a dull moment and I for one love her sense of humor in her books...we need more Lizzy and Diesel too!
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mozzjen More than 1 year ago
I have read many different books by Janet Evanovich and I have enjoyed every one of them. This series is different than her Stephanie Plum series, but still a good start for the first two books of a new series. There is humor, mystery and a good plot contained within!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago