Troublemaker, Book 1 (Alex Barnaby Series)

( 136 )

Overview

Janet Evanovich, the New York Times #1 best-selling author of Finger Lickin' Fifteen, brings Alexandra Barnaby and Sam Hooker, from the hit Barnaby novels Metro Girl and Motor Mouth, to Dark Horse Comics with her debut graphic novel ? Troublemaker!

Alex Barnaby and Sam Hooker are back together and fighting crime the only way they know how ? by leaving a trail of chaos, panic, and disorder. Alex, an auto mechanic and spotter for racecar driver Sam Hooker, is drawn to trouble like...

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Overview

Janet Evanovich, the New York Times #1 best-selling author of Finger Lickin' Fifteen, brings Alexandra Barnaby and Sam Hooker, from the hit Barnaby novels Metro Girl and Motor Mouth, to Dark Horse Comics with her debut graphic novel — Troublemaker!

Alex Barnaby and Sam Hooker are back together and fighting crime the only way they know how — by leaving a trail of chaos, panic, and disorder. Alex, an auto mechanic and spotter for racecar driver Sam Hooker, is drawn to trouble like a giant palmetto bug to a day-old taco. Unfortunately, she's also drawn to Hooker in the same fashion. There's no steering clear of trouble or Hooker when friends Rosa and Felicia call for help. A man has gone missing, and in order to find him Barnaby and Hooker will have to go deep into the underbelly of Miami and south Florida, surviving Petro Voodoo, explosions, gift- wrapped body parts, a deadly swamp chase, and Hooker's mom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Evanovich continues her Barnaby series (Metro Girl, Motor Mouth) in graphic novel form with the help of her co-writer daughter and artist Jones (You Have Killed Me). No need to know about the previous adventures of Alex Barnaby and NASCAR driver Sam Hooker, since everyone is clearly introduced for new readers. Old friend Felicia has summoned Alex to Florida because their mutual friend Rosa has been kidnapped by someone practicing voodoo. The art is direct and simply laid out, with no more than four panels to a page and the pictures supporting dialogue and caption exposition. That makes for an easy-to-read starting point for those unfamiliar with comics. The attractive figures and detailed settings also help, and Dan Jackson’s bright colors capture the sun-soaked feel of Miami. Jones gives Barnaby wide-open eyes and an adorable pug nose that makes her appear young and approachable. She’s cute, and that plays well in the action-packed romantic comedy/thriller that follows (including outdated cougar jokes). Jones is also good with the dog, Beans, a slobbery St. Bernard, providing comic relief. For those not already Evanovich fans, it’s rather like a grown-up Scooby Doo; the story’s conclusion is due in Book Two in November. (July)
VOYA - Jennifer Rummel
The Troublemaker stories feature Barnaby and Hooker from Evanovich's previous books, Metro Girl (HarperTorch, 2004) and Motor Mouth (HarperCollins, 2006). Alex Barnaby, a mechanic for NASCAR driver, Sam Hooker, discovers a ransom note for her friend, Felicia, along with a voodoo doll. Barnaby immediately wants to call the police. Instead, she is manipulated into looking for Felicia with Hooker. Trouble follows them as they are chased by people in boats and cars, while also escaping bombings and deadly snakes. Amidst the danger, they uncover clues to Felicia's whereabouts. The first book ends on a cliff-hanger but the second installment picks up the story immediately. Set in New Orleans, the setting of Troublemaker Book 1 rings true through swamp exploits, voodoo experts, and the city's well known nightlife. Troublemaker Book 2 takes place in Florida and New Orleans. The colorful, engaging art compliments the text and adds depth and humor to the story. The panels are easy to follow, making it accessible for adults unaccustomed to reading graphic novels. For teens not familiar with Evanovich's work, these will be a great introduction to her novels. As with Evanovich's novels, action and danger fuel the story, with humor and a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. Reviewer: Jennifer Rummel
Library Journal
Fans of Metro Girl and Motor Mouth can enjoy this shorter romp with mechanic Alexandra Barnaby ("Barney") and NASCAR racer Sam Hooker. This time, the disaster-prone duo scurries off to rescue friend Rosa from a voodoo cult, and we're in for a swamp chase, breaking and entering, a wooden body they need to hide, a sack of snakes, and a ticked-off chicken. Jones's art gets the goofball frenetics just right, even if there's not as much story or hormonal zing as in the novels. Older teens and up.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal
Fans of Metro Girl and Motor Mouth can now find Evanovich's disaster-prone duo in comics. Alexandra Barnaby ("Barney") and Sam Hooker don't drink martinis as invitingly as The Thin Man's Nick and Nora, but they do fight funny. Sam's a NASCAR racer and Barney his mechanic and spotter, so chase scenes figure prominently in these lighthearted tangles of repartee and rotten villains. This time, Barney's friend Rosa has been taken hostage by a voodoo cult. Off scurry Barney and Hooker to rescue her, and we're in for a diverting mix featuring a swamp chase, breaking and entering, a botanica proprietress, and a meddling cougar of a mother. Jones's art gets the goofball frenetics just right, but there's not nearly as much story or hormonal zing as in the novels, especially without book two yet. VERDICT Comics aficionados may be entertained, but prose-inclined fans won't get much of a fix, and everybody will kvetch about getting fewer pages and less story than they should in one volume. Purchase with caution. The light innuendos make this teen-safe but likely less appealing to Evanovich's original audience.—M.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594193180
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Series: Alex Barnaby Series
  • Edition description: Graphic Novel
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet  Evanovich
Janet Evanovich
Over a decade ago, Janet Evanovich tossed aside a career as a romantic novelist in favor of a wacky world populated by thugs, crooks, hookers, and a certain sexy little bounty hunter named Stephanie Plum… and the world of modern mystery fiction hasn’t been the same since.

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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 136 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(38)

1 Star

(44)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 136 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2010

    SADLY, EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING...NOTHING BUT A COMIC BOOK IN HARDCOVER. TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY! (SECOND GRADE LEVEL BOOK) A WASTE EVEN AS A FREE BOOK!

    This book is so below Janet Evanovich's usual quality it's actually sad. It should not be advertised as a novel. It's nothing but a glorified comic book in a hardcover. The entire book...cover to cover is less then an inch thick. I've bought and enjoyed every one of her books until this fiasco.

    I only gave it one star because I couldn't give it anything less.

    If you're looking for a second grade level comic book then this would be a great read.

    This is book one in an Alexandra Barnaby and Sam Hooker series. It is beyond a doubt the last I will waste my money on.

    This book is so disappointing that it's actually sad. It would be disappointing even as a free book!

    I sincerely hope this is not what all her writing will be like from now on. A total waste of money and hopes of enjoying a good read!

    29 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2010

    Read the Description!

    This is NOT a novel - it's a Graphic Novel (which is essentially a comic book). Don't buy this if you are expecting "just another Janet Evanovich book", because it's not!

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    Extreme disappointment! A sad commentary from a great author who failed her loyal fans

    I was really saddened by this cheap excuse for a continuation of what I considered to be a great series by Ms. Evanovich. I am also a Nascar fan, and enjoyed how she had employed this sport into a unique series, then after waiting for a very long time, get a crummy comic book for my diligence. I have spent alot of money over the last few years supporting Ms. Evanovich and her Plum series, as well as Motor Mouth, and enjoy them both; I have both paperbacks and hardcovers of these books, and have praised the author many times to many people, and then get this disappointment. I understand wanting to branch out to, something new, but couldn't you have selected new characters to work with, and made it a series separate from your regular works? Perhaps you will redeem yourself
    by writing another Motor Mouth book that isn't a graphic novel. If I wanted to read graphic novels, I would buy them. At age 47, I prefer to read actual books, and use my imagination to flesh out what the characters may look like from your descriptions. I am an adult who is capable of processing the written word, and much prefer it that way. Please make up for this tragedy by writing an actual novel! I needn't remind you that there are alot of people who really enjoy your writing, and do not want to be disappointed again...please contnue on in your previous vein. PLEASE and THANK YOU!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    When are we going to get a third volume in the Barnaby series?

    I knew that Troublemaker would be a graphic novel, and I've enjoyed those before. But this completely failed me for three reasons. First, the art itself just isn't that great. I've had a mental picture of Barnaby and Hooker for some time, and these semi-manga characters don't do them justice. Expressions don't really follow the language either. When Barnaby is talking to Felicia in the opening scenes, Felicia is smiling about waving chicken over the voodoo doll. She looks like she's not taking things seriously, but she's worried about her friend who didn't come home, and she's upset enough to wake Barney up at 3:00.

    Second reason, I bought what was advertised as a graphic novel, not book one of an ongoing series, and I don't know how many of them I'm expected to buy before I find out what happened. This November, Book 2 of 3? Book 2 of we'll nurse it without resolution for as long as we can? Too bad, really.

    Third reason, I picked it up from the post office this afternoon. Half an hour after I get in the house, I'm done with volume 1. It lacks the depth of Evanovich's prose, and much of the humor that the previous Motormouth books had.

    I wish I had enjoyed it more.

    Bill

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2010

    Disappointed. I liked the first two Barnaby books very much.

    There may have been a good plot cooking but didn't hold my interest. Maybe it was the style but I was very disappointed and will probably not buy the other two books.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    its horrible

    i love all the Plum series and most of the other ones. i have most books written by this author. i really didn't like this book. if you want a regular book to read then don't buy this. i did a pre-sale and it was sent to me. if i had seen it i never would have bought it. i think the audience that reads these books, that a graphic novel isn't something that would be liked.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    So Disappointed

    I pre-ordered this book back in April and could not wait for it to come out in July. I was so excited when the box arrived. I love Janet and read everything she writes, as soon as, it comes out. We received one page of text in 50+ pages! It took me 30 minutes to read the book. So disappointing!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2010

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book (?) is going back to the store! There's no way anyone should pay more than $1.00 for this comic book. What a crock!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    Returned the book once I ordered it on line and saw what it was

    I thought that this was a new novel. Why would we want to pay that price for a hard back comic book. Very disappointing. I think it should be made clear that it is not a novel but a graphic comic book when you view the details of the book. I would never had ordered it had I realized.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    What a waste

    Well even for a graphic novel it fell short. It felt very elementary and after such great charatcer development in her first 2 books this just was such a downer. Not worth the read. Go back to what you do best and write your fans a book worthy of Alex and Sam.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2010

    Very Disapointing

    I had thought I bought a Baraby Novel. This is a comic book. I sure won't buy her 2nd one. I also didn't want to even give it 1 star, but I couldn't go any lower.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2010

    What happened!

    I fell in love and was hooked from the very first Janet Evanovich book. I suffer from depression and PTSD and Janet makes me laugh, but this book was horrible! It was so totally disappointing! I wanted to get up immediately after reading it and contact Janet! I can't believe I paid that much money for a comic book. I have read a lot of comic books that had more to them than that book. I have always watched for the next book to come out because she has me hooked. I own every one of her books that I ever bought and won't sell them or give them away, but this one I don't want! I paid for this book in April and have been anxiously watching for its delivery. I will not buy another book in this series! Next time I want to see the book before I buy it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    "Trouble Maker" is disappinting

    I was so disappointed in "Trouble Maker". My friends and I are avid followers of Ms. Evanovich's Stephanie Plum and Alex Barnaby books. All of us have all of her books and we were really excited that the third book in the Alex Barnaby series was coming out. I was shocked to find that this book was little more than a comic book with a hard cover. I read the first two pages and was so disappointed that I put it aside and decided right then to return it. I emailed my friends and told them not to even bother buying it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    SOOOOOOOOOOO DISAPPOINTED

    First off, I didn't even read this........I just received it
    in the mail.......I opened the box and was so excited... until I actually
    opened up the book and went.........what the heck?......its a stinking comic book....where is the REAL book?
    I love Janet! I've been a Janet fan forever....but this is just pathetic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2010

    What has happened to Evanovich?!?

    I am...was a die hard fan and own everyone of her books. Last year when Finger Lickin' Fifteen came out I was disappointed, but was willing to give sixteen a chance. Sizzling Sixteen was worse than Fifteen in my opinion. However, Sixteen is a bestseller compared to the bomb - Trouble Maker. I wish she would go back to REALLY writing or just wind up the open series instead of publishing low quality substance lacking material.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    Don't waste your money

    This was like an outline of a book, not a actual novel. I am a fan of Janet Evanovich but this was disappointing and frustrating. I enjoy the reading of a book - a graphic novel is apparently not for me. Not only was this "book" incredibly short, but it is not even complete. The conclusion of the story will be out in November. In short, not what I would pay $17.99 (or even B&N's discounted rate of $12.99) for - twice.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2010

    Comic Book???

    I have read all of Janet's novels and preordered this book. I had no idea that Graphic Novel's are actually comic books. I was looking forward to reading about Alex Barnaby again and I am so disappointed. The book took no time to read. As an avid book reader, I could care less about pictures and that was what this book was all about. Plus, the actual writing was weak!
    Since I don't read comic books, I can't comment on this book in that capicty, but maybe if you like lots of pictures, this book will work for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    Disappointing. Really didn't even want to rate it.

    I wish I had read the reviews before ordering. It is truly a comic book in a hard cover. I am returning it. I am greatly disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    loved the 1st 2 of this series - can't continue as long as a comic

    I loved the 1st 2 books of this series motor mouth and metro girl - have re-read them also, couldn't wait for the troublemaker book to come out - but what a waste of money - the story line didn't end, you have to buy another section to finish the story or not and $18 for a comic book that leaves the reader hanging - won't be buying the graphic novel #2 which is sad as I've bought every book Janet has written including her early works as I like her writing style.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    Pay Attention to What you Buy!

    I personally wanted this book because it is a graphic novel, AKA comic book. I'm a fan of Janet Evanovich and I wanted to see something different. To those complaining about it being a comic book...uhm hello...what did you think a graphic novel was? Were you unsure why there was a credited illustrator? If you are interested in the comic book version, then yes, you will like it. It is not a novel and is not intended to be. The last time I checked, a comic book has been called a graphic novel for a long time. It's not like this is the first book to ever call it a graphic novel. Save the slamming of its layout for yourselves. It's not the author's fault that you did not read the description before you purchased it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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