A Stephanie Plum Novel
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“I DON’T KNOW why we gotta sit here baking in your car in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer, in the middle of this crummy neighborhood,” Lula said. “It must be two hundred degrees in here. Why don’t we have the air conditioning on?”
“It’s broken,” I told her.
“Well, why don’t you have your window open?”
“It’s stuck closed.”
“Then why didn’t we take my car? My car’s got everything.”
“Your car is red and flashy. People notice it and remember it. This is the stealth car,” I said. Lula shifted in her seat. “Stealth car, my big toe. This thing is a hunk of junk.”
This was true, but it was my hunk of junk, and due to a professional dry spell it was all I could afford. Lula and I work for my cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office in Trenton, New Jersey. I’m a fugitive apprehension agent, and Lula is my sometimes partner.
We were currently parked on Stark Street, doing surveillance on a rooming house, hoping to catch Melvin Barrel coming or going. He’d been accused of possession with intent to sell, Vinnie bonded him out of jail, and Barrel hadn’t shown for his court date. Lula makes a wage as the office file clerk, but I only make money if I catch skips, so I was motivated to tough it out in my hellishly hot car, hoping for a shot at snagging Barrel.
“I worked this street when I was a ’ho,” Lula said, “but I was in a better section. This here block is for losers. No highclass ’ho would work this block. Darlene Gootch worked this block but it turned out she was killing people as a hobby.”
Lula was fanning herself with a crumpled fast food bag she’d found on the floor in the back of my car, and the smell of stale French fries and ketchup wafted out at me.
“You keep waving that bag around and we’re going to smell like we work the fry station at Cluck- in- a- Bucket,” I said to her.
“I hear you,” Lula said. “It’s making me hungry, and much as I like the aroma of food grease, I don’t want it stuck in my hair, on account of I just had my hair done. I picked out the piña colada conditioner so I’d smell like a tropical island.”
Lula’s hair was fire- engine red today and straightened to the texture of boar bristle. Her brown skin was slick with sweat. Her extra- voluptuous plus- size body was squeezed into a size 2 petite poison- green spandex skirt, and the acres of flesh that constituted her chest overflowed a brilliant yellow spaghetti- strap tank top. At 5'5" she’s a couple inches shorter than me. We’re about the same age, which puts us in the proximity of thirtysomething. And we’re both single.
My name is Stephanie Plum and I haven’t got Lula’s body volume or the attitude that goes with it. My attitude goes more toward survival mode. I have shoulder- length curly brown hair, blue eyes almost always enhanced by a swipe of black mascara, decent teeth, a cute nose in the middle of my face, and I can almost always button the top button on my jeans.
“Look at this fool coming at us, walking down the middle of the street,” Lula said. “What the heck is he doing?”
The fool was a skinny guy dressed in homie clothes. Baggy pants, wifebeater T-shirt, $700 basketball shoes. He was jogging more than walking, and every couple steps he’d look over his shoulder and scan the street. He spotted Lula and me, made a course correction, and ran straight for us. He reached my car, grabbed the driver’s side door handle and yanked, but nothing happened.
“What’s with that?” Lula asked.
“My door’s stuck,” I said. “It happens when it gets hot.”
Copyright © 2012 by Evanovich, Inc.
Stephanie Plum has never been an attention seeker; when you work as a bounty hunter/bail-bonds enforcer, you don’t really want your prey to know you’re in the vicinity and closing in. But notoriety was bound to catch up to Stephanie sooner or later, even in the humble blue-collar burg in Trenton, NJ.
Joe Morelli is back (cue Trenton’s female population breathing a sigh of relief), and that means Bob’s back, too, in all his lovable, orange-furred glory. So is Ranger, and he needs Stephanie’s help for a change. What for? Well, he wouldn’t be the man of mystery that he is if that was so easy to ascertain. Stephanie’s feelings? Still notoriously divided.
Meanwhile, Lula is on what she considers a diet, but it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to help her squeeze her bodacious bod into her barely there outfits. And the ageless Grandma Mazur is going undercover as an “old person” to do a bit of espionage (one of Lula’s bright ideas, apparently), leaving Big Blue at Stephanie’s disposal. Too bad for her that it’s the one car she can’t dispose of.…
In the hands of New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich, the Plum-loco plotlines make Notorious Nineteen fun, sexy, compulsive reading!
Hardcover Book : pages
Publisher: Bantam Books, Inc./Div. Random House ( November 20, 2012 )
Item #: 13-643855
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.72inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I've read all the Stephanie Plum books and enjoyed every one. There's always a good mix of mystery, romance and laughter. Every one of these books has had at least one scene that made me laugh out loud. I'll be looking forward to number 20.
Not too many books actually make me laugh out loud but Janet's books do. Between Stephanie, Lula, Bob, or Carl the monkey, I am always cracking up!
Reviewer: Becky M
Notorious Nineteen is right on track with all of the Stephanie Plum Series books. You just can't put them down. They are so entertaining. The characters are so vivid and believable. I love a book that becomes my own "mental movie" and that's what this does. Thanks again, for another wonderful book!
Reviewer: Amanda K
Reviewer: Diane D
Always fun. Always my fantasy...Stephanie does things I'd never do. Love to laugh and just have fun reading the Plum series!