Review: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, by Janet Evanovich

Finger Lickin' Fifteen

In Janet Evanovich’s Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Stephanie Plum’s good friend Lula has just witnessed a murder – and the murderers have witnessed her witnessing the murder. The murder victim turns out to be a Food Channel celebrity chef, and despite Lula’s eyewitness account, the murderers are still on the loose … and coming after Lula, the only witness.

That’s not all Stephanie has on her hands. Someone’s been burglarizing Ranger’s clients, and he’s not very happy. Ranger asks Stephanie to help  – which she does, while trying to stay out of his bed. Since Ranger is, well, Ranger, this isn’t exactly easy for Stephanie.

The main thing I have to say about Finger Lickin’ Fifteen is this: do not read this as a mystery. If you read it because you’re eager to read a good mystery, you’ll just end up frustrated, gnashing your teeth and recalling the good ole days when a Stephanie Plum novel meant a nice mystery with bits of humor thrown in, dang it!

The mystery part’s just not going to happen with Finger Lickin’ Fifteen. Of the two storylines – the murder Lula witnesses, and Ranger’s problems – Ranger’s problems offer up far more of a mystery than the murder, and that’s really not saying much, because even Ranger’s troubles are far less of a mystery than your typical, well, mystery.

So why read Finger Lickin’ Fifteen? Well, if you’re a Stephanie Plum fan, and you’ve taken heed of my advice above, you read it for the laughs. You’ll get a lot of Lula, and a lot of Grandma Mazur, and if you’ve read previous Stephanie Plum books, you know what that means: madcap zany comedy, Evanovich-style.

There is, for example, the scene outside a funeral home, with Grandma Mazur packing her trusty little firearm. Or the scene where Lula gets stuck in the window of one of Ranger’s cars; I admit, the humor in this scene was on the juvenile side, but it did have me laughing. There’s also a cross-dressing fireman, antics at a barbeque cookoff, and the reaction Stephanie faces when she finally nails one of her skips, a flasher with a fondness for exposing himself to older women.

Here’s the thing, though. I’m not sure how I would have felt if I had read Finger Lickin’ Fifteen in hardcover.

I listened to this book in audio, and can definitely recommend it in audio format, especially to Stephanie Plum fans. Lorelei King is a superb narrator; she is particularly good at bringing both Lula and Grandma Mazur to life. In her hands, and with her more than capable voice talents, the listener never has a chance to get bored. As an audiobook, Finger Lickin’ Fifteen provides six hours and eighteen minutes of pure entertainment.

But if you don’t like audiobooks? I’d recommend waiting for Finger Lickin’ Fifteen to come out in paperback. With the right mindset, it can be a fun and quick read – but not at hardcover prices. Just remember – do not read it for the mystery. Because you’ll regret it if you do.

Where to buy Finger Lickin’ Fifteen:

U.S. ( | Indiebound | Canada (Chapters) | UK (

Review copy details: published by St. Martin’s Press, 2009, Audiobook

16 thoughts on “Review: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, by Janet Evanovich

    1. Belle

      I know you’re probably going to give this a try in audio :). Make sure you check that the narrator is Lorelei King – I think she only starts narrating from number six or seven on. I remember listening to an earlier one in the series, and I didn’t like it as much. My husband, who’s not a reader at all, enjoys this series in audio.

    1. Belle

      Bernadette, I agree – these books definitely have a very specific type of humour. It’s not particularly subtle sometimes, either, which is probably why it works for me in audio. It’s funny, though – I’ve never thought of them as cosies. Sometimes, the series seems like a genre in itself!

  1. Nicole

    I would probably be hesitant to give this one a try. I’m not a big comedy person, not because I don’t like to laugh but more that I haven’t found a lot of books to be particularly funny when they set out with funny as the goal. Sounds like you had fun though!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..This One is Mine, by Maria Semple =-.

    1. Belle

      I had actually lost interest in this series until I rediscovered them in audio. For some reason, they work really well for me in audio, not as well for me in print.

      You’re so right about comedy in books – I find humour can be such a distinct, personal thing, and often books meant to be funny aren’t always funny to me.

    1. Belle

      It’s definitely very popular – and it’s definitely a series that has changed. In the beginning, they were definitely more about the mystery.

  2. Tina

    I personally love the series. I laugh my butt off each and every time. I guess being of Italian heritage helps. Evanovich has every single member of my family named. I suppose we have very stereotypical names. Its hilarious. Not to mention, Ranger…. I’m gonna buy my husband some Bulgari, when I can scrape up enough cash.

  3. Bobbie

    I LOVE this series! And when I finish the latest Stephanie Plum novel, you can find me reading another Janet Evanovich book. I just recently started reading “Hero at Large” and finished it all in a day! I can’t get enough of her romantic comedy style of writing. The Plum series has me hooked though! Sign me up for the next one!!

    1. Belle

      Oh my goodness – you’re right! I didn’t even notice I’d done that. Thanks so much – I’m changing it to the correct name in my post. (I must subconsciously think of her as “Lulu”!)


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