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