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review 2020-06-17 15:48
Look Alive Twenty-Five
Look Alive Twenty-Five - Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum, Book 25

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series

The Characters:

Stephanie Plum:
Joe Morelli:
Carlos “Ranger” Manoso:
Grandma Mazur, Lula, Connie,

The Story:

Why anyone would decide Stephanie is the perfect person to run a deli is beyond me but that’s what happens in this installment. Color me shocked that more terrible things didn’t happen to that deli. Especially with Stephanie using herself as bait to catch a kidnapper. Somehow it all turns out okay in the end and Stephanie and her ragtag group seem like they are ready to handle their next romp.

The Random Thoughts:


4 Stars

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review 2020-02-24 22:37
The Dead Alive (Collins)
The Dead Alive - Wilkie Collins

This novella by Collins was first published in 1874 in the collection "The Frozen Deep and other stories" under the title "John Jago's Ghost; or The Dead Alive". Based on a real early 19th-century case, it is set in the US, and the solution to the mysterious disappearance/murder of John Jago is fairly easily discerned from the title. The narrator-protagonist is a youngish lawyer, on a foreign trip to cure his nervous complaint (well, so much for that), and he encounters no supernatural occurrences or Gothic contrivances, other than a couple of moonlit gardens. Instead, there is a steady buildup of characterization for four or five main players, including the aforementioned John Jago, as well as one of Collins' trademark Young Women Who Know Their Own Mind (this one demonstrates it in American idioms, though not too annoyingly).


There's a disappearance, the arrest of two overwhelmingly obvious suspects, several stages of trial (interestingly, we're taken through the whole rarely-described sequence of magistrate - Grand Jury - formal trial), a couple of confessions with coercion in question, a verdict, a newspaper advertisement and a coincidental discovery, all overlaid with a rather unnecessary romantic sub-plot that leaves us a little unsure whether the young lady in question really knows her own mind or not, so quickly does she change the object of her affections. But then, it's not a full-length novel.


A quick and easy read, and it has been republished (2005) as an interesting early fictionalization of a wrongful conviction in the US, along with a lot of contextual legal information on the same - that is not the edition I read.


If you read Collins because he tells a good story, this item will suit you fine; if you read him for his Gothic/supernatural/sensational aspects, don't be fooled by the title - there's next to nothing in that vein.

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review 2020-01-06 17:56
Kidnapping & Murder – Dead Or Alive by Jane Blythe @jblytheauthor
Dead or Alive (Detective Parker Bell) (Volume 3) - Jane Blythe

Dead Or Alive by Jane Blythe is Book III in the Detective Parker Bell series and it is wonderful to be back with such a fabulous group of characters and to see what trouble they find themselves in this time.


Dead or Alive (Detective Parker Bell #3)

Amazon / Goodreads




Dead Or Alive by Jane Blythe starts out with a BANG…and keeps on going.


Detective Parker Bell is doing his grocery shopping, just a mundane chore we can all relate to, when he hears a gunshot and sees a car screeching out of the parking lot. Two bodies are lying on the pavement…


The characters all have their heavy baggage to bear and miscommunication abounds because of their need to protect themselves, and their secrets. Parker and Tessa are together, but she holds tight to her thoughts and feelings. It’s a good thing he has patience and so much love for her.


Wyatt is Parker’s partner, but he thinks of him as his brother. Parker has a tendency to let his emotions rule him, becoming personally involved in many of his cases. That is how him and Tessa came to be together, but that is another story.


I love Jane Blythe’s ability to put me in the middle of the suspense and danger, Darkness and their past seem to dog their every footstep.


Tessa…she is my favorite character. If something needs to be done, she feels she must do it herself. She will sacrifice everything for Parker and her friends and family. She puts herself last.


I had trouble with a few things, but as the story came together and Jane was wrapping everything up, it all became clear. I love when an author leads me down a path that trips me up and leaves me saying, AHA, I get it now.


When Parker comes up missing, she makes a deal with the devil…and that is the tease for the next book in this standalone series. I do recommend beginning at the beginning because I have loved every step of the way, but Jane Blythe recaps a lot of the past action so that you can know why these characters do what they do.


SO…What’s the cost of making a deal with the devil? Find out in Little Girl Lost.


I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Dead Or alive by Jane Blythe.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos4 Stars






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Source: www.fundinmental.com/kidnapping-murder-dead-or-alive-by-jane-blythe-jblytheauthor
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review 2019-12-31 06:35
Look Alive Twenty-five (Stephanie Plum, #25)
Look Alive Twenty-Five - Janet Evanovich

I knew my slump was abysmal when it took me two weeks to finish this book.  I'm still slumping big time, but at least I managed to finish it before the end of the year.  I'm marking this as an accomplishment, as my attention span is worse than Lula's at the moment.


Speaking of Lula, she was my only irritant in this book; her sandwich making 'genius' stretched the boundaries of believability more than her wardrobe usually does, and speaking of her wardrobe, kudos to Evanovich for making me laugh out loud - hard - with the scene in the deli where Lula's fashion choices prove incompatible with waitressing.  I haven't laughed that hard since Grandma Mazur shot the turkey.


Otherwise, it was a standard Plum novel, albeit with more Ranger time, which I appreciated.  Wulf from the between the numbers novels played a weird cameo part, and the book ended in something of a cliffhanger/lead-in to book 26, which is something new for Evanovich's novels.  I tend to dislike these in general, though not enough to get het up about it.


Sad to say this will realistically be my last read for the year 2019, ::sniffle::.

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review 2019-12-31 04:07
A local rock star with ambition, a shoplifter, and a mysterious deli fill Stephanie Plum's 25th novel.
Look Alive Twenty-Five - Janet Evanovich

Someone that Vincent Plum Bail Bonds had put up the bail for skipped town, and he'd put up his deli as collateral. Vincent's father-in-law (the owner of the Bail Bonds) has decided he wants to diversify, so he's hanging onto it. The catch is, the last several managers have disappeared while working. So Vinnie's decided that 1. Stephanie is the new manager; 2. She needs to find out what's going on to get the other manager's kidnapped/killed/whatever; 3. She can take care of her bond enforcement job during the off hours.


That's pretty much all you need to know. Stephanie's running a strange little deli with Lulu as the assistant manager/sandwich guru. There are three other employees there who really know what they're doing (mostly doing drugs while toiling away at a minimum wage job). Hijinks ensue—her car is stolen, she tracks down a couple of skips, she looks into the disappearances (with help from Joe Morelli and Ranger), and things get weird at the deli (particularly due to Lulu, who becomes a social media sensation of the moment).


I must say that Stephanie seems more competent at this gig than a lot of the other jobs she's held over the course of this series—either in an undercover assignment or because she was trying to do something other than bond enforcement. If it wasn't for the distraction of the investigation (and Lulu), she probably could've made a decent go of it and changed the series for good. It was pleasant to see her not horrible at something.


We get a little bit of another of Stephanie's supernatural acquaintances, Gerwulf Grimoire (Wulf), here, but in such a small amount that I'm really not sure why Evanovich bothered. That said, if she was determined to use Wulf, this is precisely as much as she should.


I still don't get what Stephanie sees in Joe, or what Ranger sees in Stephanie, or why Joe or Ranger let this stupid triangle continue. But I'm at peace with that—I'll never get it, and Evanovich will never change it, why fight it?


If this had been part of any other story, I'd say the solution stretches credulity too far. But as it's a Plum novel, I really don't think I can. Honestly, it was only as I was gathering wool a couple of days later that I gave it any thought.


One last thing: I'd read the blurb for Twisted Twenty-Six a few weeks earlier, and was looking forward to reading it more than I have since the mid-teens (I'm guessing). So, it turns out that I was already primed for the near cliff-hanger last couple of pages. I don't feel too bad saying that because it really doesn't have much to do with this novel (although events in it do tie-in), but it's something I have to talk about because I don't remember Evanovich doing this in the previous twenty-four novels.* Evanovich doing anything new at this point is something to note and celebrate.


* Feel free to correct me in the comments.


This wasn't anything special, but there wasn't anything annoying about it, either. Which sets it apart from the last handful. Evanovich ticked all the boxes she needed to; got Stephanie into a new situation and had her handle it in a non-disastrous way; and capped the book off with something new. I can't imagine Evanovich will return to the comedic heights of the early series—and I imagine even less that she feels any compulsion to do so. I just hope for a reliable level of moderate entertainment, and that's what she delivered. It's a decent time, but if you're new to Plum—go back to One for the Money and immerse yourself in the first dozen or so of these before taking the plunge into the higher numbers.


2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/12/30/look-alive-twenty-five-by-janet-evanovich-a-local-rock-star-with-ambition-a-shoplifter-and-a-mysterious-deli-fill-stephanie-plums-25th-novel
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