Game On by Janet Evanovich #BookReview #Thriller #Mystery

Stephanie Plum returns to hunt down a new kind of criminal operating out of Trenton in the 28th book in the wildly popular series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude who she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy. 

Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth, but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way as she sets the stage to draw Wednesday out from behind his computer and into the real world.

What I Enjoyed

Suppose you have never read a book in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. In that case, the first thing I love about the series is that it is written with little summaries of relevant events and characters as they appear in each book. This should make jumping into the series at any point perfectly fine, and I wouldn’t anticipate any issues following along. But, be warned, once you read and enjoy one, you will want to go back and read them all.

One of the first things I noticed in Game On is a definite shift in tone from the previous books. That shift in tone is excellent because it reflects a change in Stephanie Plum. She is growing and changing as a character. That is refreshing and great to experience. My only wish in the past was to see some growth in Stephanie because the series had begun to feel a bit stale with the same struggles happening repeatedly. Hopefully, she will continue to grow and change, even if it is just subtly.

I’ve always enjoyed the setting – a small Berg of Trenton, New Jersey. It’s just small enough to give Stephanie, someone born in raised in the neighborhood, plenty of resources for information. It also has that homey feel that I can easily relate to and adds bits of lightness and humor throughout the thrilling, action-packed, and often dangerous tale, as Stephanie doesn’t leave any stones unturned- from the gossip chains of her mother and grandmother to the mob connections of the Bail Bonds’ office manager.

I love so many things about this series. Still, one of the last ones I will mention here is that this soft-boiled mystery is full of thrills, spills, and dangerous situations. The pages literally couldn’t flip faster as I treated my love of thrills and my love of laughter within the same bound package. The story is dotted with perfectly timed comedic relief through a few larger-than-life characters and repeating events. Does the humor detract from the thrills? I don’t believe so – they just give me an extra reason to love this series and keep me coming back for each installment.

What I Wish

Stephanie is still in a state of flux, so I would like to continue to see her grow and change.


I’ve already mentioned the main character, Stephanie Plum. She is a bounty hunter who refuses to carry a gun, so she relies on her uncanny instincts and wit rather than brute force. Does she sometimes need help because she usually is dealing with evil men? Of course, she does, but that just brings in a host of endearing and quirky characters and lots of fun to read about. 

In this novel, Diesel returns. He is a man of mystery and magic who sometimes comes to Trenton and inevitably crosses paths with Stephanie. This time they are looking for the same man who is planning something significant with his hacking skills and failed to show for his court appointment. Who Diesel is or even what he is is unknown, but he always intrigues me because of his mysterious magic.

Reminds Me Of

Some books and series remind me of this one, but I’ve never thought in terms of the Stephanie Plum series reminding me of something else. It came first, so it’s always the series that I hold similar stories up to.

To Read or Not to Read

If you love thrills and spills and enjoy a healthy dose of humor, the Stephanie Plum series is waiting for you to pick up just one of the many books in the series. Once you do, you will find yourself looking for time to read more.

My Rating


27 Replies to “Game On by Janet Evanovich #BookReview #Thriller #Mystery”

  1. 28 books? Wow.. I’ve enjoyed a few from this series but I wasn’t aware of just how many there are now. I’ll have to read this some time.
    Great review, Tessa, and thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? It was subtle but definitely there. I don’t know how long. Every book I keep fearing will be the last one.


  2. I’ve never read this series, but I know there are some die-hard fans out there. Your review really makes me want to get started, and I like that you’re able to dive in anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so funny and thrilling. And blowing up the New Jersey stereotypes like she does is just genius. She has some extra novellas in the series that might provide that little tidbit without blowing up your reading schedule. Visions of Sugar Plums is a Christmas one and only 150 pages. 🤷‍♀️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve often wondered if I’d like this series, but I can never seem to get past picturing Katherine Heigl as the lead, and I’m not a fan of hers. Which is all on me, I know. I don’t know that I could start with book 28. I think I’d have to start with 1 if I tried it. But this does sound good. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Okay, Katherine Heigl was an awful choice. That always irritates me that they cast her. And book one is a great choice! There’s also seasonal novellas that are not part of the series proper but are considered #.5s. They are short and give you just a taste. But I highly recommended trying One for the Money and getting Katherine Heigl out of your head.

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  4. Has the author ever expressed in an interview or on social media that she’s tired of this series? I ask because I’m thinking of writers like Doyle, who tired of Sherlock, and Montgomery, who did not want to write about Anne Shirley anymore. Perhaps making Stephanie Plum grow is the author’s attempt to make the character “new,” in a way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That and it is much needed. I’ve seen reviews from people who gave up on the series because nothing changes. And, I get that. You can only be torn between two guys for so long before it just gets old. Lol.

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      1. Are you into that bones series by Kathy Reich? It sounds like one you’d also read. I know from reading reviews and synopses that the character definitely grows and changes.

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        1. I watched/loved the show but only read one of the books – the most recent. My husband also thought I read the series and got me a signed copy of one of them many years ago. Lol.


          1. I enjoyed the novellas but thought the full-length novels had a lot of flab in them. The author would add extra plot lines that I didn’t care a wink about.


  5. It’s great to learn that Stephanie is beginning to grow. I only read the first book but so many friends love this series that I’m always reading about the stories. Love triangles drive me batty, too, so I didn’t continue. But, I’m glad you’re loving it! As always, your review is excellent, Tessa💜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Admittedly I gave up somewhere in the teens but a change in tone sounds interesting and no mention of her original male friends 🙂 (Loved them but the whole back and forth got old.) Might jump back into the series after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The back and forth did get old. I loved both of them too but sometimes you just have to make a decision ❤️


  7. Great review Tessa. I am a couple behind and I slowed down because I also thought the series was getting a bit stale. Nice to hear that this one will shake it up a bit. I like Diesel as well, so it is nice to see him again.


  8. What a lovely review. I’ve only read her first book in this series! I loved it, but then I never read any more.

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