Book review: Curious Minds by Jane Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Permalink

I’ve confessed my love of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum before. I enjoy the series and the books consistently offer me the escapism I need. They’re fun and written in an entertaining and comedic way that help overlook any glitches in plot or realism.

I note she’s going down the James Patterson route of writing books with other authors and I’ve tried a few of the different series on offer, so was interested to see yet another creation, this time with award-winning television writer Phoef Sutton.

Book review: Curious Minds by Jane Evanovich and Phoef SuttonCurious Minds
by Janet Evanovich, Phoef Sutton
Series: Knight and Moon #1
Published by Headline Review
on August 16th 2016
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Humour
ISBN: 1472225511, 9781472225511
Pages: 336

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little-to-no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he's also brilliant, rich and (some people might say) handsome.

Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard. Her assertive (some people might say aggressive) spitfire attitude has helped land a dream job at Blane-Grunwald bank. At least, Riley Moon thinks it's her dream job until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

An inquiry about missing Knight money leads to a missing man, missing gold and a life-and-death race across the country.

Through the streets of Washington D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon could hope to stop it...

This is the first book in the series so a perfect time to jump on in. And jump I did, reading the book in one night.

It has to be said though, that I did struggle a little with the quality of the writing in the early parts of the book. It was engaging, but not great and could have used a good edit.

Riley reached in and cleared the passenger seat of a folder containing random legal documents…. She was almost sure that her suit skirt was long enough to cover her hoo-ha when she bent over, but she gave the skirt a subtle tug just to be sure. p 19

This sounds like something Lula from the Plum series would say, but here it’s not even a direct thought from Riley, more the narrative… so the use of ‘hoo-ha’ felt off to me and was a stark reminder this was a story and there was… a storyteller.

And then the fact Riley’s conservative senior partner (boss) called her ‘Moonbeam’ seemed entirely out of character.

However… like Evanvoich’s other series’ this is more about the characters than the plot or writing. Indeed, one really needs to suspend disbelief as Emerson and Riley willingly pursue a dangerous group and break into a military facility with little to protect them – in terms of weaponry, skills or (at times) logic. It was hard to NOT think… ‘there’s no way someone would do that’. In some ways the pair are laughingly inept (as investigators) but continue to fumble their way to success.

But, this book is saved by its two leads. Emerson in particular is reminiscent of Jonny Lee Miller and / or Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.

Whether he’s eccentric, somewhere on the ASD spectrum or just severely lacking in social skills could be debated and probably isn’t important. But he’s certainly quirky. He’s got no filter – when it comes to his actions as well as his words. But he’s got a good heart. Deep down. Somewhere.

And Riley was extremely likeable albeit less believable. She’s ambitious with degrees from Harvard and finally on the track to a successful financial career but far too easily led astray by Emerson. She does however, have a strong sense of right and wrong, so her humble beginnings and ability to play well with others make her Emerson’s perfect foil.

What takes place in this novel is highly improbable and over-the-top outrageous at times, but if you overlook that it’s also good fun and very entertaining. Not to mention cleverly droll at times.

As they’re about to abseil into a cavernous ummm…. cave thingy:

“You’ve done this harness thing before, right?” Riley asked. “You know what you’re doing?”

“I was into rope bondage for a while in Japan. They call it kinbaku-bi, which means ‘the beauty of tight binding.'”

“You’re joking, right?”

“If it makes you feel more comfortable, then yes.” p 257

Curious Minds by Jane Evanovich and Phoef Sutton was published in Australia via Hachette.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 

  • Stormi D Johnson
    August 17, 2016

    I kind of wanted to read this one but maybe not right now…lol. If I decide to get it i will and if not then I don’t think I am missing to much. 🙂

    • Debbish
      August 22, 2016

      It’s a nice light read Stormi, so perfect for when you’re after something like that.

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    August 18, 2016

    I used to like Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series in the early days but quit reading them awhile ago. I have listened to a couple of her books with other authors and thought it matched up to what you say about Curious Minds. They;’re fun books but hardly stand outs. If I see it on audio I might give it a try but it doesn’t sound like a book I need to rush out and find.

    • Debbish
      August 22, 2016

      They’d probably be quite fun on audio Katherine!

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    August 24, 2016

    I enjoy her Fox/O’Hare series written with Goldberg. I have plans to give this one a try.

    • Debbish
      August 24, 2016

      These are like the Fox / O’Hare series Nise’. Good fun and often outrageously over-the-top!

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