Tour’s Books Blog

July 21, 2010

BOYCOTT THIS BOOK: Troublemaker by Janet and Alex Evanovich

Filed under: Uncategorized — toursbooks @ 5:24 pm
Tags: ,

You know, even when I hate a book, there is usually SOME redeeming value.  Then there are just some egregious, money grubbing, inexcusable use of fame to rip-off fans.  This is a complete and total rip-off.

  • Title: Troublemaker
  • Author:  Janet Evanovich, Alex Evanovich, and Joelle Jones – illustrator
  • Type:  Graphic novel
  • Genre: Amateur sleuth; Barnaby and Hooker series
  • Sub-genre:  Glorified comic book
  • My Grade: F  (0*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Short short story with pictures for $17.99 discounts available
  • Where Available:  book available at any book store
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore

Can you spell RIP-OFF?  A huge, mind-boggling rip-off.  This pathetic attempt at money grubbing is a tribute to the desperation of authors and publishers to separate readers from their dollars without actually delivering anything of value to the reader.  This outrageously over-priced bit of trivia isn’t as good as your average comic book.

Troublemaker capitalizes on Ms Evanovich’s second tier series after her wildly successful Stephanie Plum.  Barnaby and Hooker had two outings – Metro Girl and Motor Mouth.  Both use Florida settings for much of the action, a place where Ms Evanovich has her second home.  Neither was a barn burner, but both were fairly entertaining for a light summer read.  Troublemaker is a dead loss.

The entire text of this so-called novel is shorter than a short story.  You can read it in about 20 minutes or 40 if you’re really slow.   I actually counted the words on several pages and it went from 6 to about 25.  On average, I’d say 10-15 words per page.  At 100 pages, that’s 1,500 words, give or take.  The typical book is typeset at about 400-650 words per page.  That’s a grand total of 3-4 pages of text.  How much of a story can you tell in under 2,000 words?  I’ve written journal articles that have a word limit of 3,500 words!  My reviews in my blog have long word counts!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, artwork tells part of the story, but even allowing for a few paragraphs of descriptions being taken up by the art, this is a pretty sorry excuse for a ‘graphic novel’.  The story – about Rosa’s supposed abduction – is confused, disjointed, and incoherent.  Comics, or graphic novels, require the storyline be tight, without distracting sidebars.  There’s no time or space for such things, yet Evanovich wrote this like a bunch of unconnected scenes intended for another book.  Unable to use them, they were strung them together with the slimmest premise around getting Rosa back safely and – Troublemaker was born from the scrapheap.  It was STUPID AND INSULTING TO THE READER.

I’m not sure how I feel about the very well done artwork that’s wasted on the mishmash of tale with less sense – and a lot fewer laughs – than a Carol Burnett sketch.  It was rather sad.  The artist, Joelle Jones, obviously cared a great deal while mother and daughter Evanovich were more than willing to trade on their names.

Like many people, I read comics as a kid.  The creators of characters like Batman, Superman, even Archie, respected their audience and gave them stories that were illustrated with good art.  Troublemaker had the quality art, but no story.

My recommendation:  BOYCOTT THIS BOOK. I’m serious.  As long as people buy this god-awful tripe on the strength of an author’s popularity, readers will be ripped off.  It’s a disgrace and not worth the 20 minutes it will take to read it.  Tell everyone who reads Evanovich to give this an absolute pass.  At a $1.50 it would be overpriced.  At $17.99, it’s a joke, even at the Amazon discount that takes it under $10.00.  Allow me to blow a big, fat Bronx cheer at Janet and Alex Evanovich!  Go buy some real comic books.  You’ll get more value for your money!



  1. Bless you. Her arrogance is astounding. For two people who allegedly love comics and graphic novels, they had no clue how to write one. I’m not talking about the technical stuff, like how to design the frames. I’m talking about telling a story that isn’t tedious and condescending. They treated this book like it was a Dick and Jane picture book. A few years ago, Janet gave an interview with a newspaper in Florida, and she talked about graphic novels being the “next big thing” because no one wanted to read “real” books anymore. I laughed at the time because it just showed how ignorant she was when it came to graphic novels and their audiences. I don’t read graphic novels because I’m too stupid to read a “real” book or because I have ADD. I read them because I truly enjoy the medium. It’s all too obvious in Troublemaker that she simply doesn’t get it. This was a ploy for her to get her daughter’s name on a book cover and earn a load of cash without either of them having to do more than a weekend’s worth of work.

    Comment by Elizabeth — July 22, 2010 @ 8:29 am | Reply

    • If it took Janet and Alex Evanovich a weekend to create Troublemaker, I’d be shocked. I create better and more complex stories on forums I play on in just an hour and I’m no professional writer! The way publishers and authors are using various mediums to endlessly get more and more revenue from consumers is a shame.

      Though I read ebooks, I do prefer print because I can share easily with family and friends, but stunts like this, not to mention the ‘serialization’ of ebook novels so the total cost is twice what it should be, are trends I find insulting to all readers. It all started with the ‘Tom Clancy Cottage Industry’ and now everyone from James Patterson to Clive Cusslar are lending their names to all manner of books and publications, many of which they have little input on. This latest ploy probably shouldn’t be so shocking, but the disrespect it shows fans of both standard novels and graphic novels is quite intolerable.

      Comment by toursbooks — July 22, 2010 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

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