Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash–fast–but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.
Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli.From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water–wanted for murder.
Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight–and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.
I borrowed this book from my mom with no expectations and didn’t even know what it was about. I was immediately absorbed into Stephanie Plum’s wacky world and laughed out loud. The fictionalized version of Trenton, New Jersey Janet Evanovich created is full of quirky characters, colorful villains and some of the most bizarre crimes ever to inflict one small town.
Stephanie Plum, recently unemployed and desperate to not have to move home with her parents and grandmother, resorts to working for her cousin, Vinnie, a bail bondsman. After Stephanie basically blackmails him, Vinnie hires her to catch criminals who have skipped bail. She lives in a small apartment with her pet hamster, Rex, and drives a beat-up car, but it’s hers and she doesn’t want to give up her independence. And after meeting her family, I can see why. They’re loveable, but just a little too much to take for more than a few hours at a time.
Things get interesting when the one fugitive who can help her the most is ex-boyfriend and current vice cop, Joe Morelli. If she can bring him in, she’ll be set financially for a little bit anyway. Stephanie is helped along the way by super-hot professional bounty hunter, Ranger, and a smart-mouthed streetwalker named Lula. Although Joe doesn’t want to be found, Stephanie manages to bumble her way around, locating him, and mucking up his own investigation that he hopes will clear his name. Sparks fly between these two in true love-hate fashion.
There is a lot going on in One for the Money. Primarily, Stephanie needs to bring in Joe Morelli and collect her finder’s fee. But hunting him brings out several interesting subplots, including her hot and cold relationship with Joe, her ineptitude at tracing skips, the evil boxing champion Benito Ramirez who may or may not be involved in all of this, and a potential witness who could clear Joe, if he didn’t want Stephanie dead. Threading through it all is her crazy family and her slightly dysfunctional relationship with them.
No one writes snarky, quirky, and wacky characters quite like Janet Evanovich. Everyone from Stephanie right through to Grandma Mazur is a hoot. In fact, Grandma Mazur has some of the best lines in the book. There’s not a heck of a lot of character development because this is largely a plot-driven story, but there is some growth and better yet, room for lots more. Since this is just the first book in at least a 20+ book series, Janet Evanovich has left herself quite a bit to work with over the series.
One for the Money is a quick read, highly entertaining, and includes several really good twists I never saw coming. The laugh-out-loud dialogue will keep me coming back for more.
About the Book
Title: One for the Money
Series: Stephanie Plum #1
Author: Janet Evanovich
Category: Romance, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
About the Author
Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.