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One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, No. 1) (Stephanie Plum Novels) Mass Market Paperback – June, 2002
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Stephanie Plum is so smart, so honest, and so funny that her narrative charm could drive a documentary on termites. But this tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer, has a much more interesting story to tell: She has to say that her Miata has been repossessed and that she's so poor at the moment that she just drank her last bottle of beer for breakfast. She has to say that her only chance out of her present rut is her repugnant cousin Vinnie and his bail-bond business. She has to say that she blackmailed Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 (for a murder suspect), even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And she has to say that the guy she has to get, Joe Morelli, is the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in the Trenton bakery where she worked after school.
If that hard-luck story doesn't sound compelling enough, Stephanie's several unsuccessful attempts at pulling in Joe make a downright hilarious and suspenseful tale of murder and deceit. Along the way, several more outlandish (but unrelentingly real) characters join the story, including Benito Ramirez, a champion boxer who seems to be following Stephanie Plum wherever she goes.
Janet Evanovich shares an authentic feel for the streets of Trenton in her debut mystery (she developed her talents in a string of romance novels before creating Ms. Plum), and her tough, frank, and funny first-person narrator offers a winning mix of vulgarity and sensitivity. Evanovich is certainly among the best of the new voices to emerge in the mystery field of the 1990s. --Patrick O'Kelley
From Publishers Weekly
First novels this funny and self-assured come along rarely; dialogue this astute and raunchy is equally unusual. The gutsy heroine introduced here is Stephanie Plum of Trenton, N.J., a recently laid-off lingerie buyer who has no job, no car and no furniture. She does have a hamster, a deranged grandmother, two caring parents and several pairs of biking shorts and sports bras. Finding work with her cousin Vinnie, she becomes a bond hunter and scrounges money enough to buy a gun, a Chevy Nova and some Mace. Her first assignment is to locate a cop accused of murder. Joe Morelli grew up in Stephanie's neighborhood. Possessed of legendary charm, he relieved Stephanie of her virginity when she was 16 (she later ran over him with a car). In her search, Stephanie catches her prey, loses him and grills a psychotic prizefighter, the employer of the man Morelli shot. She steals Morelli's car and then installs an alarm so he can't steal it back. Resourceful and tough, Stephanie has less difficulty finding her man than deciding what she wants to do with him once she's got him. While the link between the fighter and the cop isn't clear until too late in the plot, Evanovich's debut is a delightful romp and Stephanie flaunts a rough-edged appeal. Mystery Guild alternate; author tour; film rights optioned to Tri-Star.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Adapting to frightening situations with sometimes bold innovation and an absence of timidity, Stephanie is both a risk taker and one who hedges her bets along the way with subtasks that assist in sustaining her financially as she seeks to attain her major goal. This goal is to capture an acquaintance, a guy she ****ed in her younger years, and who has skipped bail on murder charges and seemingly wants to prove his innocence.
Along the way Stephanie steals his vehicle, discarding the jalopy she started off with, and encounters unsavory and purely evil characters that make the reader want to enter a bathroom for a date with the commode. But Stephanie deals with the creeps and bums that enter into her circle of protected space and decrease its radius with skill and daring, and for readers who admire such traits in a woman, especially male readers, a voluntary sharing of their personal space would be both natural and desirable.
But just in case you think all this frivolity might keep the story from being a true mystery, don't worry about that. I thought the process of Stephanie learning how to be a "bounty hunter" or "recovery agent" by trying to bring in the biggest bond skip was extremely well written. The character made all kinds of really novice and stupid mistakes and she paid for every single one of them. No getting away from the consequences by batting her eyelashes at somebody who makes all the trouble go away. No, singed off eyebrows and skinned knees were actually the least of this woman's troubles. Was Joe Morelli a dirty cop? Stephanie wouldn't put it past him because of the grudge she's still holding from high school days so she commandeers his car and tries to capture him and earn the $10,000 fee. Her problem is that she meets Joe every time she turns around and yet is no closer to turning him in. Her investigation into the charges against him makes her start wondering if the official version of what happened might be slightly or even completely wrong. She will just have to solve the mystery and find out.
Also, I would like to make a comment about the quality of this book regarding Kindle formatting. I read comments all the time about how bad Kindle formatting is in some books. Well, I read this on my Kindle and the formatting was absolutely spot on. No problems whatsoever so that's one thing you won't have to worry about if you are a Kindle reader.