One for the Money Review
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Okay, so I think we’ve already established the fact that I’m hooked on Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. And at a recent book sale held at our local library, I hit the jackpot. I was scanning through boxes and boxes of books when I saw it: the first Stephanie Plum book. I shoved through the crowd, snatched up the book, and clutched it in my arms as I ran off.

Yep. I like these books that much.

Now that I’ve read several of the more recent Plum novels, it was exciting to read the first one—the one that started it all. In One for the Money Evanovich sets up the story. Stephanie Plum is down-and-out. She’s been out of a job for six months, her car has been impounded, and she’s sold all of her furniture to pay the rent and keep herself and her hamster, Rex, fed. Desperate for cash, she goes to her cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman, to beg for a filing job. Instead, she ends up taking a job as a bounty hunter (how hard can that be?)

Stephanie’s first job is to hunt down Joe Morelli, a guy who grew up down the street from Stephanie—and with whom she had an, er, encounter behind the éclair counter at the donut shop where she used to work. Now Morelli’s a cop. Or at least he was until he supposedly killed an unarmed man and then disappeared. It’s Stephanie’s job to find Morelli and bring him in—but it turns out to be easier said than done. Even with the help of Ranger, a veteran bounty hunter, Steph finds that while she keeps running into Morelli, she can’t seem to capture him. And to make matters worse, she’s become the obsession of a criminally insane boxer who’s determined to make her his next victim.

One for the Money isn’t Evanovich’s best. Her writing has definitely gotten a lot more solid since this first book in her series. But the important things are still there—namely the laughs and the eccentric characters (like Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur and Lula, the queen-sized hooker). And it’s worth reading just to see how it all began.

If you’ve never read a Stephanie Plum book before, you don’t have to start with the first one—though it definitely won’t hurt to start from the beginning. Pick up One for the Money. It’s a super-quick read (it only took me about three or four days of spare-time reading), and once you’ve read it, you’ll be eager to move on to the next one.

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