One For The Money


Janet Evanovich


Mystery / Thriller


Date Reviewed:

March 25, 2009

he Stephanie Plum books are apparently wildly popular. Each release appears on the best seller lists. Reviewers on Amazon love the humor and characters. Humor is a tricky thing, what is funny to one individual is not so hilarious to another. I did not find One For The Money to be a funny book. I laughed out loud at Gregory MacDonald's Fletch books, but never cracked a smile while reading this book.

By no means am I saying that One For the Money is a bad book. It is a well told tale about a down-on-her-luck New Jersey young woman named Stephanie Plum who decides to take up bounty hunting as a profession. Naturally, the job is much harder than it initially sounds; bringing in desperate, elusive criminals is not a task to be taken lightly. Evanovich does a good job of showing the hard knocks that Plum suffers as she tries to bring in enough bounties to pay the rent.

I consider this a character driven novel. The interest is all in Stephanie Plum and her interaction with some off-beat relatives, various losers, and some intimidating hard cases. Her main target is to bring in Joseph Morelli, a cop who is wanted for shooting an unarmed civilian. Morelli claims he acted in self defense and he has gone into hiding while trying to find clues to prove his innocence. Stephanie Plum knows Morelli ever since high school, indeed she had been romantically involved with him in the past. But now Morelli has a $10,000 bounty price tag on his head, and Stephanie is desparate for some money, so she is determined to bring Morelli in.

In addition to Morelli and Stephanie Plum, Evanovich introduces us to a nasty character named Benito Ramirez. Ramirez is a boxer, he is big, quick and intimidating. He is dangerously psychotic. Ramirez abuses women, and Plum attracts his attention when she tries to interview him for clues regarding the murder committed by Morelli. (Plum figures that if she can find the missing witnesses that Morelli is looking for, she will find Morelli.) Ramirez is violent and scary. Evanovich does a good job of conveying Plum's terror of Ramirez.

The end of the novel seems a bit unlikely. I don't want to give away the ending, but I thought it was the weakest part of the plot. However, overall this was a good story, I may reading the next book in the series. This first book was certainly a quick read.