Janet Evanovich's "One For The Money" is an exceptional mystery, with extraordinary humor and originality, guaranteed to brighten the darkest mood. Once I began to read this book, the first in a series, I could not put it down. Stephenie Plum, our heroine, is down on her luck, unemployed, divorced, sans money and car & culturally-challenged, being born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. She does have the option to move back in with her parents, but the very thought of going home again causes her eyes to twitch uncontrollably. Steph's cousin Vinnie, who is easily blackmailed due to an unsavory past, (and present), owns a bail bonding company. Stephanie "persuades" him to hire her as a bounty hunter, novice that she is. Her first job - Joseph Morelli, who is FTA, Failed To Appear...he's skipped bail!
Now, Joseph Morelli, an ex-cop and a sexy hunk, is on the run from a murder charge. He and Stephanie have a long history together that goes way back to childhood. When she was six years old, and the precocious Morelli was just a few years older, he taught her to play "choo-choo" in the Morelli garage. When she was 16, she and Morelli spent their first and last date on the floor of the Tasty Pastry Bakery, after working hours. She didn't see him again for 3 years. When she finally did run into him, 36 months later, hanging on the corner of Giovichinni's Meat Market, she literally ran into him - with her father's Buick. He lived to tell the tale.
In "One For The Money" Ms. Evanovich introduces us to a cast of wonderfully outrageous characters who continue to populate her subsequent books: Ranger, a 2nd generation Cuban American, ex-Special Forces, creative genius of a bounty hunter, and fairly breathtaking to look at, especially when wearing his all black outfit with leather accessories; Ramirez, a psychopathic prize fighter who is too scary to be much fun; Grandma Mazur, Stephanie's maternal grandmother, and a pistol-packin,' roller blading clotheshorse she is! Fortunately, she is probably the majority contributor to Stephanie's gene pool; Lula, a 250 pound-plus hooker, who aspires to be a bounty hunter & is working on her resume; etc..
And of course there's the mystery...because this is a mystery. But I won't spoil that for you. Just run to your local library, bookstore...or Amazon.co.uk, of course, & get this chock-full of great reading gem of a book. Also, beware!! Janet Evanovich has 8 more Stephanie Plum books on the market to date, and you won't want to miss any of them - they're as addictive as a great belly-laugh!