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4.6 out of 5 stars105
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Stephanie Plum has been out of work for months. With her savings gone and her car repossessed, she's desperate enough to ask her cousin Vinnie for a job. But the filing job she went in for has been filled, so she decides to try her hand at bounty hunting. After all, how hard can it be?
Turns out to be plenty hard. After all, most of the criminals won't come when asked politely. And she did target Joe Morelli, a cop on the run trying to prove he was framed. Still, that huge paycheck and a shared past keep her focused on Morelli. But when boxer Benito Ramirez starts dogging her trail, she begins to suspect she's in over her head. Can she survive long enough to bring Morelli in?
I've been hearing lots about these books, but hadn't had a chance to try one yet. Wish I hadn't waited so long. The writing style is engaging and the pace fast. I had a hard time putting the book down and couldn't stop thinking about it when I did. When the book ended, I started looking around for the second to see what would happen next to the main characters.
It's easy to see why this series is so popular. The fun characters and storyline make for quick, light reading. I'm looking forward to catching up on the seven books I haven't read yet and hope to enjoy visits with these characters for many years to come.
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on 25 February 2005
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!
JANA
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on 28 April 2001
You just know that this novel is going to be a bit of a chuckle as soon as you read the first page. I won't give away any secrets but there was a moment that I exploded with laughter and no other novel has ever evoked that kind of response from me yet. Stephanie Plum is an unusual character - a lingerie rep turned bounty hunter. Her new found career does not come naturally and her bumbling and ineptitude are the cause of great humour. This first novel of the Stephanie Plumb series sets up the characters, plot and location beautifully. So much so that immediately after finishing the first, you will want to race out and buy the others. Buy this book for the pure entertainment and a good honest laugh. You'll feel much better.
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on 31 July 2000
I haven't read a book in a long time that made me laugh so much out loud and in two days! I moved straight onto the second and third and am about to begin the fourth! READ THESE BOOKS. Stephanie Plum, the girl with unenviable hair is the kind of sassy heroine that we'd all secretly love to be, and her encounters with the sexiest cop in history something we'd like to experience. If the family dinners don't make you cry laughing you have no soul.
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Being laid off in Trenton, NJ, means having to hock your stuff to pay the rent and buy gas, as well as endure family dinners (or starve) over at M&D's house. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so ex-discount lingerie buyer Stephanie Plum goes to work for cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman, as a skip tracer, i.e. a bounty hunter who retrieves those who've skipped bail.
In ONE FOR THE MONEY, author Janet Evanovich kick starts Stephanie's new career. Plum immediately jumps into the proverbial deep end by convincing a skeptical Vinnie to give her a chance at finding Joe Morelli, a local cop accused of murder. The finder's fee is 10 grand, and that'll buy a lot of chow nuggets for Rex, Stephanie's pet hamster.
Plum's considerable appeal lies in her complete ineptitude for her new career. (It doesn't help that she and Morelli have a "past". At six, she'd allowed Joe to play train under her skirt in Old Man Morelli's garage. At sixteen, Stephanie was relieved by Joe of her virginity behind the pastry counter at the bakery where she worked. At nineteen, she intentionally clipped Morelli with the right front fender of her Dad's Buick.) Within the first few days on the job, Plum finds Joe four times, but fails to make the bust, a tough assignment if your quarry leaves you buck naked, dripping wet, and handcuffed to your own shower curtain rod. Or your car keys have been tossed into the putrid muck at the bottom of a dipsy-dumpster.
Another source of amusement for the reader is Stephanie's family: Mom, Dad, and Grandma Mazur. The inspiration for Grandma might well have been Dorothy's mother Sophia on the TV series GOLDEN GIRLS
I'm giving this first book in the series five stars because it's truly amusing and the Plum character is (for me, at this late date) fresh.
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When Stephanie Plum loses her job as a department store lingerie buyer, she needs to make money fast. But jobs aren’t easy to come by in Trenton, New Jersey. Help comes in the reluctant form of her cousin Vinnie, a notorious sexual deviant, who happens to run a bail bonding company. Thanks to some handy blackmail, Stephanie persuades Vinnie to overlook her lack of experience and give her a week to hunt down bail jumper, Joe Morelli. Morelli’s a Trenton vice cop charged with murder. He also happens to be the man who took Stephanie’s virginity and who she’s had a fraught relationship with ever since.

Motivated by the ten grand she’ll earn for bringing Morelli in, Stephanie nevertheless struggles to adjust to her new career. Help comes from Ranger (a bounty hunter with incredible skills) but she soon realises that she’s in a heap of trouble and might just get herself killed before she can get her man …

Janet Evanovich’s debut Stephanie Plum novel sets the tone for this long-running crime series. Light-hearted and conversational in tone, it’s got some laugh-out-loud moments (particularly the Plum family dinners and Grandma Mazur, who is a scream) and a decent mystery revolving around the Morelli. Personally, I could have done without the romance element between Morelli and Stephanie, particularly as I found it pretty sexist and I’m bored with romances that are dependent on the female character making a fool out of herself or being constantly outwitted by the man. I also found Stephanie to be a little irritating at times because for all her mouthy sass, she makes some incredibly obvious mistakes and doesn’t seem to learn from them (particularly about where to keep her gun). Plot-wise, it rattles along at a decent pace but the main antagonist is incredible cliché and the ending a bit of a let-down. That said, there is a lot here that I enjoyed and I can see why it’s sparked such a successful series – it’s a decent debut and I will definitely be reading on.

What makes the book for me is Stephanie’s family, who veer towards cliché and yet are depicted with such a light touch that the dinnertime conversations are a real delight and Grandma Mazur’s antics are utterly hilarious and completely made the book for me. I look forward to seeing more of the Plums in the future books.
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on 27 September 2001
I took books one and two on holiday at the suggestion of a friend. I wish I had also taken three, four and five. I have read all seven books now, in a matter of weeks and have loved everyone of them. They are hilarious, original and "can't put down till finished" books. I always find myself laughing out loud. I can't wait for Janet Evanovich's next book!!
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on 16 August 2000
Janet Evanovitch, writes about a woman whose life we all want to live ( even her low points are way more exciting than ours!), and men we all want to have, although I think I might take a raincheck on Ramirez. Stephanie Plum, is a lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter whose life is so un-believable it could only ever take place in a fiction novel. Although this doesn't work as a logical arguement after you've finished reading one of her books and are trying to prevent yourself from packing it all in and running off to America to attempt to live life like Stephanie. Around stephanie things just happen, cars blow up, people disappear and munchkins develope attitude. Stephanie lives in the Burg with her hampster Rex, who she relies on to act as her concience. The burg is a close nit community, where everyone knows everybodies business. Stephanies parents and grandmother are also local residents, and boy can this family pack a punch. it's not every household that can boast a grandmother who uses a 38' to slice the meat and takes her sun in law out with a stun gun to provide evening entertainment! But personaly I'd still prefer to spend my evenings with stephanies on/off lover Joe Morrelli! And like Morrelli's train games this is one series that just goes from strenght to stength!
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on 28 June 2000
So far all five books in this series of Stephanie Plum's life have been brilliant. Janet Evanovitch loses no momentum in her fast and funny storytelling of the girl we would love to be and then not love to be! All are very entertaining and ideal for a fast,light hearted read. Book five, High Five,was a bit hard to find but is well worth the search.Will Morelli and Stephanie get it together? Well, you'll have to wait for the end... possibly even book six (hopefully there will be one soon)but Grandma Mazur is a prime mover in this one and packing a piece! And look out for Ramirez, yes he's back and still as mean.Enjoy.
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on 15 September 2001
From the moment I picked up this book I was totally hooked. I couldn't put it down. Stephanie Plum is the heroine of today. A smart talking, resourceful bounty hunter. This book is completely compelling and a wonderfully funny read. Put it down on your shopping list.
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