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One for the Money

Stephanie Plum, #1
by Janet Evanovich

genre: mystery

Stephanie Plum is a young and less intelligent Mrs. Pollifax. After her losing her job, her car, and having to pawn most of her furniture, she knows she’s hit rock bottom. She blackmales her cousin Vinny into giving her a job as a bounty hunter and by pure luck, she manages to do a fair job.  Much like Mrs. Pollifax, if it’s possible for her to get into trouble, she does, but she does it in such hilarious manners, that you can’t help but cheer her on.

One for the Money is the first in the series.  This is the third (or maybe more) time that I’ve read it and I still love it. I’m really excited to see how the movie plays out. By the time this posts, I will be in the movie theater, somewhere in the second half, so the movie review will come out tomorrow.

Sometimes I want to scream and shake Stephanie and ask her why she’s dumb.  She has some very careless moments that, since it’s fiction, all work out in the end. (I hope you don’t count that as a spoiler.)  Stephanie may not be brilliant, but she is courageous, stubborn, and not willing to be deterred by something minor like her keys being tossed into the dumpster.

One for the Money is filled with interesting characters. From Grandma Mazure who thinks she can wear spandex and accidentally shoots dinner with Stephanie’s not so legally acquired gun, to Lula, the overweight hooker with an attitude, there isn’t a single character I don’t love or love to hate.  For anyone who has seen the movie, the actors don’t do Ranger or Morelli justice, but there’s only so much nature can do.  The imagination on the other hand…

Then you have the Berg.  One for the Money is set in New Jersey where Catholics and Italians rule.  I have no idea how accurate it is, but the little community seems to have a life of it’s own and colors the story beautifully. There are several side stories woven through the main plot.  I happen to like it, but other people might complain it slows down the plot too much.

There are some mature scenes including sex and nudity, so if that bothers you, stay away from Janet Evanovich novels.  I don’t think I’ve read any of hers that don’t have sex in them, but I don’t feel it detracts from the story.  If anything, the sexual tension between certain characters adds to the story and the sex isn’t completely random.  It’s also alot more violent than I remembered it being.  It doesn’t rival Shadow on the Wall but there’s enough there and some of it’s sexual that it needs a warning label for anyone who is uncomfortable reading that.  I don’t recall there being that much violence in any of the following novels in the series.

So, so much more violent than I remember.  If you’re a Janet Evanovich fan, but you want something a little less bloody and violent, try one of the later Stephanie Plum novels or Motor Mouth.  I remember Motor Mouth having sex, but I don’t remember how detailed it is.  One for the Money still made me giggle and still got me excited over my favorite parts, but it’s a 4 star book this time around from the sheer amount of sexual violence in it.  I REALLY hope the movie takes some liberties and cuts some of that out.

4 out of 5 stars.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

To see other books we’ve reviewed or to have your book added to our to-review list, please see our Book Reviews page.

Other books reviewed in this series:
Two for the Dough
Three to get Deadly
Ten Big Ones
Plum Lucky