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One for the Money [Paperback]

Janet Evanovich
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (377 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 26 2000
A debut novel for the author, featuring heroine Stephanie Plum, an apprehension agent capturing people who have jumped bail, her first job is to find a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder.

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Stephanie Plum is so smart, so honest, and so funny that her narrative charm could drive a documentary on termites. But this tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer, has a much more interesting story to tell: She has to say that her Miata has been repossessed and that she's so poor at the moment that she just drank her last bottle of beer for breakfast. She has to say that her only chance out of her present rut is her repugnant cousin Vinnie and his bail-bond business. She has to say that she blackmailed Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 (for a murder suspect), even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And she has to say that the guy she has to get, Joe Morelli, is the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in the Trenton bakery where she worked after school.

If that hard-luck story doesn't sound compelling enough, Stephanie's several unsuccessful attempts at pulling in Joe make a downright hilarious and suspenseful tale of murder and deceit. Along the way, several more outlandish (but unrelentingly real) characters join the story, including Benito Ramirez, a champion boxer who seems to be following Stephanie Plum wherever she goes.

Janet Evanovich shares an authentic feel for the streets of Trenton in her debut mystery (she developed her talents in a string of romance novels before creating Ms. Plum), and her tough, frank, and funny first-person narrator offers a winning mix of vulgarity and sensitivity. Evanovich is certainly among the best of the new voices to emerge in the mystery field of the 1990s. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

First novels this funny and self-assured come along rarely; dialogue this astute and raunchy is equally unusual. The gutsy heroine introduced here is Stephanie Plum of Trenton, N.J., a recently laid-off lingerie buyer who has no job, no car and no furniture. She does have a hamster, a deranged grandmother, two caring parents and several pairs of biking shorts and sports bras. Finding work with her cousin Vinnie, she becomes a bond hunter and scrounges money enough to buy a gun, a Chevy Nova and some Mace. Her first assignment is to locate a cop accused of murder. Joe Morelli grew up in Stephanie's neighborhood. Possessed of legendary charm, he relieved Stephanie of her virginity when she was 16 (she later ran over him with a car). In her search, Stephanie catches her prey, loses him and grills a psychotic prizefighter, the employer of the man Morelli shot. She steals Morelli's car and then installs an alarm so he can't steal it back. Resourceful and tough, Stephanie has less difficulty finding her man than deciding what she wants to do with him once she's got him. While the link between the fighter and the cop isn't clear until too late in the plot, Evanovich's debut is a delightful romp and Stephanie flaunts a rough-edged appeal. Mystery Guild alternate; author tour; film rights optioned to Tri-Star.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Laugh-Out-Loud Gem of a Mystery - Plus!!, Feb. 3 2006
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Janet Evanovich's "One For The Money" is an exceptional mystery cum romance, with extraordinary humor, (guaranteed to brighten the darkest mood), and originality. Once I began to read this book, the first in a series, I could not put it down.
Stephanie Plum, our heroine, is down on her luck, unemployed, divorced, sans money and car & culturally-challenged, being born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. Hey, I'm originally from NJ, so I am allowed to say that! 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, an easily blackmailable sex maniac, 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, a sexy hunk and ex-cop, on the run from a murder charge, and our Stephanie have a history 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 lost her virginity to Morelli on the floor of the Tasty Pastry Bakery, after working hours, and then didn't see him again for 3 years. When she finally did see him, 36 months later, hanging on the corner of Giovichinni's Meat Market, she ran him over with her father's Buick. He lived to tell the tale.
Ms. Evanovich also 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...
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a Blast! June 25 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Stephanie Plum is a modern woman. She's smart and sassy. She finds herself in completely ridiculous yet surprisingly logical situations. She works her butt off to pay the rent. And she manages to resist a sexy, dangerous cop, do her job, and keep her integrity, which means she'll never show up on Ricky Lake or Jerry Springer, but that's fine with me!
ONE FOR THE MONEY is a mystery set in New Jersey in a neighborhood referred to as "the burg." Stephanie is poor and desperate for a job as she recently lost her position as a lingerie salesperson. Her mother suggests she contact "Cousin Vinnie," a bond agent who is looking for help. She agrees to become a bounty hunter. She goes from selling underwear to toting guns, pepper spray, and a stun gun to track down hardened criminals. Did I mention that she is desperate?
Her first job is to bring in a cop on the run, a man who is dangerous, and who, as an 8-year old boy once talked little Stephanie into letting him play "choo-choo" in her panties. He's a tough-as-nails vice cop who is wanted for murder. She agrees to chase him down because the money is irresistible, but it's a big job for her very first time out.
I don't want to give too much away -- it is, after all, a mystery. On to my opinions . . .
The book is written in first-person, which I have found to be annoying in other books, but it works great for Evanovich's tales. As I read through the story, which goes REALLY FAST, I found myself feeling like I was Stephanie and whenever she was scared, angry, or amused, I was right there with her.
ONE FOR THE MONEY has some of the craziest, most colorful secondary characters that I've ever met. Grandma Mazur is her -- yes, you guessed it! -- grandma, but is like none other on the earth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Try not to eat or drink while reading this book! April 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mysteries are so popular today, and there seem to be so many different styles. One author writes police drama, and another PI cases. And then there are the many "themed" mysteries including cooking themes, antique themes, Native American themes, etc. And then there is Janet Evanovich with her Stephanie Plum series, which falls into the "hysterical" theme!
In One for the Money, we are introduced to Stephanie Plum. Stephanie lives in Trenton, NJ, was just laid off from her job as a lingerie buyer, and is desperate for work. Through a series of threats and blackmail, she gets her sleazy cousin Vinnie (who owns his own bail bond company) to hire her as a recovery agent. Of course she is clueless about being a bounty agent, and is given an especially tough job right off the bat-bringing in Joe Morelli, a vice-cop accused of murder.
The plot is a scream and it will have you laughing out loud (make sure not to eat or drink while you're reading). But the characters are what make this book, and they're characters that you could only find in Trenton! Grandma Mazur will have you in stitches. Also, while some mysteries showcase cops or PI's who are always on top of their game, Stephanie bumbles through her cases, which is probably more realistic in the long run. You will also enjoy the descriptions of Trenton-the row houses, the nosy neighbors, the stores, the big-haired girls in spandex, and especially, the food.
So, if you want to read one of the funniest mysteries around, start with Evanovich's One for the Money.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
This book has it all. The characters were described well and the humor had me laughing out loud. We meet Stephanie right away who has a good job, house, money and car. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jo-Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars It is written by Janet Evanovich.
I love to read her books.They are funny and well written.
I have read several in the series.Would recommend it greatly.
Published 5 months ago by Heather D.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
One of my friends had read a Janet Evanovich book and suggested her to me. I decided to start with first book of the Stephanie Plum novels. Read more
Published 7 months ago by leslie graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fun book
This series starts out with Stephanie Plum down on her luck. Recently unemployed, recently divorced, and recently out of a vehicle and furniture (poverty can do that to a person). Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars Comme une série télé
Je me serais crue en train de regarder quelques épisodes de Remington Steel
ou de moonlighting. Suspense humoristique et sexy
Published 15 months ago by edith cayouette
4.0 out of 5 stars Plum Fun for Number One
Written in 1994, "One for the Money" is the first in the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series by Janet Evanovich, now at number 19 in 2012. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Cee Ess
4.0 out of 5 stars Frosy from Books Like Fairytales >> [...]
I finally met Stephanie Plum. I had been hearing about these books but never really got around reading them until now. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2011 by Effie
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book!
This book is such a fun book to read. When you need a mental break, it's a good read. I guess the only drawback (since I didn't give it a full 5 stars) was that it drags on a... Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2010 by mrswardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny
I love stories with good humor & this is one of them. It's a light-hearted kind of mystery with a main character who is very likable. Read more
Published on April 25 2008 by Andrea N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I see what all the fuss is about
I've heard people rave about the Stephanie Plum series for several years. The other day at the library I decided to pick up One For the Money to see what the fuss was about. Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by Annie
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