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Two for the Dough Mass Market Paperback – May 29 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Sassy, brassy Stephanie Plum, the bounty hunter from Trenton, N.J., introduced to acclaim in last year's One for the Money, returns to track a bond jumper through her blue-collar neighborhood known as the "burg." A local funeral home, a slimy undertaker and mutilated corpses figure large in the search for Kenny Mancuso, who, having shot an old high-school friend in the knee, posted bail with Stephanie's boss, her cousin, and then disappeared. When the old friend is shot again, fatally, Stephanie reluctantly joins forces with her sexy enemy and love interest, Trenton homicide cop Joe Morelli. While looking for Kenny, Stephanie also searches for 24 caskets stolen from Spiro Stiva, heir apparent of Stiva's Mortuary and also a high-school buddy of Kenny's. As body parts, cut from "clients" on view at Stiva's, are used to warn people off the case, Stephanie and Morelli spar in a lively if expected fashion and Stephanie's feisty gun-toting Grandma Mazur forsakes her usual routine of talk-show TV and attending wakes to join the fight against crime. Readers will likely stay a few steps ahead of the sleuths, but the sharp repartee and Stephanie's slightly cynical but still fond relationship with her family and the burg hold a treasury of urban-style charms. $100,000 ad/promo; Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild alternate selection; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Evanovich's first novel, One for the Money (Macmillan, 1994), introduced Stephanie Plum, a gutsy heroine who wormed her way into a job with her bond-agent cousin Vinnie. With the aid of vice cop Joe and her Grandma Mazur, Stephanie pursues a bail jumper and knows that a vice cop wants them both. A winning adventure.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the second book in the Stephanie Plum series, new bounty hunter. This time around first love's distant cousin, Kenny Mancuso, is supposed to be a relatively easy pickup. Sure, he shot a guy, his best friend, but he's not all that bright. Except that he's fresh out of the army and suddenly wealthy.
WHAT I LIKED:
I liked the expansion of the role by Plum's grandmother, even though I thought she was over the top in the first one. Here, it's funny, as she is out of control. She goes to a funeral with a closed coffin for a guy who was shot, and she opens the coffin to see what he looks like. Another dead guy has a strange looking ring so she touches the hand and the finger comes off. Don't even ask about her shooting a gun. The love story with Morelli moves along a bit until he screws up (as all men do) and the brakes come on hard. Add in the sub-plot of 24 missing coffins, and the read is a riot. An improvement over the first book, and further expansion of some nice supporting characters.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
There are a few too many guys running around with no real explanation, and the major baddie Kenny does a pretty good job of going wherever he wants to despite a large number of people looking for him (remembering that he wasn't too bright to begin with).
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media.
The plot moooooves. It's funny in the right places. The jeopardy is always present, always real. We know, of course, that somehow Plum will get Mancuso, bad as he is, but no matter. That is a flaw of all series crime novels: the reader knows the hero will prevail. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a next book.
But the plot isn't what fascinated me here. It was the atmosphere. It was the cast of characters. Trenton, NJ is not exactly a tourist Mecca, and the author doesn't try to burnish the city's reputation. It's cold. It's dirty. It's dangerous. A good portion of the book takes place in sundry funeral parlors, not exactly places we like to visit in the best of cities. But the author makes it real--I almost wrote "come alive," but that would be tacky. As for characters, they are all good, from Plum to her grandmother. While the reader probably wouldn't care to socialize with most of those who populate this tale, it is undeniable that they are realistic. Characters and atmosphere: they are what make or break any work of fiction, and they certainly make this an enjoyable turn.
I look forward to catching up with book three, if only to follow the further saga of Plum's Grandma.
If I had to rate the series, I'd choose this one as best or perhaps second-best, so far, although all are superb. Lula and Grandma Mazur, two of Evanovich's best characters, really come alive in this one. Stephanie is still Everywoman in La-La Land while Joe sizzles, Ranger looms dangerously, Stephanie's father and mother remain completely and hilariously in character, Spiro is nicely smarmy, and Mancuso is a REALLY BAD GUY. Highly recommended!
Stephanie reminds me of another bewildered and exploited tracer of lost persons who also possesses a wisecracking mouth, a convoluted love life, and an eccentric and hilarious family, who makes dead-on observations and is so much "at home" in the 'hood that the narrative gives us a complete sense of belonging -- namely, Marcus Didius Falco in Lindsey Davis's fabulous Roman series. And folks, that's high praise.
Many of the regular characters become more fleshed out including Vinnie, Connie, Ranger, and especially heartthrob cop Joe Morelli. The best character in the bunch is Lula-a prostitute introduced in book one who now wants to join Stephanie as a bounty hunter. Think 200+ pound African American in spandex miniskirts. The two of them working together is a blast. Stephanie is also becoming a little more savvy in her job and now sports a stun-gun. But she still has much to learn, which makes the story funny and maybe a little more realistic (no James Bond-types to be found here).
I read the book first, and then listened to the audio version. One thing that is really annoying with many audio books (this one included) is that so many of the readers mispronounce so many words-especially names of places. Also, this book was only made available in the abridged version. But even so, Evanovich will have you coming back for more.
Most recent customer reviews
This paperback book is oversize - not noted in primary part of description. Not happy.Published 21 months ago by Discerning Viewer
Nothing compares to the Plum books. I've read them so many times and I enjoy them more very time. Love the characters and the story lines, the escapades and the mishaps. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Alysia
Always that sexy, funny, thrilling suspence!
I laugh from beginning to end!
Can't wait to read the other ones and I am wondering why this is not already a TV serie
This is such a great series!! First Janet Evanovich books I've read and I am thoroughly enjoying; have purchased all up to #16 as well as the between-the-numbers novels. Read morePublished on April 17 2011 by Christiana Vanier
I heard some good things about this series on the radio and read the reviews online. All seemed to be in order until I read the first few pages. Read morePublished on June 21 2004 by Phil Gaston
My first of future books I read from Evanovitch. I was quite thrilled and now eager to read more of this woman's sense of humour.
Absolutely a smashing read!
Stephanie Plum is on the move again in Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich. When she finds out she has to bring on a dangerous criminal who as just killed his best friend after... Read morePublished on April 19 2004