One For The Money
St. Martins Griffin
Amazon Blurb -
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.
I met someone for the first time this weekend. Her name is Stephanie Plum. Ya know what? I love her! What a fantastic character Evanovich has created here. Plum is your every day gal. She’s not a hard ass tough girl alla Anita Blake. She’s not a mentally jacked up introvert like Eve Dallas, who I really like too, don’t get me wrong. And yes, I understand the books of these protagonists are different, just wanted to give a personality perspective. She just is. A little clumsy, just trying to get by wants to enjoy life.
Poor Stephanie has lost her job as a buyer for a second rate lingerie store. Her Mazda Miata has been repo’d, she’s pawing her jewelry and furniture just to get by. Her mom tells her about sleezy cousin Vinny needing a filer for his bails bond biz. His secretary Lucille tells her she doesn’t want that job, why not pick up the cases that bounty hunter Mort has had to let go due to appendicitis. The biggie’ll net her 10 grand! Awesome, except the biggie is Joe Morelli, infamous heartthrob and s.o.b. from her childhood.
Steph and Joe have a past. When they were six, she went in his garage and played choo-choo. Joe was the train and she was the tunnel. The result was his head up here dress. At 16 they got it on behind the bakery counter she worked at. Humiliated at falling for his charm, she never forgave him, and three years later she ran into him with her dad’s car breaking his leg and hasn’t seen him since. He’s now a cop wanted for murder and still on every girls “hot damn” list.
The antics that ensue are hilarious! From her crappy Nova that she bought for $50.00 being spray painted by some hoodlums “Pussy Mobile” to her Grandma shooting off Plum’s gun at the dining room table, I was laughing hysterical! Don’t get me wrong there was some very serious action. The parts with boxing Champ Benito Ramirez, who reminded me of boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, I always thought that guy was cracked, were pretty heavy. The author has peppered it with humor to make this book light and very very entertaining. Fellow hunter Ranger is an obvious hunk, her parents give the typical oh boy levity, her Grandma is a pisser! And Joe, well what can I say, he’s a hottie, us Italians don’t know how to make em any other way. I loved him.
I will continue with this series. My sister-in-laws book club has picked Sizzling 16 for November, while I won’t get through all before that one, I’m excited to read more.
A quick word about the casting for the movie. Some are ticked at Catherine Heigl being picked for Stephanie, and on thinking about it, imho, I think she would be great. She can do comedy, just look at her and Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth, but I think she can pull seriousness off really well too. They have cast Morelli and I’m not too sure about that one, I pictured Joe Manganiello from True Blood, they’ve went with Jason O’Mara. Ranger they are spot on with!! He’ll be played by Daniel Sunjata, better known as Franco from Rescue Me.