The backstory: One for the Money was one of my book club's selections for January.
The basics: The first in Janet Evanovich's wildly popular Stephanie Plum series, One for the Money introduces Stephanie, who was recently laid off by the lingerie company she worked for as an orderer. With bills piling up, Stephanie decides to try working for her cousin, a bounty hunter, to locate an old fling, Joe Morelli, an ex-cop and current fugitive wanted for murder, so she can collect the $10,000.
My thoughts: Originally written in 1994, One for the Money is starting to show its age somewhat. Stephanie's clothes are horribly dated. At one point she bemoans being down to her last pair of bicycle shorts. Fashion quibbles aside, I'm always fascinated to read mysteries set in earlier technological times. Car phones abound in this novel. For me, a technophile, the thought of chasing bad guys without a cell phone or car phone is truly terrifying, and in this novel the lack of access to technology heightened the fear.
As a character, Stephanie is interesting. She's at a tough time in her life, and her financial situation came off as quite contemporary. Faced with no leads in a field she'd worked in for years, she was running out of money and selling her possessions to pay her bills. For a novel partly established as realistic, Stephanie's family serve as a comic relief. I've heard these novels described as funny; I'm inclined to call them quirky. I never laughed out loud, but I did enjoy the cast of characters. Part way through the novel, I was compelled to look up the cast for the film version. It felt somewhat like the cast of characters on a television show. It reads like a series novel. Rather than setting up the personal relationships, they're firmly in place so the focus is on Stephanie and her work life.
Favorite passage: "Pride seemed out of place. Sorrow didn’t quite fit. There was definitely regret."
The verdict: I enjoyed One for the Money while I was reading it, but I doubt I'll be compelled to pick up the next one in the series. It's a fine novel, but ultimately it seemed forgettable.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Length: 288 pages
Publication date: August 26, 1994
Source: I bought it for my Kindle
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