One for the Money

By Janet Evanovich,

Book cover of One for the Money

Book description

Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.

Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick…

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Why read it?

12 authors picked One for the Money as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Okay, Evanovich has written seven million Stephanie Plum mysteries, but they are truly funny. Best start with the first one, when we were all young and had golden hair (highlights?).

The humor is smart and not sophomoric. I’m an improv comic and there is a difference between being juvenile and crude, and being clever. Check her clever Plum series out if you want to laugh. There are so many of them you could also use them to build that upstairs addition you’ve been planning.

An old friend gave me her much-thumbed copy of Evanovich’s One for the Money at a time when I was down.

I can’t tell you how much the book lifted me up—Stephanie Plum’s debut in the long-running series as a sharp, sometimes bumbling bounty hunter is laugh-out-loud funny. Her love interests only complicate matters: the dark, handsome, elusive Ranger, and Morelli, a cop on the run who Stephanie lost her virginity to when she was sixteen.

Of course, I raced through the numbers with Stephanie, right up into the books entitled twenty-something. Evanovich’s seemingly effortless writing style hooks the reader…

Oldie, but a goodie. Even better, once you’ve read the first book, you’ll be relieved to find the adventures of Stephanie Plum, amateur bounty hunter, keep going.

If you like mysteries, comedy, and a little steamy romance, this is your series with plenty of books to read. The dinner scene with Grandma Mazur had me in stitches, as did… well, you’ll have to pick up a copy to see what I mean. 

From Michelle's list on fun reads to read in dark times.

The Flower Queen: A 1970's Suspense Romance

By Kay Freeman,

Book cover of The Flower Queen: A 1970's Suspense Romance

Kay Freeman Author Of Hitman's Honey

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Retired art professor Tequila aficionado Weightlifter Owned by Standard Poodle Blues lover

Kay's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

It began with a dying husband, and it ended in a dynasty.

It took away her husband’s pain on his deathbed, kept her from losing the family farm, gave her the power to build a thriving business, but it’s illegal to grow in every state in the country in 1978.

It even brings her first love from high school back; the only problem is that he works for the FBI. Will their occupations implode their romance, or will the opposite happen?

A second chance at love, opposites attract, rags to riches heroine trope story.

The Flower Queen: A 1970's Suspense Romance

By Kay Freeman,

What is this book about?

It began with a dying husband and it ended in a dynasty.

It took away her husband’s pain on his deathbed, kept her from losing the family farm, gave her the power to build a thriving business, but it’s illegal to grow in every state in the country in 1978. It even brings her first love from high school back; the only problem he works for the FBI. Will their occupations implode their romance or will the opposite happen? A second chance at love, opposites attract , rags to riches heroine trope story.


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You may have noticed there’s a bit of a theme here, well, other than that I love all these books, but this introduction to Stephanie Plum and her entourage is a great book that keeps me coming back when I’m in the mood for a laugh and a look at a family that’s even crazier than mine.

Stephanie is down and out, and out of desperation, blackmails her cousin into giving her a shot at bounty hunter. Experience? Who needs experience? Her first skip? An ex-cop she’s had more than a few run-ins with…usually without all her clothing.

Stephanie, her…

In One for the Money, Evanovich sets the stage for a mystery novel series filled with wacky fun. Stephanie Plum goes to work for her cousin Vinnie as a bounty hunter with no experience in law enforcement. Her first case involves a Trenton cop and old flame, Joe Morelli, accused of shooting an unarmed man. On the face of it, she has no chance. With helpful mentoring from fellow bounty hunter and overall hottie Ranger, a series of disasters, and an impressive amount of determination, Stephanie pursues Morelli while he tries to charm the pants off her. Then there’s…

While this isn’t exactly a typical mystery, I really enjoyed the story. Stephanie Plum is not your quiet, refined heroine. She’s smart and sassy, with a blue-collar background that gives her insight into how the world really works.

Reading this book helped me realize that my own character, Jamie, could break or maybe bend the mold of traditional protagonist. She’s no shrinking violet, much like the Stephanie character. Evanovich creates someone people can relate to and puts them in challenging situations.

From Mark's list on contemporary cozy mysteries.

One for the Money was the book that inspired me to try my hand at writing a humorous mystery. I love the zany characters and the element of exasperating romance, centered around a young woman, Stephane Plum, who is trying to make it in a man’s world as a bounty hunter. Some of the scenes are so hilarious, I read them out loud to my sister. 

Who doesn’t love Stephanie Plum, the funny, courageous, resilient heroine of One for The Money? In this first of the series, she’s lost her job as a lingerie buyer, her car’s been repossessed and most of her possessions are gone, sold to pay the rent. Fortunately, her sleazy cousin Vinny owns a collection agency and hires her as a bounty hunter. Her first case—the pursuit of old flame, hot, gorgeous Joe Morelli a disgraced former policeman. Their relationship heats up every book in this series.     

Meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.
She’s a product of the “burg,” a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.

Out of work and out of money, Stephanie blackmails her bail-bondsman cousin Vinnie into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she…

One for the Money was the first in many books by Evanovich that I’ve read. This one got me started and hooked on her funny, sexy, and female-driven stories. Stephanie Plum made me laugh out loud in public. Evanovich proved not every detective (or bail bondsman) had to be a guy, hard-boiled and emotionally stunted. I liked the idea of a wisecracking heroine, who could find a clue if she had to. This #1 NY Times bestselling has over twenty-eight books that would put a smile on anyone’s face. 

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