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Stephanie Plum #1

One for the Money

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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 figures her new pal, el-primo bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook. Her first nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli’s the inamorato who charmed Stephanie out of her virginity at age sixteen. There’s still powerful chemistry between them, so the chase should be interesting…and could also be extremely dangerous.

320 pages, Paperback

First published August 26, 1994

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About the author

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O'Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

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5 stars
217,866 (40%)
4 stars
172,629 (32%)
3 stars
103,390 (19%)
2 stars
26,011 (4%)
1 star
12,964 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 16,442 reviews
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,825 followers
April 20, 2012
It’s Gender Reversal Day here on Goodreads as I review One for the Money.

So Samuel Plum is an underwear buyer for a retail store who has recently lost his job. Desperate for cash, he blackmails his pervert cousin who runs a bail bonds agency into letting him go after a cop named Jane Morellie who was accused of murder and then skipped. There may be a personal revenge motive for Samuel in this because Jane is the girl who seduced him and took his virginity in high school. Since she never called him again, Samuel felt justified in running her over with a car and breaking her leg shortly after that.

Now Jane is worth $10,000. Even though he has absolutely no experience or training in law enforcement or as a bounty hunter, Samuel decides he’s going to capture her. He almost immediately stumbles across Jane who basically laughs at him and walks away. So Samuel gets a pistol he doesn’t know how to use or even load. He also allows his senile grandfather to get a hold of the gun because who doesn’t love it when the elderly start waving handguns around in a room full of family members?

Samuel’s inexperience quickly gets him into more trouble after he gets assaulted by a female boxer who tries to rape him. Rather than pull his gun on the boxer, he panics and hits her with his man purse. Things get even worse as Jane repeatedly shows up to humiliate him and then get away again. Samuel also gets another person shot when a fugitive takes away his man purse with the gun while Samuel just stands there and allows it to happen. Plus, Samuel’s failure to report the boxer to the police for the attack on him because he doesn’t want to look weak allows two innocent people to be brutally raped and assaulted.

Samuel is obviously a moron who has no business running around with a gun and hand cuffs. He also seems to be criminally negligent, and he probably should have been in prison already for running over a sex partner. He also steals Jane’s car when he gets tired of driving his own piece of shit so even though he’s supposedly on the side of law and order, he’s guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and grand theft auto.

Samuel is such a nitwit that I have no idea how I’m supposed to relate or sympathize with him. If this was some kind of comic farce, then I could see how a loser getting humiliated by the fugitives he’s supposed to be chasing would be funny, but that kind of goes out the window with the psychotic rapist boxer thing and people getting shot due to Samuel’s utter failure as a bounty hunter.

In conclusion, I’ll say that Samuel Plum is a fucktarded asshat who should be beaten with….Oh, wait. Gender Reversal Day was yesterday? And it’s Stephanie Plum, not Samuel? Oh….. I guess in that case she’s just a spunky heroine and her vehicular assault on a former lover, overall gross incompetence and insistence on trying to do a job she has no training or qualifications for is just another example of womanly independence. Girl Power!

Now, Stephanie, if you’d just step into this dark alley, there’s a few ladies who’d like a word with you. Oh, don’t worry, it’s just FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling, US Marshal Karen Sisco, Ree Dolly from the Ozarks and Lisbeth Salander from Sweden. They’d like to have a little talk regarding what you’ve done to the image of female heroes in crime fiction.
Profile Image for Claire Greene.
23 reviews65 followers
April 14, 2008
I. LOVE. THESE. BOOKS. SERIOUSLY. I am obsessed with this series. And you know when your brain keeps telling you that this is ridiculous, there must be a hundred books that are written better, or a better mystery, or whatever? Well, I don't care!!! This series is my ultimate guilty pleasure. I was hooked with the first one and have read the entire series thus far - including all the stupid mini books in-between. Now, those mini books I could do without and they always feel like an attempt to make sure they even got the loose change in my pockets, but I still get them anyway because it is like a fix until I can get the real thing. So what is so great about them? Stephanie - hilarious. I laugh out loud (a rarity for me when reading a book) constantly when reading these books. I love the murder mysteries which are often at least a step above the formula ones. I love the triangle between Ranger and Morelli and Stephanie. That is something that often gets old for me in other books or TV shows, etc. but for some reason, it just doesn't get old here for me. 13 books in and I am still captivated by the tension between the three. I love the setting - being from CT and living in NY and knowing people from Jersey - she nails that dead on! I mean, an exaggeration of it but still.... And the quirky characters. I love that. I like books that the people are really odd and funny. But it still has to be believable - I hate odd just for the sake of odd - like, hey look at me - I'm wacky - wocka wocka!! But these characters are so outrageous and I still find myself being able to believe it and go along with the book. Do things get repetitive? Sure, I mean, she blows up a car in every single book. But for me, that makes it all the more funny - I can't help it, I laugh every single time. I love how she is so clumsy and crazy and manages to get things done in spite of herself. I love how she is always battling her weight - that constant struggle between carrots and carrot cake! I love her family, the situations she gets in, her friends, her grandmother.... Really, did I mention I love these books? I can't explain it, but I am compulsive about buying the next one as soon as it comes out in paperback and I have kept the entire set and read it through again a few times. I feel that the story just gets better and better as you know the characters more and she doesn't have to spend time introducing them, she can just get on to the chaos. I tried to talk my mom into reading these books and she just couldn't get past the introduction to Morelli (which IS pretty odd - basically two kids experimenting - I just ignore it and skipped beyond it and was able to enjoy the rest of it) and all - I think she was a little too uptight (sorry mom!) to enjoy the whole feel of the series. If I had to sum up the series, I think it would have to be Funny, fast and loose!
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,578 followers
August 11, 2017
Pure gold in humor! 4 unforgettable characters: Stephanie Plum, Joe Morelli, Ranger and Grandma Mazur. Let's do a lil' recap:

Stephanie: Your everyday girl... with great humor, a bit of sass, lots of determination and an inability to know her limits. But each and every time you root for her to win!

Joe: Honest. Smart. Good-looking. Apparently great in bed. Knows his food. Wants to make Stephanie happy. But knows his limits.

Ranger: Everyone's secret freebie. Apparently a god. Attitude that won't quit but turns you on at the same time. Always finds you just in time, that is, before you get yourself into too much trouble.

Grandma: OMG, can you be any funnier? She has a gun. And she shoots it often. But she's whacked out most of the time. I NEED to meet her.

So... 20-something books to go in the series, but this first one will hook you right away. I need to keep on reading.
Profile Image for Erin.
288 reviews22 followers
January 17, 2012
Sometimes you just need to read a book like this. With mediocre writing and a plot as see-through as Grandma's underpants, it will take your mind off life's more substantial material for a while.
Profile Image for Jessica.
587 reviews
December 28, 2011
Dribble, dribble, dribble. To amuse myself I compiled a top 5 list of things from this book that any future bookclubs book shouldn't include:

1- a herioine who regularly wears spandex shorts (I see it was wrote in 1994, still...that was past the 80's...no excuses).

2- the term "crotch wrinkles." Used in a sentence: "By five o'clock I was feeling antsy, and my rayon skirt had serious crotch wrinkles."

3- a scene where a man masturbates on Ms. Plum's door (or any woman's door)

4- the term "boinked" especially if it is used multiple times through out the book

5- sexual references regarding a cousin and a duck, and using these as blackmail (for the record any person and a duck shouldn't be allowed, regardless of blackmail)

Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,460 reviews1 follower
December 7, 2022
This is a Humor Cozy Mystery, and this is the first book in Stephanie Plum series. I have been reading the Stephanie plum series as I find them not in order. I have to say this book is so good, and it shows how Stephanie gets into bounty hunter as will how she meets her two lovers. I have to say this one is not as funny as the other books in this series I have read.
Profile Image for Nicole.
732 reviews1,837 followers
March 12, 2021
The name Janet Evanovich is one that I have seen a lot in the last few months and it stuck me. A few weeks ago, I discovered this series and honestly, I’m wondering now how I didn’t know it existed before. I would’ve definitely started it already if I knew about it. But better late than never.

We have Stephanie Plum, a broke recently unemployed and divorced woman who is in desperate need of a job. There’s a bounty on Joe Morelli so she decides to become a bounty hunter and have him arrested. Her history with Morelli only fuel her resolve to catch him. However, the book soon becomes a mystery and Stephanie is trying to solve it in a way.

The book was short and fun to listen to. But I would’ve judged it better if I had read it. Not to say the narrator wasn’t good because she was. She had a distinctive voice that a woman like Stephanie would probably have. But. The problem here is me and this is not the sort of book I prefer to read in this format. Assuming that it is like Sophie Kinsella’s books but with mystery added to it, I simply thought that the audio would be good enough. Sadly, I didn’t connect with the characters nor “go through” the events with Stephanie. I will read the next book to give it a fairer shot.

Stephanie was entertaining and I liked her. Plum was stumbling in New Jersey trying to catch the criminal while obviously she knows nothing about how it’s done. We see her learn and work on improving her skills. The grandma was another highlight of this book. The chemistry between her and Joe was obvious. Their banter was amusing.

One for Money was a fun light read. I recommend it if you want a break from heavy books and want to enjoy a humorous story with likable characters. Don’t assume you’ll meet a new favorite – you won’t. Don’t think it’s an exceptional mystery either – it’s not. it’s simply, like many said already, a “popcorn book”.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,163 followers
May 9, 2016
Ah, the '90's. Bike shorts, slouchy socks with high-top Reeboks, scrunchies, day-glow.

Stephanie Plum is a New Jersey '90's girl who is out of work. She finagles her way into working for her cousin who is a bail-bondsman. Her job is to catch this guy who took her virginity and she's known most of her life, and turn him into the police. He was a cop who supposedly shot an unarmed man and he skipped out on his bail. If she catches him, she will get $10,000. And, she is pretty desperate for money. Like, sold-all-of-her-stuff, no-food-to-eat desperate.

But, Stephanie is completely out of her league and has no idea what she is doing. This makes for much hilarity as she bumbles and stumbles her way around. She has no trouble finding the guy - Morelli, it's just that she's not exactly sure how to bring him in.

"He left."

"Shit," Ranger said. "Didn't anybody tell you that you were supposed to stop him?"

"I asked him to come to the police station with me, but he said he didn't want to."

Another bark of laughter....

Stupid uncooperative bail-jumper!

Plus, she is kind of conflicted about him:

Catching Morelli would be difficult. And turning him back in to the court would feel mean.

Oh, well if it would feel mean then you shouldn't do your job.

This book was just hilarious. I loved Stephanie, Morelli, Stephanie's family, and all of the side characters. Also, Stephanie has a hamster named Rex. I love him the most! Hamsters are like little furry angels that were sent to make us have cute-explosions.

No, no! You're just big-boned. And adorable!

I know I'm about 20 years late for this party, but it works out nicely because I've got over 20 books already out that I can binge-read. And, I can't wait for Stephanie to get a cell phone. It's going to rock her world! (How the hell did we ever live without them?)

Profile Image for Inara.
539 reviews200 followers
March 21, 2009
Funny and light-hearted book with a likeable heroine who never loses track of her goal to earn 10,000 dollars as a bounty hunter. Too bad it´s an old ex-lover she has to find but then - she still has a bone to pick with him....
This first book in the series made me jump outright on the Stephanie Plum-bandwagon and I prepare myself for an enjoyable ride!
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,284 followers
February 19, 2012
The movie came out a few weeks ago, and I haven't seen it yet. I figured this would be a good time to write a review about this book, since I read it a few months ago, but never got a chance to review it.

This book was highly recommended to me, because although I really do read a bit of everything I find chick-lit to be the most entertaining. When I'm in a bad mood I can sit down with a chick-lit about some crazy chick with usually unrealistic problems that makes my life seem boring and laugh my butt off until my mood perks up. Chick-lit is like chocolate to me in that way.

I know that comedy is subjective, but I didn't laugh reading this book once. I don't get it. That was supposedly this books biggest selling point. Also, I was able to read the whole thing since it was super short, but I thought about quitting this one about 10 times in a very short period. Why? It just wasn't that interesting. Stephanie is a broke girl who decides to become a bounty hunter to make money. The first person she needs to pick up is a guy that she hooked up with years ago. Most of the book seemed really corny to me, and that's saying a lot, considering I normally don't mind that in chick-lits. The plot was pretty boring, predictable and unable to hold my attention.

The characters. They were genuine and felt real, but again didn't interest me at all. The love triangle starts from book one, and now here we are several years, and many books later and apparently that's still her big choice?

Needless to say this is one of the most hyped, critically acclaimed chick-lits I have ever heard of. Everyone who is into cozies always says this is the best. Also, everyone who recommended it said those things like "I'm hooked" or "You will NOT be able to put this one down!"...Me? Not so much.

I'm wondering if I'm missing something here or if the series just improves greatly as the books go on. Right now after reading "One for the Money" I don't think Stephanie, her love triangle, and her strange family are people I want to invest the time in. There are like 18 books so far to this series now I think. I will probably try #2 in the future since everyone highly recommended this series to me, and some have insisted that it get's better.

This book obviously has tons of fans so I recommend if you like chick-lit give it a try and see how you like it. I feel like I'm one of the only women in the world who isn't a fan of this series, but oh well.

I will stick with Sophie Kinsella for my chick-lit fixes from now on.

1.5/5 stars
Profile Image for Tea Jovanović.
Author 410 books674 followers
May 10, 2013
bozanstven humor, zabavno... autorka je divna koliko i njena junakinja Stefani Plam... imala sam to zadovoljstvo da je upoznam na sajmu u Njujorku davne 2002. I divna je koliko i njene knjige... To mi je jedno od najdražih iskustava :)
Profile Image for Belle.
513 reviews515 followers
August 19, 2017
5/5 stars

This has quickly become a favourite of mine, it was recommended to me by my mum who regularly rereads the series, and spends the entire time laughing loudly to herself. And my expectations were exceeded. I am not a person who shows emotion when reading, and I never laugh out loud. Ever.

While I was reading this book, I had numerous people, including my family, ask if I was okay. I got strange looks from people on the train and in the coffee shop. No matter where it was, I ended up hysterically laughing to myself—it wasn’t a pretty sight.

This book follows Stephanie Plum, a girl from the ‘Burg as she becomes a bounty hunter out of pure desperation. Her car had been repossessed and she's barely hanging onto her apartment after she lost her job as a Lingerie buyer. She blackmails her cousin Vinnie into giving her the job, and Joe Morelli’s case.

Joe Morelli is a cop who missed his court appearance for murder, but he claims it was in self-defence. Stephanie has a past with Joe, him being her first and her later ‘accidentally’ mowing him with her father’s car.

The two are ridiculously hilarious, their banter and relationship were the highlight of the book.

Stephanie is just a typical person, she has no experience in Bounty Hunting and manages to mess up every situation she stumbles across, she's clumsy and loud mouthed and I loved her to death. She was completely and utterly normal, the only exceptional thing about her was her humour and ability to attract calamity.

She was completely and utterly awkward, and I related so hard.

Truly don’t have enough good words to speak about this book, so I’m moving straight into the second one.


The most fun I've had reading a book in a long time, I was dying of laughter at work, on the bus and every other place where it's slightly awkward to burst out laughing.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,449 reviews7,555 followers
October 1, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Dear Janet E:

Actually, that’s a boldface lie. I obviously have no desire to ever give up on our one-sided relationship. I mean, I’ve faithfully read about Stephanie Plum, her exploding cars, her gun-toting Granny, her former ho bestie, and her will she-won’t she relationships for over 10 years now. Not to mention all of her other series I’ve dabbled in, as well as some of her romance books, and dare I forget the pretty godawful movie version of this one that I just haaaaaad to watch . . . .

When I saw my friend Beverly was giving this a listen, I thought it might be right up my alley. Since my commute isn’t very long, I prefer shortie shorts that don’t require me to remember a lot of details in order to stay involved in the story. My mind tends to wander when dealing with the spoken rather than written word. You know what I mean . . . .

Twenty-plus books into this series, I forgot how solid this first one was. The slapstick level had not yet appeared, nor had the never-ending love triangle. Lula was still an actual ho and Stephanie had to contend with a pretty rough bad guy instead of the flashers of her future. But the most important thing? Lori Petty’s narration . . . . .

Holy crap she was good. Which means I’ll probably end up falling down this dang rabbit hole and re-experiencing these all over again . . . .

Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
January 25, 2010
I've been seeing Evanovich books for years and not even once was I compelled to give them another look or find out if they were worth my time. I kind of regret it now.

This 1st book in the series about a female bounty hunter set in New Jersey ethnic neighborhood was quite a pleasure to read. The book was written about 15 years ago and definitely felt dated in many ways, especially in regards to "fashion" - spandex shorts, big hair, hoop earrings and all that. But the humor remained fresh, Plum/Morelli dynamic duo was a lot of fun to follow, and the mystery involving Hispanic and Italian gangsters, prostitutes, a crazy boxer and drugs was an original one.

I am not rushing into reading the 2nd book in the series, mostly because I don't want to overdose on them and there is like a million books in the series, so catching up is impossible. But I will definitely check the next book out whenever I am in a mood for a fast-paced funny mystery.
Profile Image for TK421.
556 reviews261 followers
January 27, 2012
So with the release of the movie, I thought some words were in order. First off, this book is nothing more than pure, uncut sugar for the brain. The writing is, meh. The characters are, meh; except for grandma, she's funny as shit. But the overall story really did nothing for me. For some reason I just couldn't get excited about a female bailbondsman trying to make ends meet. And her exploits never really engaged me. (I know that was a very poor, and probbaly inadequate summary, O well.) Sadly, I will never know the rest of the adventures of Stephanie Plum.

SKIP (But don't listen to me, I'm in the minority; you may like it.)
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,223 reviews169 followers
March 15, 2023
Laugh out loud comedy!

Let's face it - the basic premise of this book is so whacked that you just gotta laugh before you even start reading it! Stephanie Plum, a down on her luck and out of work lingerie buyer cons her cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a job as a "recovery agent", a skip tracer, a bounty hunter. She's brash, vulgar, feminine, cute, sexy, tarty, sassy, funny and, on top it of it all, she's got balls made of brass. She actually believes she's qualified to chase down an old high school acquaintance, Joe Morelli, now a hardened career cop charged with murder and skipping bail.

The dialogue is perfect - smack dab in the centre of a triangle cornered by New York police procedural, hammed up sit-com and cute romance! Yeah, yeah, yeah ... really hard to believe, I know! But Evanovich pulls it off, doles out a generous helping of laugh out loud writing and manages to keep the whole book light enough to polish off at a single sitting! Stephanie's grandmother is completely off the wall and positively hilarious.

Now if only she could have figured out a way to resolve the mystery part of the plot without resorting to the painfully trite cliché of the gloating criminal holding the heroine at gunpoint explaining how nasty he intends to be in intricate, precise detail! And, puhleeeze ... our hero, Morelli, just HAPPENED to catch the whole conversation on tape which of course exonerates him completely from the murder charge.

Full marks for the fluff - humour, romance, characterization, banter, dialogue! Failing grade on plot! OK, we'll call it 3-stars and let everybody decide for themselves whether they want to take on the second book in the series. I'm going to give TWO FOR THE DOUGH a read and see how it goes!

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Scott.
1,748 reviews123 followers
March 28, 2021
"[You say it's] 'nothing personal'? You've harassed my mother, stolen my car, and now you're telling people I've gotten you pregnant! In my opinion, getting someone pregnant is pretty ****ing personal! Jesus, isn't it enough I'm accused of murder? What are you, the bounty hunter from hell?" -- Joe Morelli, the initial 'failure-to-appear' case assignment, on page 160

Author Evanovich is doing something right, with a total of twenty-seven (!) Stephanie Plum dramedy crime adventures published over the course of twenty-seven years starting way back in 1994. In the debut One for the Money we meet Ms. Plum, an early-thirtysomething single gal from 'the burg' (the hardscrabble working-class section of Trenton, New Jersey) who has just lost her full-time gig as a lingerie buyer for a local department store. With limited job options she turns to her shifty cousin, who runs his own bail bonds operation. Very quickly Plum jumps head-first into service as a novice bounty hunter (a title which smacks of a Wild West origin - the position also referred to as a 'skip tracer' or, officially, a bond enforcement agent), as her cousin's usual go-to operative is on medical leave. Her initial 'failure to appear' fugitive retrieval assignment is a personal and complicated one - it involves a former classmate / one-time romantic fling named Morelli, who is now a scruffy vice investigator who has disappeared as he is suspected of a murder. Evanovich has crafted a very readable and occasionally suspenseful story that segues rather skillfully between the comic scenes and some fairly dark moments, and then populates it with a nice ensemble cast of characters.
Profile Image for Eric.
872 reviews77 followers
June 26, 2014
My wife and I were heading to Philadelphia for a long weekend, and decided to get an audiobook for the road trip. After a short conversation about how that "female bounty hunter movie" was based on a best selling book, I downloaded this. I was slightly curious, as I have seen the author's name on bookshelves for years now, and didn't know anything other than that she was very fond of numbers in her titles.

Eight minutes into our road trip my wife asked me to shut the book off, as she had a headache. All we heard was a childhood flashback about the main character getting tricked by a neighborhood kid into playing "train tunnel" in her pants. I was happy to acquiesce, as I thought both the book and the narrator were dreadful.

But now I feel compelled to finish what I started, since I paid for it, and I have to listen to something while commuting in rush hour traffic. So either the book is going to improve significantly, or I am going to have fun writing a scathing review when it's finally over.


I finished listening to this yesterday. It was beyond awful.

The main character, Stephanie Plum, makes stupid decision after stupid decision. In fact, I cannot think of a single rational, logical decision she made at any point in the novel. And all the while, the reader is subjected to constant descriptions of her clothing, jewelry and make-up.

Supporting characters around her appear and disappear, serving only as thinly veiled plot devices. Her family, her boss and Ranger are never mentioned after the half-way point of the novel. I lost count of how many times Plum catches up to Morelli only to not even try to apprehend him.

Deus ex machina moments occur regularly. More than one character seems clinically schizophrenic. The "mystery" would have never been solved, if not for a lengthy expository speech by the villain right before he plans to kill the protagonist.

No way would I ever pick up another one of these books. Oh, and why am I not surprised to learn that Janet Evanovich is one of Stephenie Meyer's favorite authors?
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,205 reviews926 followers
January 8, 2016
I know many love this series and Stephanie Plum. Unfortunately, I just couldn't connect and didn't find her ineptness all that funny. My investigators/detectives have to have some level of smarts, either streetwise or instinctive. That's not Stephanie and this isn't my kind of mystery but completely get how this character and story may be appealing to many.

I won't be continuing the series.
April 6, 2019
I was glad to try Janet Evanovich. I liked how well we sympathized with her character and humour definitely eased off rough subjects. However, bail bond-chasing does not interest me and I have no patience for a protagonist who is unable to choose her love interest; which appears to take up several sequels. I especially cannot abide the personality of Stephanie’s Mom. If your daughter warned you about a stalker; would you stupidly retort that he “sounded nice on the phone”? Some behaviour did not jive.

Stephanie needed to get unlocked, after Joe cuffed her in the nude. She had to trust her rescuer, who had to be game to enter a window. Later, we find out she was friends with her superintendant: a key-holder! If she were uncomfortable with the easy choice; apparently she had a sister. Most disturbingly, a sexual-assault offender should have been simple to arrest. Stephanie witnessed one woman’s duress by phone and took another to the hospital. Finally, she tape-recorded threats that Benito made to her. There was no legal uncertainty.

I give “One For The Money” three stars. I like pre-internet mysteries that take situations seriously: standard mysteries versus the cozy imitation. However I stay clear of the topic of sexual-assault and hope it is uncommon for Janet. The lynchpin was an effective surprise, although what they were involved in was told last-minute. My criticism lies in Stephanie conveniently spotting the important witness near home, in time to follow and watch what resulted.

I purchased a couple of Janet’s recent novels outside this series. However, I am eager to read thousands of actual books I already own, that are exactly to my taste. I enjoyed meeting Stephanie Plum. I was glad to sample Janet’s originality and to be privy to another famous literary character.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
November 5, 2015
Buddy reading with some friends at Buddies Books and Baubles starting Nov 1

The Plan: Read one book in the series per month. So that's like the next 2 years. I now plan buddy reads 2 years out....no I do not have a problem...and even if I did I seem to be going to a group for it...soooooo. Don't judge me :P

Lazy Review Time - since this came out forever ago and there are a bazillion reviews

This series has 20+ books in it. I can see what it has been so popular over the years. It is just a good time wrapped up in a ball and transported to the 90s. A time when New Jersey was known for garbage and hydrocarbons and people still had answering machines and no cell phones….YES we used to live like that.

Stephanie Plum is a fun character and this was a pretty good introductory book with funny shenanigans as she tries to figure out how to be a bounty hunter. She makes some pretty big mistakes that lead to a little bit of hilarity along the way. She is easy to like and I had a good time hanging out with her as she learns the ropes Eliza Doolittle style from a guy named Ranger that I could help but picture in my head as Dog the Bounty Hunter.

A few things I liked:

① - The Nostalgia I felt for the 90s

② - The hinted at future romantic interest *crosses finger* I really liked Morelli and hope they ‘Play Train’ sooner rather than later.

③ - Crazy Shenanigans i.e. hitting the boy who took your virginity and didn’t call with your car a few years later. (don’t worry he was okay)

④ - Crazy Grandma’s. I love funny and ridiculous family members so this fit the bill well

⑤ - Totally creepy psychopaths. The messed up in the head bad guy is a bit deranged and pretty scary.

Definitely and easy fun and funny read with a little drama and suspense.
Profile Image for Karin Slaughter.
Author 172 books63.4k followers
August 9, 2018
Can't remember if this is the one where she flirts with Joe or flirts with Ranger, but love all of them because hey, it's Stephanie Plum.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
November 29, 2020
This is the book that started the whole zany series of Stephanie and company. Stephanie is set here and she doesn't really change much through this series. Morelli is introduced here as one of her first FTAs. Lula is a street ho' and she and Stephanie meet up and become pals. We meet Stephanie's family, crazy grunting TV watching Dad, cooking, drinking, ironing mom, and the character of the series, Grandma Mazur. She is the funniest thing ever and I think one of the reasons I keep reading this series. Grandma is amazing. I hope I'm like her when I'm an octogenarian.

Ranger works for Vinnie at this point and he and Stephanie get their chemistry going. We learn a lot about Vinnie and his business and what a pervert Vinnie is. Everything is set up here and it goes for 27 more books at this point.

My uncle introduced me to the series back in 2000 and man, they have given me so many laughs over the years. The story is silly and after 27 volumes, stuck in a rut, but its the funny that keeps me reading me. I love to laugh and this series will get my tickle bone going. This is also a great book in the series and I recommend starting here.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,727 reviews465 followers
March 10, 2016
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this series at this point. I used to absolutely love it. Stephanie Plum is what got me reading again after not picking up a book for several years when my kids where little. I devoured every book in the series that was available and when a new one was released, I would drive to my local Borders to get a copy. I pushed these books on my mom and anyone else that would listen.

Several years ago, I stopped caring about this series. I realized that I could give a summary of just about any book in the series even if I hadn't read it yet.....because they are all the same. Yes there are small differences but the similarities are overwhelming. I bought this audiobook years ago and decided to pull it out because I wanted to feel a little bit of the magic before Stephanie Plum became boring.

I have read this book at least two or three times before listening to the audiobook. I even watched that horrible movie - at a theater. I know the story and I know it well. Unfortunately, I didn't feel any kind of magic this time. The story was okay. It has its moments for sure if you are looking for a little bit of silly fun in book form. It is really a pretty simple story without a whole lot of complexity to the mystery.

I didn't love the narration. C.J. Critt did a good job with Stephanie which was really the bulk of the story. I really didn't care for the voices used for the other characters in the book. I guess that I have a definite idea about what Ranger, Morelli, and the rest the gang should sound like and the reality of this audiobook just didn't measure up. Benito voice was just odd. Some of the voices used seemed so wrong to me that I found myself being pulled out of the story. I don't think that any of my issues were the fault of the narrator. I just went into the book with definite ideas of what I wanted to hear and this was just different. Not wrong...just different. I would listen to another book narrated by C.J. Critt.

I do think that readers looking for a fun silly story will enjoy the Stephanie Plum series. I have a lot of fond memories of reading these books but I don't think that I will be reading this one again. I may try the next book in the series soon to see if it works better for me because I really want to find some of the magic I felt years ago.

Initial Thoughts
I bought this audiobook years ago and decided that I should probably go ahead a listen to it. I have read the book at least twice but this was the first time I listened to any books in the series on audio. I used to love this series but it has lost a its magic for me. I was a bit underwhelmed by this audiobook and really didn't care for a lot of the voices used. It was silly at times but it just didn't feel all that funny this time around.

Full review to be posted soon.
Profile Image for Karl Jorgenson.
536 reviews27 followers
June 21, 2021
First in the long, long series of Stephanie Plum books. It's snappy, sassy, and short, maybe 50,000 words. As with the other books, a lot of New Jersey flavoring, and the setup for Plum's career, love life, and friends. I guess the story works: it's all a bit tongue-in-cheek, so if somebody you want to talk to is murdered, or a psycho killer calls you up and says he's coming over, these are just every-day irritations in New Jersey, things to be dealt with like a dead battery or an unpaid parking ticket. The pace is relentless so the reader does not have time to think: murder is serious! It's just another plot twist, and we've moved on to hilarious low-lifes who have missed their court date. The violence is not cartoonish, but the reaction is, and that's part of the fun.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews213 followers
January 14, 2016
I must be the only one who read this and found it more depressing than funny.

Although there were a couple of times I laughed (few, to be honest, but enough to make me not hate this book), I didn't like Stephanie Plum at all. I am not saying we should all be scared and sit in our house because we might get hurt, but there is being wise and there is being Stephanie. The book summary is way better than the book itself.

You know those films where a cop is accused of something and he sets out to clear his name? Everyone likes those. Well, imagine watching it but from the perspective of a side character who is doing everything in her power to undermine what he is trying to do. The worst thing is she isn't doing it because she is a bad person or evil. That would be this book in a nutshell.

I don't mind light humorous stories. I just find Stephanie annoying here.

It is possible that I wasn't in the right mood for this. Maybe the second book is more entertaining and the main character grows on me. I doubt it since it seems the whole series is one messy love triangle. I hate them.
Profile Image for Paige  Bookdragon.
938 reviews610 followers
March 31, 2016

Maybe if I haven't read Charley Davidson's series first, I would have loved this book more. But sad to say, I can't help but compare Stephanie's humor to Charley. It was kinda fun and entertaining but not that much.
Profile Image for Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf).
445 reviews287 followers
February 16, 2018
3.5 Stars
One for the money is one of those popular books that it seems everyone has read except me. So when I was going through a reading slump and couldn't get into any book that I started reading, I thought I would try this one. Its been on my to read pile for SO LONG. I decided to go the audio version. And I made it through!

Stephanie Plum gets sacked from her job and being desperate, approaches her cousin for a job at his bounty hunter business. Originally intending to go for a filing job she takes up bounty hunting when she sees that she can get a cool 10k for bringing in a particular suspect who has jumped bail. However, the subject is ex cop Joe Morelli who had a fling with once when they were teenagers. So with a trusty gun and the help of a few friends to navigate through the biz, she is on her way to catching the suspect. However she gets herself into a bit of trouble with a psychotic stalker first, and ends up relying on the very person she is meant to bring in. And of course, sparks.

I get it. I really do. Back in 1995 this would have been a great book. Amazing even. But now, in the 2010's, it is full of inappropriate sexism, sexual harassment masked as “sexual tension”, annoying characters, and bad fashion that belongs back in the 90's.

Having said that, I can look past all of that and put myself back in the 1990's and appreciate this book for what it is, an entertaining read that you can just enjoy without getting too much into it.

Sure, Stephanie Plum may be a touch on the annoying side, but for the 90's, she is kick ass.

I loved the fact that there are no mobile phones, and technology feels like it belongs back in the stone ages. And hey, it may be interesting to see what Stephanie got herself up to in the next 20 years, with the 24th instalment of the series having just been released last year.

The audio version was pretty good. There are two different ones apparently and I chose the more recent. Although reviews for the latter one seem to be better from what I have seen.

Would I recommend One of the Money?

Yes, I think so. Although you may need to ask me after a few more books.

I purchased One for the Money at my own expense at audible.com
Profile Image for Gavin.
863 reviews393 followers
January 12, 2016
This was a fun story. It had a bit of action, a bit of mystery, and plenty of crazy humor. The story was fast paced and pretty light in tone for the most part, but it did have a few dark happenings that injected some tension into the story.

Down on her luck Stephanie Plum needs a job fast before she runs out of money and ends up getting evicted from her apartment. She askes her cousin Vinny if she can get the vacant secretary job at his business only to be told the position was just filled! Not to be discouraged Stephanie blackmails cousin Vinny into giving her one of his bounty hunting jobs. She could hardly pass up the chance to drag ex-boyfriend Joe Morelli to jail and earn $10,000 in the process! Unfortunately for Stephanie, Joe is a ex-cop who skipped bail on a murder charge and is not eager to be jailed before he can prove his innocence.

The story was pretty fun. Stephanie was a likeable character and it was entertaining to follow her as she learned how to be a bounty hunter. She and Joe had good chemistry and their crazy exchanges were hilarious. The mystery of who set up Joe gave the plot an extra dimension as did the inclusion of the menacing and crazy stalker Stephanie picked up in the form of local celebrity boxer Benito Ramirez.

On a random note I thought it was pretty interesting to read a book set in the mid 1990s. It is easy to forget there was a day when mobile phones and the internet did not exist for 99% of people.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

Rating: 3.5 stars.

Audio Note: C. J. Critt did a great job with the audio version. My only issue was that she sounded a bit old for 30 year old Stephanie, but ultimately that was a minor issue.

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