One for the Money (Stephanie Plum Series #1)

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum Series #1)

4.3 1728
by Janet Evanovich

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Watch out, world. Here comes 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,…  See more details below


Watch out, world. Here comes 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. Now Stephanie's all grown up and out on her own, living five miles from Mom and Dad's, doing her best to sever the world's longest umbilical cord. Her mother is a meddler, and her grandmother is a few cans short of a case. Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, 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, fearless bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook. Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one. Morelli is also the irresistible macho pig who took Stephanie's virginity at age sixteen and then wrote the details on the bathroom wall of Mario's Sub Shop. There's still powerful chemistry between these two, so the chase should be interesting. It could also be extremely dangerous, especially when Stephanie encounters a heavyweight title contender who likes to play rough. Benito Ramirez is known for his brutality to women. At the very least, his obsession with Stephanie complicates her manhunt and brings terror and uncertainty into her life. At worst, it could lead to murder. Witty, fresh, and full of surprises, One for the Money is among the most eagerly awaited crime novels of the season.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post

Comes roaring in like a blast of very fresh air...Goes down like a tall, cool, drink.
USA Today

Snappily written, fast paced and witty.
Los Angeles Times Book Review

Evanovich is funny and ceaselessy inventive.
Booklist (starred review)

Evanovich's writing is smooth, clever and laugh-aloud. Her plot is ingenious and fresh, her dialogue breezy, bright, witty, and gutsy. editor
Welcome to colorful Trenton, New Jersey, and the wild and wonderful world of Stephanie Plum. In One for the Money, rookie "apprehension agent" Plum may be a bit wet behind the ears, but nobody's gonna take it easy on her; especially her first skip, an ex-cop and murder suspect named Morelli.
From the Publisher
Nora Roberts bestselling author of Private Scandals Stephanie Plum is destined to join ranks with Kinsey Millhone and Carlotta Carlyle. Janet Evanovich has crafted a heroine for today, tough, vulnerable, resourceful, and impulsive.

Senator William S. Cohen author of Murder in the Senate A fast-paced, gritty mystery....Janet Evanovich is a witty and clever voice in crime fiction.

Joan Hess author of the Claire Malloy and the Maggody series This is one gritty romp, to put it mildly. Stephanie Plum has not only a hilarious family and some very peculiar associates, but also a wicked sense of humor, a healthy libido, and the tenacity to tackle the most appalling thug to swagger down the streets of Trenton.

Judith Greber, a.k.a. Gillian Roberts author of the Amanda Pepper series With Stephanie Plum, New Jersey has struck gold. Janet Evanovich is a formidable writer who can turn even pollution into endearing local color -- and this is an outstanding debut. I can't wait for the sequel.

Marlys Millhiser author of Death of the Office Witch Finally, something fresh and different! Stephanie Plum is an original and One for the Money is a great series debut.

Deborah Crombie author of All Shall Be Well What a great read! I couldn't put it down. It's fast and funny...Stephanie Plum's attitude is as refreshing as a cold wind on a blistering New Jersey day. She's a believably vulnerable heroine who doesn't need to be rescued by a man, even one as sexy as Joe Morelli.

Dean James manager, Murder by the Book, Houston, and coauthor of By a Woman's Hand Evanovich has a smooth, funny style, spacing thrills and laughs for maximum effect. Mark Evanovich and Plum down on your must-read list!

Jerome Doolittle author of Headlock Funny, unsentimental, tough and touching all at once. I hope we see a lot more of Stephanie Plum.

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Stephanie Plum Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me not forever, but periodically.

Morelli and I were both born and raised in a bluecollar chunk of Trenton called the burg. Houses were attached and narrow. Yards were small. Cars were American. The people were mostly of Italian descent, with enough Hungarians and Germans thrown in to offset inbreeding. It was a good place to buy calzone or play the numbers. And, if you had to live in Trenton anyway, it was an okay place to raise a family.

When I was a kid I didn't ordinarily play with Joseph Morelli. He lived two blocks over and was two years older. "Stay away from those Morelli boys," my mother had warned me. "They're wild. I hear stories about the things they do to girls when they get them alone."

"What kind of things?" I'd eagerly asked.

"You don't want to know," my mother had answered. "Terrible things. Things that aren't nice."

From that moment on, I viewed Joseph Morelli with a combination of terror and prurient curiosity that bordered on awe. Two weeks later, at the age of six, with quaking knees and a squishy stomach, I followed Morelli into his father's garage on the promise of learning a new game.

The Morelli garage hunkered detached and snubbed at the edge of their lot. It was a sorry affair, lit by a single shaft of light filtering through a grime-coated window. Its air was stagnant, smelling of corner must, discarded tires, and jugs of used motor oil. Never destined to house the Morelli cars, the garage served other purposes. Old Man Morelli used the garage to take his belt to his sons, his sonsused the garage to take their hands to themselves, and Joseph Morelli took me, Stephanie Plum, to the garage to play train.

"What's the name of this game?" I'd asked Joseph Morelli.

"Choo-choo," he'd said, down on his hands and knees, crawling between my legs, his head trapped under my short pink skirt. "You're the tunnel, and I'm the train."

I suppose this tells something about my personality. That I'm not especially good at taking advice. Or that I was born with an overload of curiosity. Or maybe it's about rebellion or boredom or fate. At any rate, it was a one-shot deal and darn disappointing, since I'd only gotten to be the tunnel, and I'd really wanted to be the train.

Ten years later, Joe Morelli was still living two blocks over. He'd grown up big and bad, with eyes like black fire one minute and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate the next. He had an eagle tattooed on his chest, a tight-assed, narrow-hipped swagger, and a reputation for having fast hands and clever fingers.

My best friend, Mary Lou Molnar, said she heard Morelli had a tongue like a lizard.

"Holy cow," I'd answered, "what's that supposed to mean?"

Just don't let him get you alone or you'll find out. Once he gets you alone... that's it. You're done for."

I hadn't seen much of Morelli since the train episode. I supposed he'd enlarged his repertoire of sexual exploitation. I opened my eyes wide and leaned closer to Mary Lou, hoping for the worst. "You aren't talking about rape, are you?"

"I'm talking about lust! If he wants you, you're doomed. The guy is irresistible."

Aside from being fingered at the age of six by you-know-who, I was untouched. I was saving myself for marriage, or at least for college. "I'm a virgin," I said, as if this was news. "I'm sure he doesn't mess with virgins."

"He specializes in virgins! The brush of his fingertips turns virgins into slobbering mush."

Two weeks later, Joe Morelli came into the bakery where I worked every day after school, Tasty Pastry, on Hamilton. He bought a chocolate-chip cannoli, told me he'd joined the navy, and charmed the pants off me four minutes after closing, on the floor of Tasty Pastry, behind the case filled with chocolate eclairs.

The next time I saw him, I was three years older. I was on my way to the mall, driving my father's Buick when I spotted Morelli standing in front of Giovichinni's Meat Market. I gunned the big V-8 engine, jumped the curb, and clipped Morelli from behind, bouncing him off the front right fender. I stopped the car and got out to assess the damage. "Anything broken?"

He was sprawled on the pavement, looking up my skirt. "My leg."

"Good," I said. Then I turned on my heel, got into the Buick, and drove to the mall.

I attribute the incident to temporary insanity, and in my own defense, I'd like to say I haven't run over anyone since.

During winter months, wind ripped up Hamilton Avenue, whining past plate-glass windows, banking trash against curbs and storefronts. During summer months, the air sat still and gauzy, leaden with humidity, saturated with hydrocarbons. It shimmered over hot cement and melted road tar. Cicadas buzzed, Dumpsters reeked, and a dusty haze hung in perpetuity over softball fields statewide. I figured it was all part of the great adventure of living in New Jersey.

This afternoon I'd decided to ignore the August buildup of ozone catching me in the back of my throat and go, convertible top down, in my Mazda Miata. The air conditioner was blasting flat out, I was singing along with Paul Simon, my shoulderlength brown hair was whipping around my face in a frenzy of frizz and snarls, my ever vigilant blue eyes were coolly hidden behind my Oakleys, and my foot rested heavy on the gas pedal.

One for the Money. Copyright © by Janet Evanovich. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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One for the Money (Stephanie Plum Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1728 reviews.
NookLover74 More than 1 year ago
I stumbled on this series while looking for downloads for my new nook. The reviews were all so positive that I decided to try the first book in the series. This book had all of the elements of a great, fun read...characters that captivate, laugh out loud humor, drama, and suspense. It's neither overboard nor lack lustre, it's solid and incredibly entertaining!!! I loved it! I read it in one day and have already started on the second book! This may just be a new favorite author for me. If it weren't for others that took the time to write reviews, I would've have never given it a try, I'm so grateful!
laura24 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed it- a lot and will read more from this talented writer.
Aunt.Mary More than 1 year ago
Whether you like romance, mystery, adventure, or humor, this book will satisfy. I have never read a book that made me laugh out loud like this one. The only problem is the series goes on forever and once you are hooked, you are hooked. Some of the in-between books aren't as good, but they are still worth a read.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much! I have read most of Janet Evanovich's books and this one is the start of a great series!
Joy_2_U More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!! I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series!!! I'm always giving the first book away to someone as a gift. I've had people tell me that they don't enjoy reading much. She comes out with book 16 this June, and every person I give this book to can't stop reading the series and is now anxiously awaiting the release of 16. There are also mini books that she has written. This book (and the others in the series) are laugh out loud hilarious. I got in trouble for reading it while I had bathroom duty during TAKS testing because I was laughing so hard that the students heard and wondered what was going on. The characters are fantastic and out of this world. The dialogue is superb. If you like to laugh, if you have a sense of humor, if you want to love reading this book is the one for you. As a bonus you get two really hot men to dream about and a mystery to solve. DON'T MISS THIS BOOK OR THE OTHERS IN THE SERIES. I'm telling you I have gotten people with 2 to 3 jobs, kids to raise, and/or just hate reading to sit down and devour these books. Give them a try, I don't think you will be sorry. Also check out her website.
CheapAndLazy More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the vivid characters and setting. If you're into "literature," this won't be up to your standards. If you have tender sensibilities, a refined sense of humor or require a more complicated plot, likewise, you'll want to pass. Me, I was looking for entertainment and I got it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is so interesting that it is hard to put down until you are finished. I definately recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries or just wants to try something different. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author. She develops the characters well and the storyline never gets dull. I don't happen to be a big fan of the "F" word, so did not like all the foul language. Certainly think characters can be developed with much less of that language; otherwise, it was entertaining.
lovepassionbooks More than 1 year ago
Why is it that when people tell me that I should read a book, I take forever to read it. And when I do read them they are beyond good. This book is defiantly one of those books. My sister would hound me about reading this book. She would tell me about these books that are just plain amazing. Well she was right. You meet Stephanie. Stephanie had it all. She had the job, the house, the car, and the money. Well then out of nowhere she loses everything and she is going to her parents for help. Her parents are trying to be supportive but also they want her to find something so she can pay her bills. So she goes to her cousin Vinnie and starts working for his bail bond business. There she is given the chance to get some money by bringing in a fugitive. But it is not everything that it is cracked up to be. She encounters a lot of problems along the way. But she overcomes them to a point. I loved this book. It has everything that a fictional book like this should have. It was action packed with suspense, love, and energy. It really keeps you going and wanting more. I would defiantly recommend this book to anyone that wants a quick easy read that keeps you wanting it time and time again.
hannahprescott More than 1 year ago
Mystery, suspense, passion and great humor.What more can a reader ask for? Stephanie Plum is quite the character, with real life problems, gutsy, down to earth and hilarious! She loses her job, sells some of her belongings and this is when she decides to become a bounty hunter. There is cute interplay between her and Joe Morelli, who she is trying to bring in for jumping bail. This is such fun, fast-paced and a real HOOT!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evanovich's first Plum book is entertaining and suspensful! I really liked her main character, Stephanie, and reading about her adventures as a rookie bounty hunter. The "bad guy" was crazy scary and kept me reading page after page. It's full of humor and wit, and will satisfy any mystery reader's hopes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books are incredibly clever and absolutely wonderful for a good laugh . . . Here's to hoping the movie is just as good as this book!
glo207 More than 1 year ago
I haven't read much in the past 50 years but started because my mother-in-law reads about a book every two days. I sat down to read one book and now have a Nook Color and have read about 15 books. This is one of the best series. That Stephanie Plum is a real hoot and so is her grandmother. Love these books and have bought up to book 9 and will continue to buy.. LOVE IT
Kristy1984 More than 1 year ago
A great start to the series. I will definetely be reading more of these books. Stephanie is a great character and you cant help but love Grandma! I laughed so much!
risuena More than 1 year ago
Overall I thought this book was a quick and fun read. I'm not sure I loved it as much as others out there though. The writing's simple, plot not too complicated, characters enjoyable, but I feel that there are other books out there that capture mystery and romance a bit better. I didn't feel like it excelled in any category; I wasn't WOWed, but it had a nice balance of everything. Since the reviews for this series are so great, I'm giving the next book a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My best friend recommended the series and I'm glad she did! This is a fun and fast read. I immediately liked the main character, Stephanie Plum, and all the supporting characters. I've read the second book and plan to read the rest!
Nat-the-Cat More than 1 year ago
I read an Excerpt from this book and went ahead and bought the first box set with the first 3 books. Wow was I glad I did! The first 3 books hooked me from beginning to end. The best thing about this series is the main character doesn't take herself too seriously. I found myself laughing harder than I had in a while. I LOVE Grandma Mazur and Lula! These books are worth every penny and are most definitely not a waste of time. Buy the whole series. You won't regret it but be warned they're addictive. As soon as I finished the first 3 books I got online and ordered the next 3 box sets.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend all of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich to all my friends. Several have read them (I loan out the paperback), and they are as enthusiastic as me. My wife and I look forward to the Plum books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series to read... the movie not so much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I had seen the movie preview and needed something to read and I loved it! I read the first one and jumped right into the second, third, I'm on #9 and can't get enough! The plot is mysterious and the whole time I'm trying to figure out what will happen next, but I'm always surprised! This seriew has it all...humor,romance, mystery, action, suspense, fright, etc etc I just cannotsay enough positive things about this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I flow through it and cant wait to see the movie and read the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very funny and entertaining. Really enjoyed it. I have already started "Two For The Dough". Stephanie's character is so relatable!!! Love grandma Mazur!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book after seeing this author's books everywhere. The covers are bright and eye catching. Due to that i decided to give one of the books a try. This is such a cute and fun story. It reminds me of my own life in some ways. I enjoy the playful banter between plum and morelli. I will keep reading this series. It's a quick read; you can't help turning page after page. Oh and i bought the ebook and there were maybe ten typos, not overwhelming but annoying. I didnt realize this would be such a common problem in ebooks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a fun series.