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Book Review | One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

From the publisher: You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do? If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter.

About a decade ago I had been going through a really rough patch and I asked the Reference librarians for suggestions for books I could read.

“I need to escape,” I said. “I need something enjoyable that I don’t have to think about very hard.”

My friends came through with a few ideas, one of which was One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. To be honest, initially I had avoided the series. The books had been around for a while (25 years in 2019!) and the numbered title thing seemed like a gimmick copying Grafton, who was at least limited by the English alphabet (little did we know…). But I really needed a book and the beginning of Stephanie Plum’s misadventures were a hilarious fulfillment of my request.

Whether it was the fact that the hapless Stephanie’s trials kept accumulating faster than mine, or that her first-person narration of them was so dryly funny, I was drawn in quickly. She needs a job, she needs it quickly, and her best option is working for her objectionable cousin, a bail bondsman. What follows is a lot of Stephanie bumbling around as she learns how to do her job, using her community connections and checking in with her reluctantly close-knit family. There’s a nonfatal use of a firearm at the dinner table, a lot of cat-and-mouse with her target and the first in a long line of bad luck with vehicles that aren’t Uncle Sandor’s Buick. There’s really not a lot I can write that hasn’t already been written about the series or is a spoiler. If you enjoy mysteries and women who keep facing adversity with chutzpah and a sense of humor, may I suggest One for the Money? If it’s not your speed, I highly recommend visiting with the librarians at the Reference desk. They are excellent at finding titles to meet your current reading needs!

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