Synopsis: Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash–fast–but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.
Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water–wanted for murder.
Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight–and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.
Review: I don’t know why it took me so long to get started on this humour/ crime series; I absolutely loved One for the Money! In the first of the Plum series we are introduced to Stephanie Plum-no job, no money, no car. So to make money to pay the bills she takes on a job as a bounty hunter. Her first job is to bring in Joe Morellie, a local cop who has jumped bail, a cop who was also her first lover when she was a naïve teenager. Now aged 30, Joe still makes Stephanie Plum weak at the knees- not that she would let him know that.
Stephanie is a great character; she is up for anything and often in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time- which tends to come in handy when she is trying to catch the bad guys. As a newbie to the bounty hunter business, Stephanie has to learn the ropes and sometimes she learns the hard way.
The chemistry between Joe and Steph was very believable and their love/ hate relationship made for many laughs throughout the story. The only thing that bugged me about this ‘relationship’ was the disturbing scene that the author introduces early in the story about Steph when she was six and Joe was eight. It was a little weird and perhaps having a background working child protection, I had to just force myself to forget that scene so I could have a vested interest in their romance as adults. I’m not sure what other people thought about that but I wish it had been left out of the story. Joe certainly has his faults, but he does grow on me and I look forward to Stephanie’s future adventures with Joe Morelli.
Despite that, I really loved this book and have already moved onto the next in the series, Two for the Dough. Highly recommended for crime fiction fans who enjoy a good laugh and quirky characters.