One For The Money by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is one that people have suggested I read for quite a while, but I never got around to it. It was released as a film this year starring Katherine Heigl, but it must have been a bit of a flop because I hadn't even heard of it. There is a movie tie in version of the book, but I don't know if that's just a cover change or whether it's been updated a bit.
Stephanie Plum is from New Jersey. She's still expected at her parents' house for dinner at 6pm sharp every evening. She's been without a job for 6 months and has run out of things to hock. Her phone has been cut off and the repo guy (who she went to primary school with) is coming for her Mazda Miata in the morning. Her cousin Vinnie is looking for someone to do some filing, so she swallows her pride and goes to check it out. It turns out the filing job is taken but he does need someone to take over the case load of one of his agents who is in the hospital. Vinnie provides bail to those who need it. If they skip bail, he sends someone to bring them in. After she blackmails him with the threat of telling his wife exactly what he likes to do to ducks (!!!), Vinnie agrees to give her a week to bring in a big murder case. Joe Morelli was a cop charged with murder. He also took Stephanie's virginity when she was sixteen and let the world know about it. She might just enjoy bringing him in.
I enjoyed this quite a bit once the story actually got going. There are a lot of characters to introduce and there's also a lot of description of the neighbourhood. It's dated, almost 20 years old and it really shows. Big hair and spandex a plenty. The story itself holds up well though. It's a fairly standard murder mystery with a bumbling heroine who manages to get herself beaten up far more than is healthy, but it made me laugh in places and I finished it in a day as I was keen to see what would happen next. Next time I have a gap in my reading schedule I'll read the next one.