In the novel “One for the Money,” Stephanie Plum, recently fired and suddenly a bounty hunter, finds herself thrown into the middle of a real life game of cops and robbers.
In this, the first book of the 14-book (and growing) Stephanie Plum series, Janet Evanovich sets up her characters and starts Plum’s first round of catching criminals.
Humorously, Plum is thrown together with an old love interest, an intimidating experienced bounty hunter named Ranger.
Plum’s first ‘jump’ — a person who violates his or her court bail — is worth $10,000. To add a twist, he is also a cop, and a man from her past who she has continuously had a crush on: Joe Morelli.
Morelli was accused of shooting an unarmed man, but says the story is not what it appears. Because Morelli and Plum have a history of attraction, Morelli ends up following her, hoping for her help to solve the case in his favor.
For most bounty hunters, the everyday presence of their chase would make their life much easier, but Plum is completely inept. When Morelli continually breaks into Plum’s apartment, she turns to drastic measures to try to catch him.
She tries to disable his car, but he handcuffs her in her bathroom and searches her house. Because Plum is a woman and has never encountered these situations before, Morelli has advantage in size, strength and experience.
She tries to tail him, but, again, he’s a cop, so Morelli leads her where he likes in order to discover a piece of evidence for his case.
In the novel, Evanovich focuses on Plum’s downfalls, her ability to encounter numerous mishaps and the hilariously unexpected people and incidents she’s suddenly involved with.
All of the Plum novels continue with the love life storyline, set up in “One for the Money.” Morelli and Plum develop a mutual friendship, and at the end of the novel have somewhat of a relationship going.
Ranger, the bounty hunter who takes a liking to Plum and adopts her as his student, generates other mixed feelings in her life. He is a mysterious man, and when he comes out of hiding for Plum, she is unsure what to think of him.
As the story unfolds and Plum keeps trying to catch Morelli, she gets pulled into solving the case.
This puts her in the way of criminals and the law, an unexpected side effect of the career she chose for the money.
The rest of the novels deal with her relationships and focus on one criminal she’s supposed to catch.
By setting up the storyline so well in the first book, Plum’s reactions are set up, drawing the reader into the rest of the novels.
Plum’s inexperience does not seem to lessen as the novels go on, but rather draws her into even more strange situations.The Plum series is a funny, dramatic crime story that breaks the boundaries of expected mystery novels.
Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.