July 24, 2011

One For The Money...

I am a pop culture vulture, and a big reader, so you think I would know what to read... but what the hell do I know? I came to the Stephanie Plum party 17 years after it started. That is beyond fashionably late, even for a gay dude.

Recommended by a blog reader in response to post about audio books, I gave One for the Money, the first of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum's novels -- there are seventeen and counting -- a try, and loved it.

Stephanie Plum is a smart tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer. She's broke, she's lonely, she's raunchy, she's gutsy, she's smart, she's horny, she's desperate for a job, and she's got the fashion sense of Cher on a bad day (which Stephanie decides is pretty good after all).

With no job prospects and her Miata repossessed --- yes, Miata, it's 1994, I got here late, remember --- Stephanie drinks her last bottle of beer for breakfast and then blackmails her cousin Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And then she discovers the guy she has to get is Joe Morelli, the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in a Trenton bakery (she later ran over him with her car).

Stephanie's unsuccessful attempts at catching Joe make a hilarious tale of murder and mystery. This is funny and sharp writing with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing whodunit.

I started this one on audio in the car, and got halfway thru that way, and then once home I wouldn't wait for my next road trip to finish it, so got the book from the library and read the second half in one sitting curled up on the sofa. Now that is a compulsively readable book!

When I was a kid, my grandfather introduced me to his beloved Agatha Christie books and I devoured them all. He also loved Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Sanders, and other mysteries and lighthearted suspense series; they are fun light comfort food reading, and whether you figured it all out or were surprised, you wind up with a resolution. This book made me think of him. He would love Stephanie Plum. Of course he would think she was potty-mouthed and should get married already, but hey he was a grandfather.

I am looking forward to next week's road trip because I am going to be listening to the second Plum novel, Two For The Dough.

If you haven't read or listened to One For The Money, catch either soon, before the upcoming Katherine Heigl film adaptation ruins it for all of us...


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