Checking Out a New Genre: One for the Money

Author: Janet Evanovich

Title: One for the Money

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I both read and write romance novels. I decided to try a new author outside of my chosen genre partially to try something new but also to see if it would improve my own writing and story crafting.

My mom, sister and aunt all swear by the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. My mother has the whole series in hardcover, no less, so it was an easy sell to give it a try as I could simply borrow the books.

As this is my first foray in recent history into the mystery (or is it a thriller, not sure) genre, I am not sure I am the best person to give it a critique. Especially as the story appears to be set in the early 1990s.

The story starts after Stephanie Plum lost her job and has been unemployed for 6 months. She’s sold off most everything she had, her credit cards are in collection, and in the first chapter, her car is repossessed. She takes a job as a bounty hunter for her cousin, and the first person she’s supposed to find is a cop accused of murder that is from her same neighborhood.

The story takes place in blue-collar or gritty urban neighborhoods. Very much polyester and spandex versus the silk and lace of my normal romance novels.

I loved the chemistry between Stephanie and the hero, Joe Morelli. Both Stephanie and Joe are from the same very blue-collar neighborhood and have a bit of history that led to her hitting him with her father’s Buick when they were teenagers.

Stephanie is not what you would consider bounty hunter material, but she shows spunk, spirit and fight. I really liked her.

I didn’t figure out whodunit before the reveal, but as this is my first mystery, I didn’t expect to.

They mystery didn’t grab me. It seemed well written and kept me coming back for more, but mysteries aren’t really my cat nip. But what kept me coming back for more were the characters.  They were all a little over the top, a bit crazy, and a whole lotta fun. They were so far from the perfect characters of the romance novels that I’ve been reading lately that they were a breath of fresh air.