One for the Money (My Rating - 3/5: I liked it)
Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.
Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000. But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn't easy...
And when Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants to be her friend Stephanie soon knows what it's like to be pursued. Unfortunately the best person to protect her just happens to be on the run...
Two for the Dough (My Rating - 4/5: I really liked it)
Kenny Mancuso shot his childhood buddy Moogey Bues and then jumped bail. Now bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is on the case to track Kenny down.
Then someone finished Moogey off, Kenny can't be found, twenty-four coffins are missing, and there's some ex-army heavy artillery roaming the streets. And Joe Morelli - the cop with more than a professional interest in her every move - is tailing Stephanie.
With a healthy disregard for the law, and an unhealthy dependence on marshmallow hot chocolate, Stephanie's a match for anyone - even Morelli. That is, until her eccentric grandmother goes AWOL and little pieces of corpses start to disappear...
Three to get Deadly (My Rating - 4/5: I really liked it)
Stephanie Plum's fast becoming the most unpopular woman in New Jersey. Even her own mother can't love her for taking on the job of tracking down Uncle Mo, everybody's favourite candy store owner. Cursed with a disastrous new hair colour and an increasing sense that it's time to get a new job, the world's favourite bounty hunter sets off on her latest adventure, with a little 'help' for her new sidekick, hooker turned file clerk Lula, who's just itching to get a felon in the back of her racy red firebird ...
My thoughts - The Stephanie Plum books are based on the comic capers of the main character, Stephanie, as she learns how to become a bounty hunter. Two for the Dough and Three to get Deadly are absolutely hilarious and include many laugh-out-loud moments (much to the annoyance of the people around me!). However, One for the Money is nowhere near as funny as the other two books. To me, it felt as if the author takes a little while to hit her stride. This means that I didn't enjoy the first book as much as books two and three, but if you read One for the Money and you aren't impressed then please do continue with the series as they get so much better.
For me, the strongest aspect of Ms. Evanovich's writing is the character development. In this series there is a wide range of very eclectic characters who all come with more than their fair share of idiosyncrasies. My absolute favourites have to be Grandma Mazur, who is slightly crazy but so funny with it, and Lula, who is an ex-prostitute who now works at the bail bond company. These two characters have a tendancy to say the funniest things and I have fallen in love with them! I really can't wait to read more about the people from the 'burg!
The only problem with having a wide range of secondary characters is that the mystery element often becomes bogged down with too many leads/witnesses/suspects and at many times during these three books I had real trouble keeping track of who was who.
As well as humour and mystery, there is also a little bit of romance in this series too (what more could you ask for!). There is a lot of chemistry between Stephanie and Joe Morelli and at times it will leave you feeling a bit hot under the collar! I look forward to reading more about their relationship as the series progresses.
Summary - Although the series gets off to a pretty slow start with One for the Money it is definitely worth continuing with. These books are full of humour, great characters, mystery and romance. If you are looking for a light, fun read to keep you entertained from page one then this is the series for you.
Other books in the series:
1. One for the Money
2. Two for the Dough
3. Three to get Deadly
4. Four to Score
5. High Five
6. Hot Six
7. Seven Up
8. Hard Eight
9. To the Nines
10. Ten Big Ones
11. Eleven on Top
12. Twelve Sharp
13. Lean Mean Thirteen
14. Fearless Fourteen
15. Finger Lickin' Fifteen
16. Sizzling Sixteen
17. Smokin' Seventeen