by Deborah Harter Williams
Imagine you’ve just made a career change from lingerie buyer to bounty hunter and your first assignment is to bring in the hunk who did you wrong (twice) when you were growing up, and who is now a cop wanted for murder. In 1994, Janet Evanovich did just with her first Stephanie Plum book – One for the Money. She’s been at it ever since, through 18 books and now a movie starring Katherine Heigl.
Evanovich’s characters are unforgettable:
Grandma Mazur – Funeral going, spandex wearing and gun toting;
Ranger – Black clothes, black cars, able to speak volumes and inspire lust with the single word “Babe;”
Cousin Vinnie – Owner of the bail bond company. Stephanie’s knowledge of his sleazy habits guarantee her job security.
In this initial outing, Ms. Plum also meets Lula. Big, black and beautiful, Lula decides to leave “the life” for filing and adventure as Stephanie’s sidekick. Lula and Stephanie share an unhealthy and compulsive love of doughnuts and trips to “Cluck in a Bucket.” His crew is now so well known that casting the movie became a cause celebre with fans at odds as to who could do justice to their favorites.
Evanovich grafted her previous success as a romance writer onto tales of mystery and mayhem and hit the jackpot. At the heart of it all is the attraction of Stephanie’s two on again, off again suitors. Her FTA (Failure to Appear) assignments range from bizarre to dangerous, challenging her to bring in misfeasors of “the burg” (a section of Trenton, New Jersey, that time seems to have forgotten).
There are frequent side-trips to rescue various relatives and to avoid the marriage plans of her mother. Stephanie has a hamster named Rex, a gun in a cookie jar and her cars have an unfortunate habit of blowing up. Other than that, she’s just the girl next door.
Check back here at KRL next week for a review of the One For The Money movie review!
If you love mysteries, why not check out Left Coast Crime: Mystery Conference in Sacramento, March 29-April 1, 2012. Registration is only $225 & day passes can be purchased for $75 for Friday and Saturday panel sessions. Registration information can be found at the conventionwebsite, or by sending an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.