Winner of the CWA John Creasey Award and the Dilys Award
Janet Evanovich has won many awards for her Stephanie Plum novels. There are now eight in the series, most recently Hard Eight, which topped the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic. She lives in New Hampshire.
After making the finals for the Edgar, Agatha, and Shamus awards, Evanovich's debut, One for the Money (LJ 7/94), won the Dilys award from the Independent Mystery Booksellers of America as the book "most fun to sell." In this sequel, New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum encounters an illegal weapons operation.
First novels this funny and self-assured come along rarely; dialogue this astute and raunchy is equally unusual. The gutsy heroine introduced here is Stephanie Plum of Trenton, N.J., a recently laid-off lingerie buyer who has no job, no car and no furniture. She does have a hamster, a deranged grandmother, two caring parents and several pairs of biking shorts and sports bras. Finding work with her cousin Vinnie, she becomes a bond hunter and scrounges money enough to buy a gun, a Chevy Nova and some Mace. Her first assignment is to locate a cop accused of murder. Joe Morelli grew up in Stephanie's neighborhood. Possessed of legendary charm, he relieved Stephanie of her virginity when she was 16 (she later ran over him with a car). In her search, Stephanie catches her prey, loses him and grills a psychotic prizefighter, the employer of the man Morelli shot. She steals Morelli's car and then installs an alarm so he can't steal it back. Resourceful and tough, Stephanie has less difficulty finding her man than deciding what she wants to do with him once she's got him. While the link between the fighter and the cop isn't clear until too late in the plot, Evanovich's debut is a delightful romp and Stephanie flaunts a rough-edged appeal. Mystery Guild alternate; author tour; film rights optioned to Tri-Star. (Sept.)