A friend presented me with Janet Evanovich's One for the money as a birthday present, telling me that it was laugh out loud funny. She was right, it was, even for someone who isn't finding it particularly easy to laugh out loud about anything much at the moment.

One for the money is the first in a series of Stephanie Plum adventures. When Stephanie, descendant of a long-line of Italian-Hungarians living in Trenton, New Jersey, loses her job, she's desperate to earn money any way she can. A receptionist's job with cousin Vinnie, who's a bail-bondsman sounds ideal. Unfortunately the position is already filled, and so Stephanie becomes Trenton's most unlikely bounty hunter. The job soon gets an added relish when her first mark turns out to be her first beau; but a tangle with a psychotic boxer, who likes nothing better than to beat up women, soon makes the job a whole lot nastier.

I loved Stephanie, and her eccentric family. This was often gloriously funny, but as a crime story / thriller it was also well constructed and a great read. It reminded me in many ways of the previously well reviewed (and also very much liked) Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn. Light enough to be an easy enjoyable read, but with a hard centre too guaranteed to draw in any crime fan. Roll on more Stephanie Plum.


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