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Friday, January 12, 2007

Janet Evanovich: One For The Money (Rating: 8 out of 10)

I finished reading Janet Evanovich's first Stephanie Plum novel, One for the Money a couple of days ago and I must say I was quite pleasantly surprised (more on that in a bit). In short though, I had a great time with it.

So what did I like about it? For starters, I really love mysteries. And I love to laugh. Evanovich excels at writing mysteries that make you laugh. Let me give you some idea what I'm talking about. The opening lines of this book are:

There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me — not forever, but periodically.

As for being pleasantly surprised, well, I guess was somewhat skeptical about reading this book to begin with. I only read it because Julie, AKA "The Missus", has been gently pestering me to read them. I've had to live with her laying in bed beside me every time a new Stephanie Plum novel came out, laughing out loud at some of it.

This is a woman who rarely lets out so much as a chuckle when we're watching TV or even a really funny movie.

Plus, most of her talk with Kendra (her "Stephanie Plum Pal") is filled with talk about whether Stephanie needs to be with Ranger or Joe. Now I am not — admittedly — an overly macho guy, but this was a bit off-putting to me.

On the other hand, there were bits I was looking forward to reading about, such as Grandma Mazur, or the destruction of one or more cars.

For, it seems, poor Stephanie has an extremely hard time keeping a vehicle. One must figure that Evanovich must either love cars passionately, or (my guess) hate them to the core of her being. In this book the car Stephanie is driving at the beginning of the story doesn't last and she winds up driving another that has, to put it mildly, problems. Most notably, a massive oil leak. For example, when Stephanie (while following someone) thinks:

I prayed he wasn't going far. I only had a case and a half of oil in the backseat.
she means it!

What else did I like? Well, the characters are very colorful and interesting. The mystery itself was satisfying. And, oh yes, did I mention it was laugh out loud funny?

What didn't I like? (AKA, why didn't I rate this book higher than an eight?) Well, it isn't so much that I disliked anything so much as, as is the case with most mysteries, it really is only a good way to pass time.

There's nothing here that I'm going to muse over for days, questioning the meaning of my life, or actually perceive any personal growth.

To put it another way, this book is at the shallower end of the literary pool, fairly close to the kiddie end of things (but NOT in content or language; if your ten year old tries to read this book, take it away!)

That said, this is definitely worthy of a read.

And, so far, so is the next book, Two for the Dough.


A Girl Over 40 said...

I too tried reading this book based on author's popularity and was disappointed .In fact i did not finish the book .Just goes to show you that popular opinion on a book is not always the case. Great blog by the way,happy reading