One for the Money, Janet Evanovich, Scribner, 1994, 320 pp
I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but I was raised in New Jersey. Granted, it was Princeton, NJ, a college town filled with snooty rich people and condescending intellectuals of various religious and political persuasions. In junior high, I (the most nonathletic of girls) signed up for the field hockey team. It was pure torture for me and I can't imagine what I was thinking, but amongst our opponents, I met a whole new type of girl: tough talking jocks who also wore teased hair and lots of make-up (off the hockey field), chewed gum ferociously, swore and did things with boys. I can't say that I ever joined them but I was fascinated. My mother was horrified.
Stephanie Plum I could never be but I'm afraid that I have found a new heroine to love. Luckily I get to be the vicarious tough girl at least 14 more times. I am already a Sara Paretsky fan, but her PI is a more socially conscious woman. Stephanie is pure Jersey girl and at least so far, she is in it for the money. In One For the Money, she becomes a bounty hunter for her cousin's bail bond business. That means chasing down anything from drunks to drug dealers to highly dangerous criminal psychopaths who "failed to appear" in court; they are called FTAs.
Then there is Joseph Morelli, a cop on the lam because he is falsely accused of murder one, but also is Stephanie's childhood associate who introduced her to sex and took her virginity. He is the one she is after in this novel and I have a feeling from reading previews of the later books, that he is going to stick around.
Great fun, fast reading, scary moments, all the elements for a totally escapist read and way more entertaining than any chick lit. Thanks to my blogging friend Piksea, another intrepid Jersey girl (check out her blog at http://fautisbookquest.blog-city.com), who finally convinced me to read Janet Evanovich.