One for the Money, written by Janet Evanovich, centers on down-on-her luck Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is out of work and desperate, so she takes her mother’s advice to see her sleazy cousin Vinny about a filing job. Instead of filing, she becomes a bounty hunter and her first fugitive is vice cop Joe Morelli, with whom Stephanie has a rather sordid past.
I read the book many years ago, sometime in college, and loved it. It’s a light read, funny, and full of colorful characters. Stephanie lives in the Burg, a blue-collared section of Trenton New Jersey. Evanovich really paints a detailed picture of the Burg, so detailed that this California girl had no trouble picturing it. I’d highly recommend the book to anyone who likes mystery books you don’t really need to think too hard about. Suspension of disbelief is hugely critical to reading this series, but the fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously helps.
The movie came out in 2012. It starred Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum and Jason O’Mara as Morelli. On Rotten tomatoes, it has a 2% fresh rating, so, obviously, take my opinion with a huge grain of salt.
I liked it. It actually followed the book really well. The ending was different, and I liked the book ending better, but it didn’t take anything away. I don’t have any particular animosity towards Heigl, nor do I love her, but she was charming as Stephanie. Would I have cast her? No. I’d have gone with Marisa Tomei and flipped the bird at the age mismatch, but no one asked me. I don’t own the movie, but it was on the other day and it hit all the notes about the book I enjoyed. I thought O’Mara and Heigl had good chemistry, Sherri Sheppard was amusing as Lula, and it was a good way to spend a couple hours.
Book: 4/5 stars
Movie: 3/5 stars