Janet Evanovich - Three Plums in One: One for the Money, Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly

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Janet Evanovich's Three Plums In One: Female Bounty Hunter On The Loose!

Aug 13, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:quirky characters; makes me laugh; easy to read

Cons:formulaic; not current references showing author's age (nitpicky maybe)

The Bottom Line: 3.5 stars upped to 4. They're fun books.


Stephanie Plum: You’re scum, Morelli. Scum!

Joe Morelli: Probably, but I give good…pizza.

Thus the first book, One For The Money, concludes of the Stephanie Plum series that has stretched to eleven books now. Here in Three Plums In One we have the first three books that introduce the fashionable, young woman from Trenton, New Jersey who is desperate and hungry enough to take a job as a bounty hunter for her icky cousin Vinnie. They’re not quite as silly and meaningless as the movie Legally Blonde 2, and have much more sexual repartee, so they are more for young adults and probably for women who love to laugh.

The second book, Two For The Dough, concludes with:

Stephanie Plum: This is war!

Joe Morelli: Good. I give good war.

I give the exiting lines to show you what these fluff books boil down to. They are the equivalent of watching a light-hearted comedy with some male-female competition, romantic tension and fun breaking the law to get the bad guys. They’ll make enjoyable movies someday, I daresay.

The third book, Three To Get Deadly, ends with Stephanie, a bounty hunter, finally--and I do mean finally--melting into the cop babe Joe Morelli’s arms. I tell you this because like me you may well wonder if she’s ever going to give in to her obviously very strong attraction to the extremely patient man and become too frustrated with her. They had some sexual encounters many years ago, starting as inquisitive children, and so she rightfully wants her revenge now, but still I had to skip to the end of the third book before I could bring myself to delve into it. I’m such a romantic!

Colorful characters are a hallmark of the books. Being from Jersey and young, Stephanie’s still tied to her family and must not be late for pot roast for Saturday dinner. Her incorrigible grandmother is my favorite whose life revolves around attending funerals, especially open casket ones, and criticizing the funereal make-up, lights and wall paint. She manages to cause scenes every time, like when a corpse’s finger breaks off at her touch.

Another feature of Janet Evanovich’s books are Stephanie’s continuous need for new transportation. In the first book where Morelli was on the run because he was accused of murder, she “commandeered” his truck after searching his apartment and securing his keys. Naturally this enrages him and their relationship is off to a fine start, heh. His truck is blown up later by the bad guys (neither of them in it) and he joins her in driving ugly or conspicuous vehicles they hate.

In the second book she’s after a drug dealer and ugly caskets. She, Joe and her bounty hunter trainer either in black or army fatigues, Ranger, can’t pin the guy down, though Stephanie has many opportunities (another feature), and the case has many suspicious characters to complicate matters. When things slow down occasionally, she recovers an easy felon for some money.

Three To Get Deadly has her chasing a local celebrity everybody loves and he’s very difficult to locate. Turns out he makes underground porn films and doesn’t want it known. I’ll admit that I really skimmed this one because the simple formula of the book was wearing thin for me. The ex-hooker, Lula with the big *ss, has started filing for Stephanie’s cousin-boss Vinnie, but now she gets in on the action for more laughs. For example, she breaks a suspect’s house window to allow her and Stephanie to enter.

You’re not opening up great literature when you open Three Plums In One. The writing, heavy on witty dialogue and quirky description, is easy enough to read that you barely need a high school education and the books will fly by as you’re shoving in popcorn.

This, however, doesn’t mean they’re not fun to read. I know many people do love them and many of you will. I also succumbed to the silliness and moderate suspense of the Evanovich style, but three at a time was just a bit overwhelming for me…or should I say underwhelming? They’re not as impressive or interesting as Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series, which can often be silly, but I have more fun trying to figure out how he’ll stop certain catastrophe. Evanovich has researched a little for her books, but not half as much as Cussler does, and she cranks the 250-page or so books out.

I like Stephanie. I do. The same with Joe and I’m sure the battle between them is not over. That would cut out half the fun of the books if it was. I doubt I’ll read more of the series too soon, but am glad I relaxed for a few days with Three Plums In One. If you want something unchallenging that’s silly without sex scenes, but featuring romantic tension as well as tension from her work, then you should enjoy this book and series.


Recommend this product? Yes

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