It’s Stephanie Plum, New Jersey’s “fugitive apprehension” agent (aka bounty hunter), introduced to the world by Janet Evanovich in the award-winning novel One for the Money.
Now Stephanie’s back, armed with attitude — not to mention stun guns, defense sprays, killer flashlights, and her trusty .38, Stephanie is after a new bail jumper, Kenny Mancuso, a boy from Trenton’s burg. He’s fresh out of the army, suspiciously wealthy, and he’s just shot his best friend.
With her bounty hunter pal Ranger stepping in occasionally to advise her, Stephanie staggers kneedeep in corpses and caskets as she traipses through back streets, dark alleys, and funeral parlors.
And nobody knows funeral parlors better than Stephanie’s irrepressible Grandma Mazur, a lady whose favorite pastime is grabbing a front-row seat at a neighborhood wake. So Stephanie uses Grandma as a cover to follow leads, but loses control when Grandma warms to the action, packing a cool pistol. Much to the family’s chagrin, Stephanie and Granny may soon have the elusive Kenny in their sights.
Fast-talking, slow-handed vice cop Joe Morelli joins in the case, since the prey happens to be his young cousin. And if the assignment calls for an automobile stakeout for two with the woman who puts his libido in overdrive, Morelli’s not one to object.
Low on expertise but learning fast, high on resilience, and despite the help she gets from friends and relatives, Stephanie eventually must face the danger alone when embalmed body parts begin to arrive on her doorstep and she’s targeted for a nasty death by the most loathsome adversary she’s ever encountered. Another case like this and she’ll be a real pro.
Two for the Dough is irresistible fun and powerful suspense entertainment from an acclaimed author who is already a national star.
Two for the Dough is not as good as One for the Money but is still enjoyable. It seemed to drag on a little longer, and the action was more spread out with lots of stakeouts this time.
It was nice having some character development in place of non-stop action, though. You can never have too much Grandma Mazur, and it was nice to see Stephanie’s mother support her as well. While the escalation of the Morelli relationship is excellent, I missed Ranger in this one. Especially as she’s still learning the ropes of being a bounty hunter, I’d love to see more Ranger lessons.
I enjoy Stephanie as a protagonist; she’s tough but real. She does what she needs to but isn’t perfect and has emotions and realistic reactions to violence, threats, and danger. I like seeing a female protagonist badass who is allowed to have flaws but still be strong. When Stephanie’s living back at home, the writing perfectly encapsulates the feelings of being back home as an adult where everyone feels too big and the rooms feel too small.
So overall, I’ll accept the trade-off of character development instead of action. I picture these novels as a tv show, and every book is another episode. The first one was the pilot with a quick introduction to everyone with some action and violence thrown in to get you hooked. Now it’s the second episode where you learn more about the cast with some creepy new characters thrown in to keep it interesting. I’m looking forward to episode three!