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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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One for the Money (Stephanie Plum Novels)

by

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum Novels) Cover

ISBN13: 9780312990459
ISBN10: 0312990456
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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

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.

Morelli and I were both born and raised in a blue-collar chunk of Trenton called the burg. Houses were attached and narrow. Yards were small. Cars were American. The people were mostly Italian descent, with enough Hungarians and Germans thrown into offset inbreeding. It was a good place to buy calzone or play the numbers. And. if you had to live in Trenton anyway, it was an okay place to raise a family.

When I was a kid I didn't ordinarily play with Joseph Morelli. He lived two blocks over and was two years older. "Stay away from those Morelli boys," my mother had warned me. "They're wild. I hear stories about the things they do to girls when they get them alone."

"What kind of things?" I'd eagerly asked.

"You don't want to know," my mother had answered. "Terrible things. Things that aren't nice."

From that point on, I viewed Joseph Morelli with a combination of terror and prurient curiosity that bordered on awe. Two weeks later, at the age of six, with quaking knees and a squishy stomach, I followed Morelli into his father's garage on the promise of learning a new game.

The Morelli garage hunkered detached and snubbed at the edge of their lot. It was a sorry affair, lit by a single shaft of light filtering through a grime-coated window. Its air was stagnant, smelling of corner must, discarded tires, and jugs of used motor oil. Never destined to house the Morelli cars, the garage served other purposes. Old man Morelli used the garage to take his belt to his sons, his sons used the garage to take their hands to themselves, and Joseph Morelli took me, Stephanie Plum, to the garage to play train.

"What's the name of this game?" I'd asked Joseph Morelli.

"Choo-choo," he'd said, down on his hands and knees, crawling between my legs, his head trapped under my short pink skirt. "You're the tunnel, and I'm the train."

I suppose this tells you something about my personality. That I'm not especially good at taking advice. Or that I was born with an overload of curiosity. Or maybe it's about rebellion or boredom or fate. At any rate, it was a one-shot deal and darn disappointing, since I'd only gotten to be the tunnel, and I'd really wanted to be the train.

Ten years later, Joe Morelli was still living two blocks over. He'd grown up big and bad, with eyes like black fire one minute and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate the next. He had an eagle tattooed on his chest, a tight-assed, narrow-hipped swagger, and a reputation for having fast hands and clever fingers.

My best friend, Mary Lou Molnar, said she heard Morelli had a tongue like a lizard.

"Holy cow," I'd answered, "what's that supposed to mean?"

"Just don't let him get you alone or you'll find out. Once he gets you alone...that's it. You're done for."

I hadn't seen much of Morelli since the train episode. I supposed he'd enlarged his repertoire of sexual exploitations. I opened my eyes wide and leaned closer to Mary Lou, hoping for the worst. "You aren't taking about rape, are you?"

"I'm talking about lust! If he wants you, you're doomed. The guy is irresistible." Aside from being fingered at the age of six by you-know-who, I was untouched. I was saving myself for marriage, or at least for college. "I'm a virgin," I said, as if this was news. "I'm sure he doesn't mess with virgins."

"He specializes in virgins! The brush of his fingertips turns virgins into slobbering mush."

Two weeks later, Joe Morelli came into the bakery where I worked every day after school, Tasty Pastry, on Hamilton. He bought a chocolate-chip cannoli, told me he'd joined the navy, and charmed the pants off of me four minutes after closing, on the floor of Tasty Pastry, behind the case filled with chocolate eclairs.

The next time I saw him, I was three years older. I was on my way to the mall, driving my father's Buick when I spotted Morelli standing in front of Giovichinni"s Meat Market. I gunned the big V-8 engine, jumped the curb, and clipped Morelli from behind, bouncing him off the front right fender. I stopped the car and got out to asses the damage. "Anything broken?"

He was sprawled on the pavement, looking up my skirt. "My leg."

"Good," I said. Then I turned on my heel, got into the Buick, and drove to the mall.

I attribute the incident to temporary insanity, and in my own defense, I'd like to say I haven't run over anyone since.

Copyright © 1994 by Evanovich, Inc.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 13 comments:

Crystal_Dark, July 10, 2014 (view all comments by Crystal_Dark)
This book was a lot of fun to read. I have already seen the movie several times so I had an idea of what was supposed to happen but reading the book definitely gives you more character background than the movie does. I am glad that I saw the movie first though because it was cast really well. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
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tiggerz, June 18, 2014 (view all comments by tiggerz)
I love this book it made me laugh and want to see what happened to her and her funny hard life ( we all have those days )LOL she just has a lot more!!I cant wait to read more of her books.........any book that makes me laugh this much and has a great story line is A+ in my book.......
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seldombites, March 7, 2013 (view all comments by seldombites)
This book is fairly predictable - I could pretty much tell what was going to happen from the first chapter. The first person narrative took a couple of chapters to get used to but this is nothing new. I always struggle at first with first person narrative.

Having said that, however, I found this book to be an enjoyable read. It was light enough to read when I was winding down at night, yet interesting enough that I will be reading the rest of the series. Overall, I would say it is worth reading.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312990459
Author:
Evanovich, Janet
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
Subject:
Women detectives
Subject:
New jersey
Subject:
Trenton
Subject:
Plum, Stephanie
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Bounty Hunters
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Plum, stephanie (fictitious character)
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Romance/Romantic Comedy
Edition Number:
Paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Stephanie Plum Novels
Series Volume:
96-19
Publication Date:
20030431
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes an 8-page andquot;Plumographyan
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
6.78 x 4.24 x 0.965 in

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One for the Money (Stephanie Plum Novels) Used Mass Market
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Product details 352 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312990459 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
ONE FINE MESS

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash-fast-but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family...

ONE FALSE MOVE

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. As does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants, to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water-wanted for murder...

ONE FOR THE MONEY

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight-and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man...

"Synopsis" by ,
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

JANET EVANOVICH

ONE FOR THE MONEY

A Stephanie Plum Novel

"Comes roaring in like a blast of very fresh air...Goes down like a tall, cool, drink."

-The Washington Post

READ THE DYNAMITE BLOCKBUSTER THAT STARTED IT ALL!

"Snappily written, fast paced and witty."

-USA Today

ONE FINE MESS

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash-fast-but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family...

ONE FALSE MOVE

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. As does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants, to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water-wanted for murder...

ONE FOR THE MONEY

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight-and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man...

"Evanovich is funny and ceaselessy inventive."

-Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Evanovich's writing is smooth, clever and laugh-aloud. Her plot is ingenious and fresh, her dialogue breezy, bright, witty, and gutsy."

-Booklist p0(starred Review)

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