Author(s): Janet Evanovich
Series: Stephanie Plum #2
Published by St. Martin on 06/01/1996
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Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie's bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso - a suspiciously weatlhy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend - the stakes are higher than ever. That Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli - who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch - only makes the hunt more thrilling...
Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol packing Grandma Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark. But Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. And a more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move... and his next move might be Stephanie's last.
Two for the Dough is another installment in the Stephanie Plumb series continues the mix of mystery and humor tinged with hints of Evanovich’s history of writing romance novels. Don’t get me wrong, while this does have the undertones of a romance novel it is not that. The sense of humor in the book along with a half-way decent mystery really elevates out of the chic lit arena into a fun read for everyone.
The best thing about this book continues to be the characters. All of the cast of supporting players are back and you can’t help but love all of them. Plumb herself is incredibly endearing and the way the book revels in her complete ineptitude as a bounty hunter really wins the reader over. You really want her to succeed.
The mystery plot line in this is not quite as good as the first book. While chasing missing caskets and finding random body parts is well and good, the person she is chasing just isn’t as interesting as Morelli was. Or maybe it’s that Morelli and Plumb had such good on page chemistry that now that she is chasing just a random perp you can feel that chemistry is missing. It isn’t that the plot is bad but rather you can’t help comparing the main mystery plotline to that of the first book. And while it doesn’t measure up in that comparison it isn’t bad either.
While the plot might not keep up with the first book the pacing is on the money and the book is a very fast read. There are very few slow moments and looking back it’s pretty amazing so many different events were shoved into what is really a fairly short novel.
If you are looking for a really good mystery this book may miss the mark but if you want a really fun read with a little “who done it” on the side then Two for the Dough is a winner.
Review by Travis Starnes