One For the Money is the first novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was published in 1994 in the United States and in 1995 in Great Britain. Like its successors, Two For The Dough and Three To Get Deadly, One for the Money is a long-time best-seller, appearing for 75 consecutive weeks on the USA Today list of 150 best-selling novels, peaking at number 59.
Before this novel, Evanovich wrote 11 marginally successful romance novels published in limited amounts per month. She then "ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre. Before writing One For the Money, her first mystery novel, Evanovich spent two years investigating the world of law enforcement, shadowing both Bail Enforcement Agents and the Trenton police, observing their actions and the equipment they carried. She also learned how to shoot a gun.
One For the Money was named a New York Times Notable Book, a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of 1994," and a USA Today "Best Bet." For this book, Evanovich also won the 1995 Dilys Award, one of only three authors to do so for their first mystery (the others being Julia Spencer-Fleming and Louise Penney).
This novel introduced characters that would frequent the subsequent novels. As of July 2007, there are thirteen published numbered novels, two novella, and one short story in the Stephanie Plum series.
Stephanie Plum is out of a job. After caving under pressure from her mother, Stephanie blackmails her cousin Vinnie into giving her a job, any job. She ends up as a temporary bounty hunter. As she starts to leave something on Vinnie's assistants desk catches her eye. Connie, Vinnie's assistant, reluctantly gives her her first assignment - to bring in vice cop Joseph Morelli, who is wanted for murder. Stephanie's past with Morelli includes two sexual encounters and a hit-and-run incident, but Stephanie isn't letting anything stand in the way of her $10,000 payday.