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Mystery Book Club - Past Titles: Nov. 2023

Titles from the Mystery Book Club at the Islington Branch *No longer an active club*

"One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich

  1. How does the author develop the main character, Stephanie Plum, throughout the story? What traits make her a relatable and interesting protagonist?
  2. "One for the Money" blends elements of mystery and comedy. How effectively does the author balance these two genres in the novel? Did you find the humor and suspense well-integrated?
  3. Discuss the importance of the book's setting in Trenton, New Jersey. How does it contribute to the overall atmosphere and tone of the story?
  4. What were the main driving forces of the plot, and how did the author keep you engaged? Were there any surprising twists or turns that caught you off guard?
  5. Explore the dynamics between Stephanie Plum and other characters in the book, such as Joe Morelli and Ranger. How do these relationships evolve, and what do they reveal about Stephanie's character?
  6. Stephanie Plum is essentially a bounty hunter, and her sense of justice is a key theme in the book. How does she navigate the ethical and moral challenges of her job?
  7. Stephanie Plum challenges some traditional gender roles. How does the book address gender stereotypes, and what commentary, if any, does it offer on this topic?
  8. Stephanie Plum comes from a quirky, close-knit family. How do her relationships with her family members influence her actions and decisions in the story?
  9. Discuss the humor in the book. What comedic elements or scenes stood out to you, and how did they enhance the story?
  10. "One for the Money" is the first book in a long-running series. Did the ending of this book leave you interested in reading more about Stephanie Plum's adventures? Why or why not?
  11. If you've watched the movie adaptation of the book, how does it compare to the source material? What changes were made, and did they enhance or detract from the story?
  12. In what ways does "One for the Money" adhere to or subvert typical crime and mystery novel conventions? How does the author keep you engaged in the investigation?
  • Janet Evanovich is a bestselling American author known for her popular series of novels, primarily in the mystery and romance genres. She was born on April 22, 1943, in South River, New Jersey, USA. Janet Evanovich's career as a writer began in the early 1980s, but she gained widespread recognition with her series of novels featuring the character Stephanie Plum, a sassy and unconventional bounty hunter.

  • Early Life: Evanovich grew up in South River, New Jersey. She attended Douglass College, part of Rutgers University, and graduated with a degree in art. She later moved to New York City, where she worked as a secretary and, eventually, a romance writer.

  • Career: Janet Evanovich initially wrote romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall. In 1994, she released her first Stephanie Plum novel, "One for the Money," which was a huge success and led to the creation of a long-running series.

    • Stephanie Plum Series: The Stephanie Plum series, which includes titles like "Two for the Dough," "Three to Get Deadly," and so on, is characterized by humor, crime, and a dose of romance. Stephanie Plum, the main character, is known for her distinctive personality and knack for getting herself into humorous and dangerous situations.

    • Literary Success: Janet Evanovich's books have consistently appeared on bestseller lists and have been translated into numerous languages. She has published over 25 novels in the Stephanie Plum series and has also authored other series and standalone novels.

    • Awards: Throughout her career, Janet Evanovich has received several awards and honors for her work. She has been a recipient of the John Creasy Award and the Silver Dagger Award.

    • Collaborations: Janet Evanovich has also co-authored books with other writers, such as Charlotte Hughes. Together, they wrote the "Full" series, which includes titles like "Full House" and "Full Tilt."

  • Personal Life: Janet Evanovich is married to Peter Evanovich, and they have children together. She is known for her humorous and down-to-earth writing style, which has endeared her to a wide audience of readers.

  • Janet Evanovich's novels are popular for their witty humor, memorable characters, and page-turning plots. Her ability to blend romance and mystery with a touch of comedy has made her a beloved figure in the world of contemporary fiction.

  • On Discipline: "I never have writer's block, but if I'm tired or the kids need something, I can't write. I get up early and work seven days a week, even if I don't feel like it."

  • On Finding Inspiration: "I'm never really blocked. I can always think of something to write. It's just a matter of writing the wrong thing and then discarding it and starting over."

  • On Writing Method: "I start each morning with a 3-mile jog and then come home and try to write three pages every day. If I'm feeling writer's block, I just force myself to write. I'll write about the night before and what I'm going to do the next day."

  • On Perseverance: "I wasn't trying to write a book that would sell. I was just trying to finish the book. I didn't think I'd ever get published. I wrote the book because I wanted to read it."

  • On Honing Your Craft: "The most important thing is to be true to yourself and follow your instincts. Never write for anyone else. Never try to be popular. I write the book I want to read."

  • "One for the Money" (2012): Janet Evanovich's first Stephanie Plum novel was adapted into a feature film of the same name in 2012. The film starred Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum and was directed by Julie Anne Robinson.

  • Television Adaptation: There have been discussions and plans to adapt Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series for television.


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