Katherine Heigl in One for the Money

TIL Janet Evanovich Has Been Quietly Cranking Out Stephanie Plum Novels for Over 30 Years

In 1994, a lesser-known author named Janet Evanovich published a new kind of romantic adventure-cum-mystery novel. She created a character called Stephanie Plum, a down-to-earth young woman from Trenton, New Jersey, who loses her job and falls into bounty hunting to stay afloat.

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Previously, Evanovich had written about a dozen romance novels, but in creating Plum, she hoped to infuse more humor and excitement into her work. To date, Evanovich has penned over thirty Stephanie Plum novels and novellas and has over two hundred million books in print worldwide. Here’s a run-down of all of the Stephanie Plum books in the series, in order of publication.

1. One for the Money (1993)

Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plumb in One For The Money
(Lionsgate)

The first book in the series was an instant bestseller! It introduces readers to Stephanie Plum as she takes a job as a bail bondsman working for her sleazy cousin Vinnie. She receives a crash course on bounty hunting from Ricardo Manoso (a.k.a. Ranger), and she tries to track down an ex-cop named Joe Morelli … who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. We also meet Grandma Mazur, who helps her crack cases with her intimidate knowledge of Trenton and everyone who calls it home.

Lionsgate released a film version of One For The Money starring Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum in 2012, but it was a critical and commercial failure. To date, this is the only film adaptation of the Plum novels.

2. Two for the Dough (1996)

Stephanie teams up with Morelli to track down his cousin, Kenny Mancuso, who is accused of murder. Then embalmed body parts start turning up on Stephanie’s doorstep, so she and Grandma Mazur investigate a funeral parlor in search of clues.

3. Three to Get Deadly (1997)

When Stephanie is assigned a bounty on a popular local candy maker, she quickly becomes persona non grata around Trenton. She finds herself competing against Morelli to track down Moses Bedemeir (Uncle Mo), but she’s got an advantage because she has help from Grandma Mazur, Ranger, and her new sometimes-sidekick, a former prostitute named Lula.

4. Four to Score (1998)

Maxine Nowicki is a thief and blackmail artist, and there’s a hefty bounty on her head. Stephanie teams up with Ranger to track Maxine down, but she’ll need help from Grandma Mazur, Lula, and everyone else in her orbit to achieve her goal.

5. High Five (1999)

Stephanie Plum’s Uncle Fred went out for bread and milk and never came back. A little digging turns up compromising photos in Uncle Fred’s drawer, so she investigates even though there’s no paycheck involved. Things get even more complicated when Stephanie accepts a borderline illegal job from Ranger to pay the bills.

6. Hot Six (2000)

Ranger goes missing, pitting Stephanie and Morelli against each other in a race to find him. Meanwhile, Stephanie has two new roommates to contend with: her grandmother and a giant dog.

7. Seven Up (2001)

Stephanie has mixed feelings about being a bounty hunter, especially when she’s tasked with bringing her grandmother’s boyfriend to justice. Grandma Mazur has been dating an elderly mobster with a penchant for stashing bodies in his shed.

8. Hard Eight (2002)

Stephanie tangles with the New Jersey mob once again when her neighbor asks for help locating Eddie Abruzzi. She’s not speaking with Morelli, so she has no choice but to team up with Ranger to find the mobster before things go from bad to worse.

Visions of Sugar Plums (A Between-the-Numbers Novella)

Four days before Christmas Stephanie finds a sexy stranger in her kitchen. His name is Diesel, and he’s as dangerous as he is appealing.

9. To The Nines (2003)

Stephanie heads to Las Vegas in search of her latest bond jumpers and finds that “what happens in Vegas” doesn’t always stay there.

10. Ten Big Ones (2004)

The sexual tension between Stephanie and the two dangerous men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, cranks up even higher in book ten. Stephanie’s life is threatened when she becomes the sole witness in a gang murder. The only thing scarier is attending her sister’s wedding ….

11. Eleven on Top (2005)

Tired of being threatened and shot at, Stephanie quits bounty hunting and starts looking for a new job, but she can’t shake the thoughts of cases left unsolved.

12. Twelve Sharp (2006)

Stephanie grows closer to Ranger, whose estranged wife has popped up to make life difficult. Morelli is jealous of their closeness, further complicating the burgeoning love triangle.

Plum Lovin’ (A Between-the-Numbers Novella)

Diesel is back, and he’s got an unusual request for Stephanie: track down a woman wanted for armed robbery and assault, but do it before all of the other baddies in Trenton find her first.

13. Lean Mean Thirteen (2007)

Stephanie has a public fight with her ex-husband Dickie, and then he goes missing the next day. As the prime suspect in his disappearance, she must track him down to clear her good name.

Plum Lucky (A Between-the-Numbers Novella)

Diesel is back for more “will they or won’t they” fun, and the whole gang heads to Atlantic City to track down Grandma Mazur.

14. Fearless Fourteen (2008)

Short on cash, Stephanie does a series of odd jobs for Ranger, which ticks off her boyfriend Morelli. She’s also tasked with being a bodyguard for a celebrity.

Plum Spooky (A Between-the-Numbers Novella)

Stephanie goes after a big bounty: Wulf Grimoire is a killer who lurks in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, drawing comparisons to Jersey Devil lore. As with all of the Between-the-Numbers novellas, Diesel is the leading man.

15. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (2009)

Ranger asks Stephanie for help to find the person who’s trying to destroy his company. Meanwhile, Lula witnesses a brutal crime, and the bounty on the killers is too big for Stephanie to resist.

16. Sizzling Sixteen (2010)

Cousin Vinnie gets kidnapped over his gambling debts, so Stephanie must find him or else she’s out of the job.

17. Smokin’ Seventeen (2011)

Someone has burned down the bond office where Stephanie works, and now dead bodies are turning up all over town. Joe Morelli’s grandmother also put a superstitious curse on Stephanie, which just adds insult to injury.

18. Explosive Eighteen (2011)

On her way back from a disastrous vacation, the man seated next to Stephanie gets brutally murdered. Next thing she knows she’s dealing with the FBI (both real and fake) to track down the killer.

19. Notorious Nineteen (2012)

Ranger is getting death threats, so Stephanie agrees to track down whoever wants him dead while also investigating a billionaire fraudster.

20. Takedown Twenty (2013)

Stephanie goes after Trenton’s favorite mobster, “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi, while trying to figure out who is killing elderly women.

21. Top Secret Twenty-One (2014)

While going after sleazy car dealer Jimmy Poletti, Stephanie has to watch her back. There’s a one-eyed Russian mobster on her tail!

22. Tricky Twenty-Two (2015)

Stephanie heads to nearby Kiltman College to find a frat boy who’s gone on the lam.

23. Turbo Twenty-Three (2016)

Stephanie searches for Larry Virgil, who stole an obscene amount of bourbon. There’s also a dead body stashed in his freezer truck, which adds serious complications to the investigation.

24. Hardcore Twenty-Four (2017)

Stephanie gets roped into caring for a boa constrictor named Ethel, headless bodies pop up all over town, and Diesel makes a return appearance.

25. Look Alive Twenty-Five (2018)

Three managers of the Red River Deli have disappeared without a trace, so Stephanie agrees to manage the place to figure out what’s going on.

26. Twisted Twenty-Six (2019)

Grandma Mazur is in danger thanks to a short-lived marriage to a local mobster. The wise guys don’t know who they’re messing with, however, because Stephanie will do anything to protect her grandmother.

27. Fortune & Glory Tantalizing Twenty-Seven (2020)

Book number 27 promises to be “the biggest case” of Stephanie’s career. Grandma Mazur’s dead mobster husband Jimmy Rosolli left behind a fortune; all they have to do is find it. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones looking for the lost millions.

28. Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight (2021)

It’s been two years since Diesel showed up in her apartment in the middle of the night, but here he is yet again! This time, he and Stephanie are on the hunt for a computer hacker called Oswald Wednesday.

29. Going Rogue: Rise and Shine Twenty-Nine  (2022)

Vinnie’s secretary Connie Rosolli doesn’t show up for work one day, and Stephanie quickly discovers Connie has been kidnapped and held for ransom. The whole gang, Grandma Mazur, Lula, Morelli, and Ranger must team up to find her.

30. Dirty Thirty (2023)

 Stephanie searches for Duncan Dugan, who was caught robbing a jewelry store, and the security guard who may have aided and abetted the crime.

31. Now or Never: Thirty-One on the Run (2024)

The latest Stephanie Plum novel is slated to be released on November 5, 2024.

Okay, Janet Evanovich, we’re impressed! That’s quite a body of work, no matter how you slice it.

(featured image: Lionsgate)


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Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.