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Three to Get Deadly

by Janet Evanovich

Publishers Weekly Trenton, N.J., bounty hunter and former lingerie buyer Stephanie Plum (last seen in Two for the Dough) becomes persona non grata when she tracks down a neighborhood saint who has failed to show up for his court appearance. No one wants to help Stephanie, who works for her bail-bondsman cousin, Vinnie. While questioning admirers of the man nicknamed Uncle Mo, Stephanie is attacked and knocked out as she cases his candy store. She comes to next to the dead body of her attacker, who turns out to be a well-known drug dealer. Suddenly, she can't avoid stumbling across the bodies of dead drug dealers: one in a dumpster, one in a closet and four in the candy store basement. Stephanie suspects that mild-mannered Mo has become a vigilante and is cleaning up the streets in a one-man killing spree. But when she's repeatedly threatened by men wearing ski masks, she wonders if Mo has company and just might be in over his head. Despite her new clownish orange hair job, Stephanie muddles through another case full of snappy one-liners as well as corpses. By turns buttressed and hobbled by her charmingly clueless family and various cohorts (including streetwise co-worker Lulu, detective and heartthrob Morelli and professional bounty hunter Ranger), the redoubtable Stephanie is a character crying out for a screen debut. Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild alternate; major ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.)

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal In the latest from a mystery writer whose first effort (One for the Money, LJ 7/94) won a slew of awards and got nominated for more, snazzy-looking P.I. Stephanie Plum is targeted by both vicious thugs and the Trenton police when she searches for an ice cream vendor who skipped out on his bond.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Since getting the bounce from her job as the lingerie buyer at a major department store, Stephanie Plum has been working the streets of Trenton, New Jersey, as a bounty hunter. Stephanie likes to think it's a temporary gig until something better comes along, but she's not fooling anybody, least of all herself: she loves the rush, claiming that nothing puts a little bounce in a girl's step like a .38 and a pair of cuffs. Her latest job is to track down Moses "Uncle Mo" Besemier, a respectable old bachelor who jumped bail. Why did he skip when all he would have faced is a fine and an admonishment to behave himself? Stephanie realizes there's more to the case when, while seeking out one of Mo's pals, she's knocked out and wakes up next to a very dead guy. She also learns that a lot of local drug dealers have been meeting with deadly accidents, leaving town, or keeping very low profiles. Her job is further complicated by an ominous minister and an old flame from the police department. Stephanie Plum stands apart from the female series characters who are so popular in crime fiction. She's funnier, tougher, politically incorrect, and just loves her job to death. This may be the break-out entry in an already critically acclaimed series. Be prepared for significant demand. --Wes Lukowsky

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Hunting for a local candy-store owner who jumped bail, Trenton's most famous bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum (last seen in Two for the Dough, LJ 1/96) is knocked out on the job. She awakens beside a dead man who happens to be in violation of a bond agreement with her cousin Vinnie, so homicide wants to give her the third degree. More fast and funny action from a winning writer. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/96.]

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.