Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum Series #3)

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Overview

A "saintly" old candy-store owner is on the lam-and bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum is on the case. As the body count rises, Stephanie finds herself dealing with dead drug dealers and slippery fugitives on the chase of her life. And with the help of eccentric friends and family, Steph must see to it that this case doesn't end up being her last...
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Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum Series #3)

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Overview

A "saintly" old candy-store owner is on the lam-and bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum is on the case. As the body count rises, Stephanie finds herself dealing with dead drug dealers and slippery fugitives on the chase of her life. And with the help of eccentric friends and family, Steph must see to it that this case doesn't end up being her last...
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In Three to Get Deadly, Stephanie's got the unenviable task of tracking a lovable guy who suspiciously jumps bail after committing a hand-slappin' crime. It gets more bizarre, and before long, Stephanie's up to her Glock in body bags.
From the Publisher
"[Evanovich's novels are] among the great joys of contemporary crime fiction." —GQ

"Suspenseful." —Los Angeles Times

"Terrific." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Irresistible." —Kirkus Reviews

"Thrilling." —The Midwest Book Review

"Hilariously funny." —USA Today

"A blast of fresh air." —The Washington Post

"Inventive and fast-paced." —San Diego Union-Tribune

"Superb." —Detroit Free Press

LA Times
Suspenseful
People
Here's Stephanie Plum, a bail-bond agent from Trenton, NJ, clumping onto the P.I. scene in Doc Martens, with a sassy lip that would stop Phillip Marlowe.
San Francisco Chronicle
Terrific.
MIdwest Book Review
Thrilling.
GQ
[Evanovich's novels are] among the great joys of contemporary crime fiction.
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\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.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.)
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.]
Kirkus Reviews
Most of the "Failure To Appears" that bounty hunter Stephanie Plum goes after are no great loss to society; it's only their girlfriends and bowling partners who don't want them caught. But Moses Bedemier is no ordinary FTA. The candy-store owner pulled in on a concealed-weapon charge is a popular guy in his Trenton neighborhood, and nobody but Stephanie cares whether he sets a new court date. So when Stephanie goes after Uncle Mo, the path is littered with the bodies of buddies who've thrown themselves in the way—and some bodies that have been thrown by other folks, too. Before long, Stephanie, on her second illegal visit to Mo's apartment, comes across the first of four dead drug dealers (and she'll soon lead her onetime-lover/constant nemesis Joe Morelli and his colleagues on the Trenton Police to four more, though the cops have to dig these four up themselves). What's the connection between staunch if slippery Uncle Mo and the bad guys? Why do a bunch of ski-masked thugs keep threatening Stephanie and her hamster with violence if she doesn't lay off Mo? And what can she do about the hideous orange color her hair turned in the middle of a chase after still another FTA?

Stephanie's third case (Two for the Dough, 1996, etc.) dispenses almost entirely with mystery and detection in favor of a comedy/variety format. But in going repeatedly for the funny bone, Evanovich, who clearly agrees with her heroine that "adaptation is one of the great advantages to being born and bred in Jersey," is obviously dealing from strength.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312966096
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/1998
  • Series: Stephanie Plum Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 65,399
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet  Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is the author of the Stephanie Plum books, including One for the Money and Sizzling Sixteen, and the Diesel & Tucker series, including Wicked Appetite. Janet studied painting at Douglass College, but that art form never quite fit, and she soon moved on to writing stories. She didn’t have instant success: she collected a big box of rejection letters. As she puts it, “When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency.” But after a few months of secretarial work, she managed to sell her first novel for $2,000. She immediately quit her job and started working full-time as a writer. After 12 romance novels, she switched to mystery, and created Stephanie Plum. The rest is history. Janet’s favorite exercise is shopping, and her drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, in house with a view of the Connecticut River Valley.

Biography

When plucky Stephanie Plum lost her job as a lingerie buyer, she had little other choice than to take a position working for her cousin Vinnie's bail-bonds office where she'd spend her days and nights hunting down fugitives, solving mysteries, and falling ass-backwards into adventure. Come to think of it, Ms. Plum has more than a little in common with her creator Janet Evanovich.

Much like the panty-pushing Plum, Evanovich once made her trade in erotica as a romance novelist for the trashy Bantam series "Loveswept." Tiring of the genre and finding herself increasingly fixated on crime, mystery, and the kind of adventures she came to love through comic books like Uncle Scrooge, she decided to ditch steamy stories in favor of off-the-wall humor and feats of daring. As Evanovich said on her website, "after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre."

The resulting Stephanie Plum Mysteries reflect Evanovich's love for comics, toys, shoe-shopping, Cheez Doodles, and beer. Evanovich also created a memorable character that shares many of the author's distinctive traits, such as her self-effacing, dirty-minded wit. The Plum Mysteries, while often rambling and thin on plot, are never anything less than entertaining, hilarious, and refreshing in every way.

Stephanie Plum made her debut in 1994's One For the Money, in which she tracked down Joe Morelli, an ex-cop and murder suspect who'd also been guilty of taking Stephanie's virginity when she was 18. The novel's sly mix of sexiness and childlike playfulness made for a sort of young adult novel for adults.

Since then, the red-hot bounty hunter and a crew of misfits that includes retired hooker Lula, aging bail-jumper Eddie Decooch, and Plum's own hipster granny have romped their way "through the numbers," establishing Evanovich as one of the best and most inventive writers of "Strong Woman" mysteries and guaranteeing her a place on the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2004, Evanovich introduced a smart, savvy new series featuring Alexander "Barney" Barnaby, a sexy Baltimore car mechanic, NASCAR nut, and amateur sleuth with her own posse of delightful eccentrics. She's not Plum, but she's definitely a peach. Hey, what else would you expect from a Janet Evanovich heroine?

Good To Know

Evanovich's motorcycle-riding daughter Alex has created an online comic about her hamster called "Batster," which her mother proudly displays on her web site. With episodes like "Batster vs. Beerzilla," it's clear that wackiness runs in the Evanovich genes.

If you think the Stephanie Plum novels are zany, wait till you hear about what Evanovich was writing before she started getting published. As she explains on her web site, "The first story [I ever wrote] was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Steffie Hall
    2. Hometown:
      Hanover, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 22, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      South River, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A., Douglass College, 1965
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

ONE

IT WAS JANUARY in Trenton. The sky was gunmetal gray, and the air sat dead cold on cars and sidewalks. Inside the offices of Vincent Plum, bail bond agent, the atmosphere was no less grim, and I was sweating not from heat but from panic.

“I can’t do this,” I said to my cousin, Vinnie. “I’ve never refused a case before, but I can’t pick this guy up. Give the paperwork to Ranger. Give it to Barnes.”

“I’m not giving this two-bit Failure to Appear to Ranger,” Vinnie said. “It’s the kind of penny-ante stuff you do. For chrissake, be a professional. You’re a bounty hunter. You’ve been a bounty hunter for five fucking months. What’s the big deal?”

“This is Uncle Mo!” I said. “I can’t apprehend Uncle Mo. Everyone will hate me. My mother will hate me. My best friend will hate me.”

Vinnie slumped his slim, boneless body into the chair behind his desk and rested his head on the padded leather back. “Mo jumped bail. That makes him a slimeball. That’s all that counts.”

I rolled my eyes so far into the top of my head I almost fell over backward.

Moses Bedemier, better known as Uncle Mo, started selling ice cream and penny candy on June 5, 1958, and has been at it ever since. His store is set on the edge of the Burg, a comfy residential chunk of Trenton where houses and minds are proud to be narrow and hearts are generously wide open. I was born and raised in the Burg, and while my current apartment is approximately a mile outside the Burg boundary, I’m still tethered by an invisible umbilical. I’ve been hacking away at the damn thing for years but have never been able to completely sever it.

Moses Bedemier is a solid Burg citizen. Over time, Mo and his linoleum have aged, so that both have some pieces chipped at the corners now, and the original colors have blurred from thirty-odd years under fluorescent lights. The yellow brick facade and overhead sheet metal sign advertising the store are dated and weatherbeaten. The chrome and Formica on the stools and countertop have lost their luster. And none of this matters, because in the Burg Uncle Mo’s is as close as we come to a historic treasure.

And I, Stephanie Plum, 125 pounds, five feet, seven inches, brown-haired, blue-eyed bounty hunter at large, have just been assigned the task of hauling Uncle Mo’s revered ass off to jail.

“So what did he do?” I asked Vinnie. “Why was he arrested in the first place?”

“Got caught doing thirty-five in a twenty-five-mile-per-hour zone by Officer Picky . . . better known as Officer Benny Gas-pick, fresh out of police academy and so wet behind the ears he doesn’t know enough to take Mo’s get-out-of-jail-free PBA card and forget the whole thing.”

“Bond isn’t required on a traffic ticket.”

Vinnie planted a pointy-toed patent leather shoe on the corner of his desk. Vinnie was a sexual lunatic, especially enamored with dark-skinned young men wearing nipple rings and pointy-breasted women who owned fourteenth-century torture tools. He was a bail bondsman, which meant he loaned people money to post the bond set by the court. The bond’s purpose was to make it economically unpleasant for the suspect to skip town. Once the bond was posted the incarcerated suspect was set free, enabling him to sleep in his own bed while awaiting trial. The price for using Vinnie’s service was fifteen percent of the bond and was nonrefundable no matter what the outcome of the charges. If the bailee failed to appear for his court appearance, the court kept Vinnie’s money. Not just the fifteen percent profit. The court kept the whole ball of wax, the entire bail bond amount. This never made Vinnie happy.

And that’s where I came in. I found the bailee, who was at that point officially a felon, and brought him back into the system. If I found the Failure to Appear, better known as an FTA, in a timely fashion, the court gave Vinnie his cash back. For this fugitive apprehension I received ten percent of the bond amount, and Vinnie was left with a five percent profit.

I’d originally taken the job out of desperation when I’d been laid off (through no fault of my own) as lingerie buyer for E. E. Martin. The alternative to unemployment had been overseeing the boxing machine at the tampon factory. A worthy task, but not something that got me orgasmic.

I wasn’t sure why I was still working for Vinnie. I suspected it had something to do with the title. Bounty hunter. It held acertain cachet. Even better, the job didn’t require panty hose.

Vinnie smiled his oily smile, enjoying the story he was telling me. “In his misplaced zeal to be Most Hated Cop of the Year, Gaspick delivers a little lecture to Mo on road safety, and while Gaspick is lecturing, Mo squirms in his seat, and Gaspick catches a glimpse of a forty-five stuck in Mo’s jacket pocket.”

“And Mo got busted for carrying concealed,” I said.

“Bingo.”

Carrying concealed was frowned upon in Trenton. Permits were issued sparingly to a few jewelers, and judges and couriers. Getting caught carrying concealed illegally was considered unlawful possession of a firearm and was an indictable offense. The weapon was confiscated, bail was set and the bearer of the weapon was shit out of luck.

Of course, this didn’t stop a sizable percentage of the population of Jersey from carrying concealed. Guns were bought at Bubba’s Gun Shop, inherited from relatives, passed off among neighbors and friends and purchased second-, third- and fourth-hand from and by citizens who were fuzzy on the details of gun control. Logic dictated that if the government issued a license to own a gun then it must be okay to put it in your purse. I mean, why else would a person want a gun if not to carry it in her purse? And if it wasn’t okay to carry a gun in your purse, then the law was stupid. And no one in Jersey was going to put up with a stupid law.

I was even known, on occasion, to carry concealed. At this very moment I could see Vinnie’s ankle holster causing a bulge at the cuff line of his polyester slacks. Not only was he carrying concealed but I’d lay odds his gun wasn’t registered.

“This is not a big-time offense,” I said to Vinnie. “Not something worth going Failure to Appear.”

“Probably Mo forgot he had a court date,” Vinnie said. “Probably all you have to do is go remind him.”

Hold that thought, I told myself. This might not be such a disaster after all. It was ten o’clock. I could mosey on over to the candy store and talk to Mo. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized my panic had been ungrounded. Mo had no reason to go FTA.

I closed the door on my way out of Vinnie’s office, and sidestepped around Connie Rosolli. Connie was the office manager and Vinnie’s guard dog. She held Vinnie in the same high esteem one would reserve for slug slime, but she’d worked for Vinnie for a lot of years, and had come to accept that even slug slime was part of God’s great scheme.

Connie was wearing fuchsia lipstick, matching nail enamel and a white blouse with big black polka dots. The nail enamel was very cool, but the blouse wasn’t a good choice for someone who carried sixty percent of her body weight on her chest. Good thing the fashion police didn’t do too many tours of Trenton.

“You aren’t going to do it, are you?” she asked. The tone implying that only a dog turd would cause Uncle Mo a moment of grief.

No offense taken. I knew where she lived. We had the same mental zip code. “You mean am I going to talk to Mo? Yeah, I’m going to talk to Mo.”

Connie’s black eyebrows fused into a straight line of righteous indignation. “That cop had no business arresting Uncle Mo. Everyone knows Uncle Mo would never do anything wrong.”

“He was carrying concealed.”

“As if that was a crime,” Connie said.

“That is a crime!”

Lula’s head came up from her filing. “What’s all the deal about this Uncle Mo, anyway?”

Lula was a former hooker turned file clerk. She’d just recently embarked on a make over program that included dyeing her hair blond and then straightening it and recurling it into ringlets. The transformation had her looking like a 230-pound black kick-ass Shirley Temple.

“Moses Bedemier,” I said. “He runs a candy store on Ferris Street. Very popular person.”

“Uh-oh,” she said. “I think I know him. He about in his early sixties? Going bald on top? Lotta liver spots? Got a nose looks like a penis?”

“Um, I never really noticed his nose.”

Vinnie had given me Uncle Mo’s file, which consisted of stapled-together copies of his arrest sheet, his signed bond agreement and a photo. I turned to the photo and stared at Uncle Mo.

Lula stared over my shoulder. “Yup,” she said. “That’s him all right. That’s Old Penis Nose.”

Connie was out of her chair. “Are you telling me Uncle Mo was a client? I don’t believe that for a second!”

Lula narrowed her eyes and stuck her lip out. “Yo momma.”

“Nothing personal,” Connie said.

“Hunh,” Lula replied, hand on hip.

I zipped my jacket and wrapped my scarf around my neck. “You sure about knowing Uncle Mo?” I asked Lula.

She took one last look at the picture. “Hard to say. You know how all them old white men look alike. Maybe I should come with you to check this dude out in person.”

“No!” I shook my head. “Not a good idea.”

“You think I can’t do this bounty hunter shit?”

Lula hadn’t yet embarked on the language make over.

“Well, of course you can do it,” I said. “It’s just that this situation is sort of . . . delicate.”

“Hell,” she said, stuffing herself into her jacket. “I can delicate your ass off.”

“Yes, but . . .”

“Anyway, you might need some help here. Suppose he don’t want to come peaceful. You might need a big, full-figure woman like me to do some persuading.”

Lula and I had crossed paths while I was on my first felon hunt. She’d been a streetwalker, and I’d been street-stupid. I’d unwittingly involved her in the case I was working on, and as a result, one morning I found her battered and bloody on my fire escape.

Lula credited me with saving her life, and I blamed myself for endangering it. I was in favor of wiping the slate clean, but Lula formed a sort of attachment to me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was hero worship. It was more like one of those Chinese things where if you save a person’s life they belong to you . . . even if you don’t want them.

“We’re not doing any persuading,” I said. “This is Uncle Mo. He sells candy to kids.”

Lula had her pocketbook looped over her arm. “I can dig it,” she said, following me out the door. “You still driving that old Buick?”

“Yeah. My Lotus is in the shop.”

Actually, my Lotus was in my dreams. A couple months ago my Jeep got stolen, and my mother, in a burst of misguided good intentions, strong-armed me into the driver’s seat of my uncle Sandor’s ’53 Buick. Strained finances and lack of backbone had me still peering over the mile-long powder-blue hood, wondering at the terrible acts I must have committed to deserve such a car.

A gust of wind rattled the Fiorello’s Deli sign next to Vinnie’s office. I pulled my collar up and searched in my pocket for gloves.

“At least the Buick’s in good shape,” I told Lula. “That’s what counts, right?”

“Hunh,” Lula said. “Only people who don’t have a cool car say things like that. How about the radio? It got a bad radio? It got Dolby?”

“No Dolby.”

“Hold on,” she said. “You don’t expect me to ride around with no Dolby. I need some hot music to get me in the mood to bust ass.”

I unlocked the doors to the Buick. “We are not busting ass. We’re going to talk to Uncle Mo.”

“Sure,” Lula said, settling herself in, giving a disgusted glare to the radio. “I know that.”

I drove one block down Hamilton and turned left onto Rose into the Burg. There was little to brighten the neighborhood in January. The blinking twinkle lights and red plastic Santas of Christmas were packed away, and spring was still far in the future. Hydrangea bushes were nothing more than mean brown sticks, lawns were frost-robbed of color and streets were empty of kids, cats, car washers and blaring radios. Windows and doors were shut tight against the cold and gloom.

Even Uncle Mo’s felt sterile and unwelcoming as I slowed to a stop in front of the store.

Lula squinted through my side window. “I don’t want to rain on your parade,” she said, “but I think this sucker’s closed.”

I parked at the curb. “That’s impossible. Uncle Mo never closes. Uncle Mo hasn’t been closed a day since he opened in nineteen fifty-eight.”

“Well guess what? I’m telling you he’s closed now.”

I hopped out of Big Blue and walked to Mo’s door and looked inside. No lights were on, and Uncle Mo was nowhere to be seen. I tried the door. Locked. I knocked on the door good and loud. Nothing. Damn.

“He must be sick,” I said to Lula.

The candy store sat on a corner, facing Ferris Street, with the side of the store running down King. A long line of neat duplexes stretched the length of Ferris, pushing their way to the heart of the Burg. King, on the other hand, had fallen on hard times, with most of its duplexes converted to multiple families. The tidy white sheers and starched Martha Washington curtains of the Burg weren’t in evidence on King. Privacy on King came by way of tacked-up sheets and tattered shades, and from an unpleasant sense that this was no longer a desired community.

“Some scary old lady’s looking at us out of the window of that house next door,” Lula said.

I looked one house down on Ferris and shivered. “That’s Mrs. Steeger. She was my teacher when I was in the third grade.”

“Bet that was fun.”

“Longest year of my life.”

To this day I got cramps when I had to do long division.

“We should talk to her,” I said to Lula.

“Yeah,” Lula said. “Nosy old woman like that probably knows lots of stuff.”

I hiked my pocketbook higher on my shoulder, and Lula and I marched over and knocked on Mrs. Steeger’s door.

The door was opened just far enough for me to see that Mrs. Steeger hadn’t changed much over the years. She was still rail thin, with a pinched face and snappy little eyes lying in wait under eyebrows that appeared to have been drawn on with brown marker. She’d been widowed last year. Retired the year before that. She was dressed in a brown dress with little white flowers, stockings and sensible shoes. Her glasses hung from achain around her neck. Her hair was curled tight, dyed brown. She didn’t look like she was adapting to a life of leisure.

I handed her my business card and introduced myself as a fugitive apprehension agent.

“What’s that mean?” she wanted to know. “Are you a police officer?”

“Not exactly. I work for Vincent Plum.”

“So,” she said, considering the information. “You’re a bounty hunter.”

This was said with the same affection one would have for a drug pusher or child abuser. The tilt of her chin warned of possible disciplinary action, and her attitude implied if I’d mastered long division I might have made something of myself.

Excerpted from Three to get Deadly by Janet Evanovich.

Copyright © 1997 by Evanovich.

Published in 1997 by St. Martin's Griffin.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

...Mo had bound the package to the roof of the car by lacing what looked like clothesline through the windows. He changed lanes and the lumpy object swung side to side under the ropes.

"He don't watch out, he's gonna lose that sucker," Lula said. She beeped her horn at him. "Pull over, Peckernose!" She gave the Firebird some gas and tapped Mo's rear bumper.

I was braced against the dash, and began chanting under my breath. Holy Mary, mother of God . . .please don't let me die on Route 1 with my hair looking like this.

Lula gave Mo's bumper another whack. The impact snapped my head and caused Mo to fishtail out of control. He swerved in front of us, a cord snapped loose and a garbage bag whipped off and sailed over our car.

Lula moved in one last time, but before she could make contact the second cord broke, another garbage bag flew away and a body catapulted off Mo's roof and onto the hood of Lula's Firebird, landing with a loud WUMP!

"EEEEEEEEEEH!" Lula and I screamed in unison.

The body bounced once on the hood, and then smacked into the windshield and stuck like a squashed bug, staring at us, mouth agape, eyes unseeing.

"I got a body stuck to my windshield!" Lula yelled. "I can't drive like this! I can't get my wipers to work. How am I supposed to drive with a dead guy on my wipers?"

The car rocked from lane to lane; the body vaulted off the hood, did a half flip and landed faceup at the side of the road. Lula stomped on the brake and skidded to a stop on the shoulder. We sat there for a moment, hands to our hearts, unable to talk. We turned and looked out the back window.

"Dang," Lula said.

I thought that summed it up.

We looked at each other and did a double grimmace. Lula put the Firebird in reverse and cautiously inched back, staying to the shoulder, out of the traffic lane. She stopped and parked a couple feet from the body. We got out of the car and crept closer.

"At least he's got his clothes on," Lula said.

"Is it Harp?"

"That would be my guess. Hard to tell with that big hole where his nose used to be."

The drizzle had turned to a driving rain. I pushed wet hair out of my eyes and blinked at Lula. "We should call the police."

"Yeah," Lula said. "That's a good idea. You call the police, and I'll cover the body. I got a blanket in the back."

I ran back to the car and retrieved my pocketbook. I rummaged around some, found my cell phone, flipped it open and punched the on button. A dim light flashed a low battery message and cut off.

"No juice," I said to Lula. "I must have left the phone on last night. We'll have to flag someone down."

A dozen cars zoomed past us, spraying water.

"Plan two?" Lula asked.

"We drive to the nearest exit and call the police."

"You gonna leave the body all by itself?"

"I suppose one of us should stay."

"That would be you," Lula said.

An eighteen-wheeler roared by, almost sideswiping us.

"Ditch staying," I told her.

Lula cut her eyes back to Harp. "We could take him with us. We could ram him into the trunk. And then we could drive him to a funeral parlor or something. You know, do a drop-off."

"That would be altering the scene of a crime."

"Altering, hell. This dead motherf___ fell out of the sky onto the hood of my car! And anyway, he could get run over by a truck if he stays here."

She had a point. Elliot Harp had been in transit when he bounced off the Firebird. And he wouldn't look good with tire tracks across his chest.

"Okay," I said. "We'll take him with us."

We looked down at Elliot. Both of us swallowing hard.

"Guess you should put him in the trunk," Lula said.

"Me?"

"You don't expect me to do it, do you? I'm not touching no dead man. I've still got the creeps from Leroy Watkins."

"He's big. I can't get him in the trunk by myself."

"This whole thing is giving me the runs," Lula said. "I vote we pretend this never happened, and we get our butts out of here."

"It won't be so bad," I said to her, making an effort at convincing myself. "How about your blanket? We could wrap him in the blanket. Then we could pick him up without actually touching him."

"I suppose that would be all right," Lula said. "We could give it a try."

I spread the blanket on the ground beside Elliot Harp, took a deep breath, hooked my fingers around his belt and rolled him onto the blanket. I jumped back, squeezed my eyes closed tight and exhaled. No matter how much violent death I saw, i would never get used to it.

"I'm gonna definitely have the runs, Lula said. "I can feel it coming on."

"Forget about the runs and help me with this body!"

Lula grabbed hold of the head of the blanket, and I grabbed hold of the foot end. Harp had full rigor and wouldn't bend, so we put him in the trunk headfirst with his legs sticking out. We carefully closed the lid on Harp's knees and secured the lid with a piece of rope Lula had in her trunk.

"Hold on," Lula said, pulling a red flowered scarf from her coat pocket, tying the scarf on Harp's foot like a flag. "Don't want to get a ticket. I hear the police are real picky about having things sticking out of your trunk."

Especially dead guys.

Copyright &copoy; 1997 by Evanovich, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 629 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 633 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Sassy Romp - Funny and Thrilling!

    A Sassy Romp - Funny and Thrilling!
    Ever since I read "One for the Money" I have been addicted to the Stephanie Plum series. With eveybook, the series gets better and better. "Three to Get Deadly" tells of yet another bounty hunting session with the famous Stephanie Plum, and her hilarious counterparts. I found the search for Mo to be thrilling, and the scenes with Morelli to be sizzling. Yet another GREAT story by Evanovich- keep em coming!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Read!

    I started from the 1st book in the series, liked it, second one was pretty good "three to get deadly" is where the real fun starts! Hilarious, suspenseful, even romantic. I am on book #9 and I am seriously addicted to thus series!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Best of the first six

    I am almost finished with book six in the series. I have been reading them in order. This is my favorite book ever. If u only read one of the stephanie plum books I suggest #3!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    So addicted to this series

    So addicted to this series

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    I sat in my bed at 3am in the morning laughing out loud in the dark.

    Husband out of town, unable to sleep so I lay in bed at 3 am with my Glowlite Nook reading this fun book and found myself laughing out loud in the dark room. Loved it. ~~smile~~

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    To begin withi ambit much of a reader and I never have been but a couple years ago a coworker of mine introduced me to Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum novels. She had given me Lean Mean Thirteen to read and said you could start out reading any book from the series. I started to read it and just loves it, comedy and action all packed in one. Once I saw there was a movie coming out to theatres for One For The Money (first book of the series) starring Katherine Heigl (LOVE her) I knew I had to start reading the series beginning with book one.Within 4 weeks I had finished reading the first 3 books to the series. Not only are the books packed with action that just keeps you in the edge of your seat but they are packed with comedy and some romance. I would recommend these books to anyone who loves to read and also anyone who isn't much of a reader because you will not want to put these books down you will want to keep reading until your finished and then run off to the store to buy the next book in line for the series because I know I did! I can't wait to finish the entire series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Excellent!

    The best in the series so far!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    Loved it

    Funny & a quick read. Cant wait to read the rest!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2014

    Janet Evanovich, all her works

    I usually read authors that write a series of books with the same character base. John Sanford Prey series,WEB Griffin, Lisa Gardner, Tess Garittson to name a few. While all have been great reads, Janet Evanovich has added a element of humor that is unsurpassed. If only read one of her books, it will be a sad day. The more of her series you read, the better it gets. More entertaining, more humor and more interesting. That in itself has been the best surprise of all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Evanovich pens another gem of a story with "Three to Get De

    Evanovich pens another gem of a story with "Three to Get Deadly." Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, gets assigned the task to bring in "saintly" ice cream vendor, Moses "Uncle Mo" Bedemier. Stephanie believes it will be easy, though it will leave her despised throughout the Burg. As she looks for clues, she discovers nothing is easy when it comes to Mo. 




    Stephanie soon learns that wherever Mo goes, a dead drug dealer is found dead shortly thereafter. Joe Morelli is working the police angle. Lula, the filing clerk, tags along on a couple of Stephanie's adventures. Stephanie is threatened, shot at, and experiences physical violence on her quest to find Mo. She learns Mo is in cahoots with someone. Has Mo turned into a vigilante set on killing drug dealers or does he and his friends have more sinister motives? 




    Evanovich's writing continues to please. "Three to Get Deadly," is a past paced story filled with quick wit and surprising twists. Stephanie's supporting cast, Lula, Ranger, Joe Morelli, and Grandma Mazur continue to shine. Stephanie gives up the Buick only to discover her new car, a Nissan pickup, isn't as cute as she thought it was. 




    What Evanovich does well is gives the characters, and the plot, a unique voice, making the book fresh and interesting. Her descriptions never linger and she always paints a vivid scene with a good economy of words. 




    "Three to Get Deadly," is a cozy mystery suspense novel that I would recommend for ages 12 and up. Stephanie Plum may not always be the most graceful bounty hunter, but her determination, courage, and ability to think on her feet will have the reader rooting for her page after page. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Casting couch would not be complete if we didn¿t include a J

    The Casting couch would not be complete if we didn’t include a Janet Evanovich novel. Today we are featuring Three to Get Deadly. Are you ready for another Stephanie Plum adventure?
    Synopsis:
    Stephanie is ready for her next case. What will it be? The file she is handed covers the person of Uncle Moe. He is known as a fine and upstanding business man and how could he possible miss a court date? Stephanie starts to look for him with the help of Lulu a prostitute she saved during her first case. Ranger is always ready for backup. When Stephanie starts to make progress dead bodies start showing up and she needs help from Joe Morrelli. How helpful will he be? What is really behind Moe’s absence from court? Why do dead bodies seem to keep popping up?
    My Thoughts:
    I enjoyed the first book in the Stephanie Plum series and is ready for the next one. This novel is full of humor and read appropriately by Lori Petty. I was not wild about her narration but she read it with the setting.
    For those of you who are not familiar with the story and it characters you have: Stephanie Plum, Her parents, Grandma Mazur, Cousin Vinny, Joe Morrelli, and Ranger. It was nice to learn more about these characters and see more growth. We also meet Stephanie’s ex-husband Dickey Orr.
    The tension is kept moving between Stephanie and Morrelli. The author gives us a taste of what is to come. I am ready for the next one. by Jencey \Writer's Corner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    I love this series! Such well defined characters that you will c

    I love this series! Such well defined characters that you will come to love, I can't put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    I love this series

    I love this series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Good series!

    It is a very exciting series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2013

    Very good series

    I really enjoy reading the Stephanie Plum books. As usual, this one has a little bit of everything. Humor, suspense and romance.

    Another good read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2013

    The third Stephanie Plum novel finds our hero trying to take dow

    The third Stephanie Plum novel finds our hero trying to take down an elderly candy-store owner who's skipped on on bail for a minor infraction...but appears to have taken to becoming a vigilante - and who is being protected by everyone in Stephanie's neighborhood. We also get to meet Stephanie's scumbag ex-husband. More of the same that you've come to expect from Evanovich - wrecked cars, crazy relatives, hilarious co-workers and the stereotypical Stephanie problems around relationships, clothes, and an unfortunate hair incident. Again, not a difficult mystery to figure out, but this book was even more fun to read than the previous two. A fun guilty pleasure when you just need to escape for awhile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2013

    Great for upcoming vacation season.

    Fun, fast read. J. E. never fails to entertain the reader. Her characters are colorful and relatable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    deadly is right.

    Srephanie Plum is a hoot as a bond agent. She narrowly escapes disaster and still manages to catch her guy. My favorite character is Ranger. Her description of him paints a picture of him that leaves you wanting more. You keep wondering why they don't hit the sheets. I am never disappointed by the Plum Series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Witty & charming

    Stephanie and Lula always seem to find trouble anywhere they go. It is coupled with danger and humor, sprinkled with a dash of lust. Good read, as always!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 633 Customer Reviews

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