Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum Series #3)

Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum Series #3)

4.3 637
by Janet Evanovich
     
 

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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... See more details below

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...

Editorial Reviews

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

GQ

[Evanovich's novels are] among the great joys of contemporary crime fiction.
Los Angeles Times

Suspenseful.
San Francisco Chronicle

Terrific.
The Midwest Book Review

Thrilling.
USA Today

Hilariously funny.
The Washington Post

A blast of fresh air.
San Diego Union-Tribune

Inventive and fast-paced.
Detroit Free Press

Superb.
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.
MIdwest Book Review
Thrilling.
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:
07/15/1998
Series:
Stephanie Plum Series, #3
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
85,952
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.89(h) x 0.93(d)

Meet the Author


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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Hanover, New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
April 22, 1943
Place of Birth:
South River, New Jersey
Education:
B.A., Douglass College, 1965
Website:
http://www.evanovich.com

Read an Excerpt

...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?"

up0
"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 1997 by Evanovich, Inc.

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