"Listen to me, you two bags of monkey shit," I yelled. "I am not in a good mood.
My car keeps stalling.
The day before yesterday I threw up on Joe Morelli.
I was called a fat cow by my ex-husband.
And if that isn't enough...my hair is ORANGE! ORANGE, FOR CHRISSAKE!
And now you have the gall to force yourself into my home and threaten my hamster.
Well, you have gone too far. You have crossed the line.
Uncle Mo has gone missing.
Moses Bedemier, the iconic candyman of the neighborhood, hasn't opened his shop in several days in a row.
Unfortunately for Stephanie Plum, Uncle Mo was pulled over by a newbie cop for speeding, arrested for "carrying concealed" and then forgets to show up for his court date.
It becomes Stephanie's job to find Uncle Mo and bring him to reschedule his court date so her boss, bailbondsmen and cousin Vinnie won't lose his bail money.
Problem is nobody will help Stephanie.
No one has information on Uncle Mo who would "never do anything wrong."
Quite to the contrary and unbeknownst to most of the community, Uncle Mo is mixed up in some pretty shady business...so mixed up in fact that he's over his head.
If Dickie could be believed, here was a man who'd lived his entire life selling candy to kids and then had snapped in frustration and made some bad choices. Now he was stuck in a labyrinth of judgment errors and terrible crimes.
Bodies begin to surface...the bodies of drug dealers, but bodies all the same.
Uncle Mo becomes known as a vigilante candyman, and Stephanie begins to get threats about leaving Mo alone.
Of course, that only makes Stephanie dig deeper.
Still learning the bounty hunter trade with Ranger and Morelli guiding her every step of the way, Stephanie has to really "gird her loins" in this installment. The killers target her directly on several occasions, and Stephanie even becomes unable to sleep at night for fear of more dead bodies falling out of closets and showing up in other unexpected places.
My incentive for finding Mo had changed in the last couple of days. I wanted to find Mo so the killing would stop. I couldn't stand seeing any more blown-apart bodies.
Thankfully she has her "sister" Lula, an ex hooker from the streets, who aspires to become a bounty hunter rather than just an office file clerk, to "keep it real" and watch her back.
"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?"
To complicate the case even more are Stephanie's feelings for Morelli...whose feelings for her seem to have changed. Stephanie has spent years trying to get back at Morelli for past wrongs, and now that Morelli seems to have finally gotten the message that their relationship will be platonic and nothing else, Stephanie doesn't like it.
#3 is non-stop action as Stephanie learns to use her own instincts as well as the advice of others to put this very complicated puzzle together and somehow stay alive.
While Stephanie's ever present family provides several comical scenes and endless traditional dinners, they don't play as focused a role in this installment. The reader spends a little more time getting to know Ranger and Lula. I laughed out loud during this reading probably more than either of the first two I think because of the addition of Lula's completely honest...and I mean completely honest...opinions, comments and actions. (Lula ties a red scarf around the feet of a corpse sticking out of her trunk so that she and Stephanie won't get a ticket.)
Ranger, who I know will become a part of a relationship triangle with Stephanie and Morelli eventually, is portrayed as more of a trustworthy friend in #3. Stephanie can't completely trust Morelli...no matter how much she'd like to see a more honest and down to earth side of him (moving into his aunt's home and becoming more dometicated), she knows that when the lines are drawn, Morelli will take his information and run with it rather than share with her.
Ranger, on the other hand, doesn't share anything but is completely reliable, trustworthy and protective of Stephanie, concerned with her welfare as a human being as well as learning how to be a smart bounty hunter so that she won't get killed.
Stephanie and I both are still Morelli gals...bc we women always choose the "more dangerous guys," right?
Can't wait for #4!