Excerpt from To The Nines by Janet Evanovich, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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To The Nines

By Janet Evanovich

To The Nines
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  • Hardcover: Jul 2003,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2004,
    352 pages.

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"No shooting!" I felt the need to discourage Lula from hauling out her Glock, but truth was, it seemed like it'd be a public service to take a potshot at Punky.

"How bad do we want this guy?" Lula asked.

"If I don't bring him in, I don't get paid. If I don't get paid, I don't have rent money. If I don't have rent money, I get kicked out of my apartment and have to move in with my parents."

"So we want him real bad."

"Real bad."

"And he's wanted for what?"

"Grand theft auto."

"At least it's not armed robbery. I'm gonna be hoping the only weapon he's got, he's holding in his hand right now ...on account of this don't look like much of a threat to me."

"I guess we should go do it."

"I'm ready to rock and roll," Lula said. "I'm ready to kick some Punky butt. I'm ready to do the job."

I turned the key in the ignition. "I'm going to drop you at the corner so you can cut through the back and take the back door. Make sure you have your walkie talkie on so I can let you know when I'm coming in."

"Roger, that."

"And no shooting, no breaking doors down, no Dirty Harry imitations."

"You can count on me."

Three minutes later, Lula reported she was in place. I parked the Escape two houses down, walked to Punky's front door and rang the bell. No one responded so I rang a second time. I gave the door a solid rap with my fist and shouted bond enforcement. Open the door.

I heard shouting carrying over from the back yard, a door crashing open and slamming shut and then more muffled shouting. I called Lula on the talkie but got no response. A moment later the front door opened to the house next to me and Lula stomped out.

"Hey, so excuse me," she yelled at the woman behind her. "So I got the wrong door. It could happen, you know. We're under a lot of pressure when we're making these dangerous apprehensions."

The woman glared at Lula and slammed and locked her door shut.

"Must have miscounted houses," Lula said to me. "I sort of busted in the wrong door."

"You weren't supposed to bust in any door."

"Yeah, but I heard someone moving around inside. Guess that's 'cause it was the neighbor lady's house, hunh? So what's going on? How come you're not in yet?"

"He hasn't opened the door."

Lula took a step back and looked up. "That's because he's still mooning you."

I followed Lula's line of sight. She was right. Punky had his ass to the window again.

"Hey," Lula yelled up. "Get your fat ass off the window and get down here. We're trying to do some bond enforcement."

An old man and an old woman came out of the house across the street and settled themselves on their front stoop to watch.

"Are you going to shoot him?" the old man wanted to know.

"I don't hardly ever get allowed to shoot anybody," Lula told him.

"That's darn disappointing," the man said. "How about kicking the door down?"

Lula gave the man one of her hand on hip get real looks. "Kick the door down? Do I look like I could kick a door down in these shoes? These are Via Spigas. You don't go around kicking down doors in Via Spigas. These are classy shoes. I paid a shitload of money for these shoes and I'm not sticking them through some cheap ass door."

Everyone looked at me. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt topped by a black jeans jacket and CAT boots. CAT boots could definitely kick down a door but they'd have to be on someone else's foot because door kicking was a skill I lacked.

"You girls need to watch more television," the old man said. "You need to be more like those Charlies Angels. Nothing stopped them girls. They could kick doors down in all kinds of shoes."

"Anyways, you don't need to kick the door in," the old woman said. "Punky never locks it."

From To the Nines by Janet Evanovich. Copyright Janet Evanovich 2003. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher St. Martin's Press.

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