Excerpt of Four To Score by Janet Evanovich
(Page 1 of 9)
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Living in Trenton in July is like living inside a big pizza oven. Hot, airless,
Because I didn't want to miss any of the summer experience I had the sun roof open on
my Honda CRX. My brown hair was pulled up into a wind snarled, curls-gone-to-frizz
ponytail. The sun baked the top of my head, and sweat trickled under my black spandex
sports bra. I was wearing matching spandex shorts and a sleeveless oversized Trenton
Thunders baseball jersey. It was an excellent outfit except it gave me no place to stick
my .38. Which meant I was going to have to borrow a gun to shoot my cousin, Vinnie.
I parked the CRX in front of Vinnie's store front bail bonds office, lunged out of the
car, stalked across the sidewalk, and yanked the office door open. "Where is he?
Where is that miserable little excuse for a human being?" "Uh oh," Lula
said from behind the file cabinet. "Rhino alert."
Lula is a retired hooker who helps clean up the filing and sometimes rides shotgun for
me when I do my fugitive apprehension thing. If people were cars, Lula would be a big,
black '53 Packard with a high gloss chrome grill, oversized headlights, and a growl like a
junk yard dog. Lots of muscle. Never fit in a compact space.
Connie Rosolli, the office manager, pushed back at her desk when I entered. Connie's
domain was this one front room where friends and relatives of miscreants came to beg
money. And to the rear, in an inner office, my cousin, Vinnie, slapped Mr. Johnson around
and conversed with his bookie.
"Hey," Connie said, "I know what you're bummed about, and this wasn't my
decision. Personally, if I were you, I'd kick your cousin's pervert ass around the
I pushed a clump of hair that had strayed from the ponytail back from my face.
"Kicking isn't good enough. I think I'll shoot him."
"Go for it!" Lula said.
"Yeah," Connie agreed. "Shoot him."
Lula checked out my clothes. "You need a gun? I don't see no gun bulges in that
spandex." She hiked up her T-shirt, and pulled a Chief's Special out of her cut-off
denim shorts. "You could use mine. Just be careful, it sights high." "You
don't want a little pea-shooter like that," Connie said, opening her desk drawer.
"I've got a .45. You can make a nice big hole with a .45."
Lula went for her purse. "Hold on here. If that's what you want, let me give you
the big stud. I've got a .44 magnum loaded up with hydroschocks. This baby'll do real
damage, you know what I'm saying? You could drive a Volkswagen through the hole this
"I was sort of kidding about shooting him," I told them. "Too bad,"
Lula shoved her gun back in her shorts. "Yeah, that's damn disappointing."
"So where is he? Is he in?"
"Hey Vinnie!" Connie yelled. "Stephanie's here to see you!"
The door to the inner office opened and Vinnie poked his head out. "What?"
Vinnie was 5'7", looked like a weasel, thought like a weasel, smelled like a
French whore and was once in love with a duck.
"You know what!" I said, hands fisted on hips. "Joyce Barnhardt, that's
what. My grandma was at the beauty parlor and heard you hired Joyce to do skip
"So what's the big deal? I hired Joyce Barnhardt." "Joyce Barnhardt does
make-overs at Macy's."
Copyright © 1998 by Evanovich, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Press, Inc.