Excerpt from High Five by Janet Evanovich, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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High Five

A Stephanie Plum Mystery

by Janet Evanovich

High Five by Janet Evanovich X
High Five by Janet Evanovich
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  • First Published:
    Jun 1999, 292 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2000, 255 pages

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"If you think that's the right thing to do."

Without a shadow of a doubt.

I had phone calls to make, and my parents house was closer than my apartment and less expensive than using my cell phone, so I rumbled back to Roosevelt Street.

"How'd it go?" grandma asked, rushing into the foyer to meet me.

"It went okay."

"You gonna take the case?"

"It's not a case. It's a missing person. Sort of."

"You're gonna have a devil of a time finding him if it was aliens," Grandma said. I

dialed the central dispatch number for the Trenton Police Department and asked for Eddie Gazarra. Gazarra and I grew up together, and now he was married to my cousin Shirley the Whiner. He was a good friend, a good cop and a good source for police information.

"You need something," Gazarra said.

"Hello to you, too."

"Am I wrong?"

"No. I need some details on a recent investigation."

"I can't give you that kind of stuff."

"Of course you can," I said. "Anyway, this is about Uncle Fred."

"The missing Uncle Fred?"

"That's the one."

"What do you want to know?"

"Anything."

"Hold on."

He was back on the line a couple minutes later, and I could hear him leafing through papers. "It says here Fred was reported missing on Friday, which is technically too early for a missing person, but we always keep our eyes open anyway. Especially with old folks. Sometimes they're out there wandering around, looking for the road to Oz."

"You think that's what Fred's doing? Looking for Oz?"

"Hard to say. Fred's car was found in the Grand Union parking lot. The car was locked up. No sign of forced entry. No sign of struggle. No sign of theft. There was dry cleaning laid out on the backseat."

"Anything else in the car? Groceries?"

"Nope. No groceries."

"So he got to the dry cleaner but not the supermarket."

"I have a chronology of events here," Gazarra said. "Fred left his house at one o'clock, right after he ate lunch. Next stop that we know of was the bank, First Trenton Trust. Their records show he withdrew two hundred dollars from the automatic teller in the lobby at two thirty-five. The cleaner, next to Grand Union in the same strip mall, said Fred picked his cleaning up around two forty-five. And that's all we have."

"There's an hour missing. It takes ten minutes to get from the Burg to Grand Union and First Trenton."

"Don't know," Gazarra said. "He was supposed to go to RGC Waste Haulers, but RGC says he never showed up."

"Thanks, Eddie."

"If you want to return the favor, I could use a baby-sitter Saturday night."

Gazarra could always use a baby-sitter. His kids were cute but death on baby-sitters.

"Gee Eddie, I'd love to help you out, but Saturday's a bad day. I promised somebody I'd do something on Saturday."

"Yeah, right."

"Listen Gazarra, last time I baby-sat for your kids they cut two inches off my hair."

"You shouldn't have fallen asleep. What were you doing sleeping on the job, anyway?"

"It was one in the morning!"

My next call was to Joe Morelli. Joe Morelli is a plainclothes cop who has skills not covered in the policeman's handbook. A couple months ago, I let him into my life and my bed. A couple weeks ago, I kicked him out. We'd seen each other several times since then on chance encounters and arranged dinner dates. The chance encounters were always warm. The dinner dates took the temperature up a notch and more often than not involved loud talking, which I called a discussion and Morelli called a fight.

Reprinted from HIGH FIVE by Janet Evanovich, a St Martin's Press publication, by permission of St Martin's Press. © 1999 by Janet Evanovich.

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