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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None of these meetings had ended in the bedroom. When you grow up in the Burg there are several mantras little girls learn at an early age. One of them is that men don't buy goods they can get for free. Those words of wisdom hadn't stopped me from giving my goods away to Morelli, but they did stop me from continuing to give them away. That plus a false pregnancy scare. Although I have to admit, I had mixed feelings about not being pregnant. There was a smidgen of regret mixed with the relief. And probably it was the regret more than the relief that made me take a more serious look at my life and my relationship with Morelli. That and the realization that Morelli and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. Not that we'd entirely given up on the relationship. It was more that we were in a holding pattern with each of us staking out territory ...not unlike the Arab-Israeli conflict.

I tried Morelli's home phone, office number, and car phone. No luck. I left messages everywhere and left my cell phone number on his pager.

"Well what did you find out?" Grandma wanted to know when I hung up.

"Not much. Fred left the house at one, and a little over an hour later, he was at the bank and the cleaner. He must have done something in that time, but I don't know what."

My mother and my grandmother looked at each other.

"What?" I asked. "What?"

"He was probably taking care of some personal business," my mother said. "You don't want to bother yourself with it."

"What's the big secret?"

Another exchange of looks between my mother and grandmother. "There's two kinds of secrets," Grandma said. "One kind is where nobody knows the secret. And the other kind is where everybody knows the secret, but pretends not to know the secret. This is the second kind of secret."

"So?"

"It's about his honeys," Grandma said.

"His honeys?"

"Fred always has a honey on the side," Grandma said. "Should have been a politician."

"You mean Fred has affairs? He's in his seventies!"

"Midlife crises," Grandma said.

"Seventy isn't midlife," I said. "Forty is midlife."

Grandma slid her uppers around some. "Guess it depends how long you intend to live."

I turned to my mother. "You knew about this?"

My mother took a couple deli bags of cold cuts out of the refrigerator and emptied them on a plate. "The man's been a philanderer all his life. I don't know how Mabel's put up with it."

"Booze," Grandma said.

I made myself a liverwurst sandwich and took it to the table. "Do you think Uncle Fred might have run off with one of his girlfriends?"

"More likely one of their husbands picked Fred up and drove him to the landfill," Grandma said. "I can't see cheapskate Fred paying for the cleaning if he was going to run off with one of his floozies."

"You have any idea who he was seeing?"

"Hard to keep track," Grandma said. She looked over at my mother. "What do you think, Ellen? You think he's still seeing Loretta Walenowski?"

"I heard that was over," my mother said.

My cell phone rang in my shoulder bag.

"Hey Cupcake," Morelli said. "What's the disaster?"

"How do you know it's a disaster?"

"You left messages on three different phones plus my pager. It's either a disaster or you want me bad, and my luck hasn't been that good today."

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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