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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"I need to talk to you."

"Now?"

"It'll only take a minute."

The skillet is a sandwich shop next to the hospital and could be better named the Grease Pit. Morelli got there ahead of me. He was standing, soda in hand, looking like the day was already too long.

He smiled when he saw me . . . and it was the nice smile that included his eyes. He draped an arm around my neck, pulled me to him, and kissed me. "Just so my day isn't a complete waste," he said.

"We have a family problem."

"Uncle Fred?"

"Boy, you know everything. You should be a cop."

"Wiseass," Morelli said. "What do you need?"

I handed him the packet of pictures. "Mabel found these in Fred's desk this morning."

He shuffled through them. "Christ. What is this shit?"

"Looks like body parts."

He tapped me on the head with the stack of pictures. "Comedian."

"You have any ideas here?"

"They need to go to Arnie Mott," Morelli said. "He's in charge of the investigation."

"Arnie Mott has the initiative of a squash."

"Yeah. But he's still in charge. I can pass them on for you."

"What does this mean?"

Joe shook his head, still studying the top photo. "I don't know, but this looks real."

 

I made an illegal U-turn on Hamilton and parked just short of Vinnie's office, docking the Buick behind a black Mercedes S600V, which I suspected belonged to Ranger. Ranger changed cars like other men changed socks. The only common denominator with Ranger's cars was that they were always expensive and they were always black.

Connie looked over at me when I swung through the front door. "Was Briggs really only three feet tall?"

"Three feet tall and uncooperative. I should have read the physical description on his application for appearance bond before I knocked on his door. Don't suppose anything else came in?"

"Sorry," Connie said. "Nothing."

"This is turning into a real bummer of a day. My uncle Fred is missing. He went out to run errands on Friday, and that was the last anyone's seen him. They found his car in the Grand Union parking lot." No need to mention the butchered body.

"I had an uncle do that once," Lula said. "He walked all the way to Perth Amboy before someone found him. It was one of them senior moments."

The door to the inner office was closed, and Ranger was nowhere to be seen, so I guessed he was talking to Vinnie. I cut my eyes in that direction. "Ranger in there?"

"Yeah," Connie said. "He did some work for Vinnie."

"Work?"

"Don't ask," Connie said.

"Not bounty hunter stuff."

"Not nearly."

I left the office and waited outside. Ranger appeared five minutes later. Ranger's Cuban-American. His features are Anglo, his eyes are Latino, his skin is the color of a mocha latte, and his body is as good as a body can get. He had his black air pulled back into a ponytail. He was wearing a black T-shirt that fit him like a tattoo and black SWAT pants tucked into black high-top boots.

"Yo," I said.

Ranger looked at me over the top of his shades. "Yo yourself."

I gazed longingly at his car. "Nice Mercedes."

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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