Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Trenton’s answer to sweeps week, is on the trail of Maxine Nowicki, who failed to appear in court on a charge of boosting her ex-boyfriend Eddie Kuntz’s car. Like most of the quarry Stephanie tracks for her cousin Vinnie, Maxine hasn’t gone far. Not only does she keep popping up to taunt and threaten Stephanie, but she’s even arranged a little treasure hunt for Eddie: If he follows the puzzling clues she sends him, he’ll get back his mushy old love letters. Stephanie, who doesn’t sell herself cheap, takes $1,000 from Eddie to help decipher the clues, but wonders if helping him is such a good idea, since so many of Maxine’s nearest and dearest--her mother, her friend Marjorie, the 7-Eleven manager who last saw Maxine--are turning up dead or mutilated, and Stephanie herself is getting harassed, vandalized, and firebombed. In another universe, such wholesale mayhem would be cause for alarm, but for Stephanie it’s just so many setup lines for the real questions: Will Stephanie beat her archrival, trampy skip-tracer Joyce Barnhardt, to Maxine? Has longtime lust object Joe Morelli’s grandmother gotten Stephanie pregnant by putting the Evil Eye on her? And will Stephanie ever look as foxy as the two transvestite puzzle-solvers she’s got in her corner? Counterfeiting, drugs, extortion, kidnaping, homicide, reckless endangerment--all of it hilariously featherweight. Evanovich (Three to Get Deadly, 1997, etc.) never met a felony she couldn’t top with an unbeatable laugh.