Back in high school, sexy Joe Morelli relieved Stephanie Plum (among many others) of her virginity; the next time she ran into him, it was with a Buick. Now that she's gone to work as a skiptracer for her scuzzball cousin, a bail bondsman, Stephanie's already counting the $10,000 she'll get for bringing in Trenton, NJ, vice cop Joe Morelli (who survived the Buick encounter), wanted for the murder of an unarmed man. Stephanie, who's new to this kind of work, starts by dropping around Joe's place, and there he is -- in the first of half a dozen encounters that always end with her not shooting or cuffing him (though he does get to use her cuffs on her) and not getting that bounty. Joe insists that Ziggy Kulesza, the guy he shot, had first drawn on him and that witnesses will back up his story -- naturally, he can't produce Ziggy's gun or those witnesses just yet. In the meantime, Stephanie's crossed swords with Ziggy's employer, testosterone-rich, morals-poor heavyweight champ Benito Ramirez, who's stalking her as she stalks Joe. Stephanie strikes a deal with Joe: She'll dig up the witness who'll exonerate him, then turn him in with his full cooperation and claim the reward. If only she can find the last missing witness before he's beyond subpoena. A smartly paced debut with an irresistible heroine who, despite trouble getting her man, will have readers hooked by page three. Trenton is about to become the comic mystery's most improbable hot spot.