TWO FOR THE DOUGH
Trenton's most unlikely bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, is looking for Kenny Mancuso, who jumped bail after shooting his onetime friend Moogey Bues in the knee. And she's been hired to do a little work on the side for creepy, marriage-minded undertaker Spiro Stiva, who's missing two dozen empty caskets. But instead of getting on Mancuso's tail, Stephanie (One for the Money, 1994) finds Mancuso on hers--he's sending her body parts excised from Stiva's deceased clients, taunting her in their face-to-face meetings, and going after her irrepressible Grandma Mazur with an ice pick--and by the time she locates the caskets, they're about to be set afire. Meantie, somebody has returned to Moogey Bues's gas station to shoot him dead, and Joe Morelli, the swivel-hipped stallion of Trenton Vice who's always had the hots for Stephanie, has tied both Mancuso and Moogey's equally menacing colleague Perry Sandeman into a big-time theft of government arms. But how can Stephanie ever fit the pieces of the puzzle together when her cockeyed burg puts her hamster under constant threat of death, and her manicurist tells her, "I used to carry a forty-five, but I got bursitis from the weight"? The first must-read of the new year: more action and laughs than two weeks in Trenton.