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by Janet Evanovich

St. Martin's Paperback, 1999 (317 pages) $6.99
ISBN: 0-312-97134-6

Reviewed by Rick McMahan

I "discovered" Janet Evanovich's quirky mystery/ bounty hunter last year when I was on vacation and was looking for something different to read. I definitely found "different" in Stephanie Plum, an out of work lingerie buyer who becomes a bounty hunter for her perverted relative who's a bail bondsman. Sounds like a twisted episode of some soap opera? Well, you're right. Stephanie isn't the meanest or the best bounty hunter, but hands down she wins as most humorous. Sue Grafton has the alphabet mysteries and Janet Evanovich has the numbered mysteries, and HIGH FIVE is the fifth outing with Stephanie. I read this book while flying to Florida, and I was literally laughing out loud the whole trip. I got a few odd stares from my seatmates, but obviously they haven't joined Stephanie Plum on one of her outings. In HIGH FIVE , Stephanie is asked by her relatives to find her missing uncle, but the man's wife really doesn't want him back. Grandma Mazur thinks he either got struck by Alzheimer's and is wandering the New Jersey turnpike or aliens beamed him up. And of course Stephanie can't refuse the request of her mother, especially after they've bribed her with food and dessert. And of course, now Stephanie and Ranger (who is a bad-ass bounty hunter) are dancing around flirting, and we wonder if she and he will get together or if she'll get back with Detective Joe Morelini. But in addition to searching for the mindless uncle who keeps pictures of dismembered people in his basement, Stephanie has an angry midget and a mafia wedding mixed up in the whole thing. Of course it doesn't make sense until you read the book, so just read on.

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