Four to Score
Maxine Nowicki is missing and her boyfriend, Eddie, wants her back. Not that he misses her. He's already had her arrested for stealing his car, but when she skips bail and fails to make her court appearance on the car theft charges, he gets worried. Very worried. Maxine has bolted with papers that mean much more to him than his car. When Eddie finds out that Stephanie Plum, New Jersey's sassiest bounty hunter, is on Maxine's trail, he ups the ante and hires Stephanie to retrieve the papers.
Meanwhile, Maxine is laying a trail of word-puzzle clues to lure Eddie into her trap. Stephanie, clueless when it comes to anagrams, adds a puzzle-solving sidekick, Sally Sweet, a six-foot-four female impersonator soloist with a cross-dressing band, to her merry band of sleuths.
When Maxine keeps slipping through Stephanie's fingers, Cousin Vinnie infuriates her by putting a second bounty hunter on the case --- her archenemy Joyce Barnhardt.
Stephanie's greatest challenge comes when she finds herself first car-less, then homeless at the hands of an arsonist who is out to kill her. She and her hamster, Rex, are forced to move in with oh-so-sexy vice cop Joe Morelli to save her parents from danger. Former hooker Lulu, Grandma Mazur, Ranger and Stephanie's father's loathsome 1953 Buick are called in to help her beat Joyce and the Trenton police to Maxine so she can collect her paycheck.
FOUR TO SCORE'S title is the result of a contest among Evanovich's fans. Her readers can draw their own conclusions as to its meaning. Will Stephanie and Joe finally "do the deed?" Evanovich's fans have been clamoring to bring our star-crossed lovers together.
I'll never tell.
Stephanie Plum's growing ranks of fans will not be disappointed in FOUR TO SCORE. Evanovich is in full stride, offering her readers their usual quota of zany characters in a fast-moving, rollicking plot filled with belly laughs.
If Janet Evanovich is able to keep up the pace, she will soon find herself among the ranks of series mystery writers John D. MacDonald, Sue Grafton, Laurence Sanders and Carl Hiaasen.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on June 30, 1998