|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
|February 14, 1997|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3555.V2126 T48 1997|
|Preceded by||Two for the Dough|
|Followed by||Four to Score|
Three to Get Deadly is the third novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and was first published in 1997. It won the 1998 Dilys Award.
Stephanie Plum is a streetwise Jersey Girl who ended up as a bounty hunter by chance (and family connections). When a kind, old candy store owner (Uncle Mo) goes FTA (failure to appear) after being arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, Stephanie reluctantly agrees to go after him.
The title comes from the saying "One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to GO!"
Stephanie is on the trail of beloved Moses Bedemier, a mild-mannered man who runs an ice-cream parlor/candy store in the Burg. Mo is an upstanding citizen with ties to almost every family in Trenton. He gets ticketed by an overly-excited, fresh-out-of-the-academy cop for carrying a concealed weapon, and then fails to appear for his court date. No one wants to help Stephanie haul "Uncle Mo" (as he is widely known) to jail, so her apprehension work is frustratingly slow. "Mo would never do anything wrong," is the standard refrain from all the Burg's residents when Stephanie questions them.
Since her neighbors and family refuse to help her, she calls on her mentor Ranger, her sidekick (and aspiring bounty hunter) Lula, and Joe Morelli, vice cop and former lover. As she investigates, Stephanie confides to Morelli that something feels wrong about Mo - everyone loves him for his profession, but no one seems to know anything about his private life, and a concealed weapons charge is not serious enough for him to go on the run.
Lula's friend Jackie, still working as a prostitute on Stark Street, asks Stephanie to help her find her worthless boyfriend, who disappeared with Jackie's almost-new car. A short while later, they find the man's body under the car, shot dead. Even more strange, while snooping through the basement of Mo's ice cream shop, Stephanie finds four dead bodies buried in the dirt, all drug dealers. Stephanie suspects that mild-mannered Mo has become a vigilante.
This suspicion soon circulates around the Burg, and, far from being upset, most of the residents decide Mo is a hero and still refuse to help Stephanie find him. Worse, men in masks are following her around, threatening to kill her if she keeps looking for Mo.
It is Stephanie's slimy cousin Vinnie who provides the final clue. Vinnie had already told her that Mo was secretly homosexual, but she has a theory about his connection with the drug dealers, and Vinnie's investigation confirms it: Mo, under an alias, is actually a renowned director and producer of underground BDSM films. He owns a small rural house outside Trenton under that alias, where he shoots most of his movies.
Stephanie, Lula, and Ranger confront Mo at the house, where he is hiding out. He confesses that one of the drug dealers "procured" young men and women (i.e., drug addicts desperate for money) to perform in Mo's movies, but crossed the line when he asked permission to sell drugs outside Mo's store. Mo pretended to agree, but suggested a "sting operation" to a local church reverend, who embraced the idea. However, Mo did not plan on the scheme "snowballing", and now the reverend and several members of his congregation have become a death squad, privately "cleaning up the streets" of Trenton. Mo was prepared to testify to the authorities, but the vigilantes are now hunting him along with the drug dealers.
Just then, the death squad pulls up outside the house and attacks with heavy weapons, including a rocket launcher that blows up Stephanie's pickup truck. Ranger hunkers down in the house, while telling Stephanie and Lula to take Mo to safety. Stephanie tells Lula to drive away with Mo, then draws her gun to help Ranger, but Morelli and the police arrive with reinforcements before anyone is killed or seriously wounded. The vigilantes are apprehended, and Stephanie returns Mo to court.
As Stephanie attempts to resume her relationship with Morelli, they are constantly interrupted - first by criminals, then by Stephanie's accidental dye job that makes her look like Ronald McDonald.
Janet Evanovich started the Stephanie Plum series after writing a series of romance novels. She wrote Stephanie based on people she knew, including her daughter Alex (and herself). The mystery genre appealed to her as a way to include humor, romance and adventure in her work.
Publishers Weekly called the character of Stephanie Plum 'redoubtable' and said she was 'crying out for a screen debut.'
Three to Get Deadly won the 1998 Dilys Award presented by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
Janet Evanovich is an American writer. She began her career writing short contemporary romance novels under the pen name Steffie Hall, but gained fame authoring a series of contemporary mysteries featuring Stephanie Plum, a former lingerie buyer from Trenton, New Jersey, who becomes a bounty hunter to make ends meet after losing her job. The novels in this series have been on The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller lists. Evanovich has had her last seventeen Plums debut at #1 on the NY Times Best Sellers list and eleven of them have hit #1 on USA Today Best-Selling Books list. She has over two hundred million books in print worldwide and is translated into over 40 languages.
Stephanie Plum is a fictional character and the protagonist in a series of novels written by Janet Evanovich. She is a spunky combination of Nancy Drew and Dirty Harry, and — although a female bounty hunter — is the opposite of Domino Harvey. She is described by the author as "incredibly average and yet heroic if necessary."
One for the Money is the first novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was published in 1994 in the United States and in 1995 in Great Britain. Like its successors, Two for the Dough and Three to Get Deadly, One for the Money is a long-time best-seller, appearing for 75 consecutive weeks on the USA Today list of 150 best-selling novels, peaking at number 13.
Two for the Dough, published in 1996, is the second novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Like others in the Stephanie Plum series, Two for the Dough was a best-seller, spending 36 weeks on the Top 150 list.
Four to Score is the fourth novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and her friends and family in New Jersey. Written in 1998, it is set mainly in Trenton, but also includes Point Pleasant and Atlantic City.
High Five is the fifth novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was written in 1999.
Seven Up is the seventh novel by Janet Evanovich in her series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was published in 2001.
Hot Six is the sixth novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and was written in 2000.
Hard Eight is the eighth novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was written in 2002.
To the Nines is the ninth novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Written in 2003, it's the second book in a row that doesn't revolve around a criminal bond, and the first to take Stephanie out of New Jersey and into the neon glitz of Las Vegas.
Ten Big Ones is the tenth novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was written in 2004.
Eleven on Top is the 11th novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was published in June 2005, and quickly became a #1 best-seller, remaining on the USA Today list of 150 best-selling novels for 19 weeks.
Twelve Sharp, published in 2006, is the 12th novel by Janet Evanovich featuring the bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. The hardcover version appeared at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List in the week of July 9, 2006, while the paperback release has also been in the top four spots in 2007.
Lean Mean Thirteen is a 2007 novel by Janet Evanovich, the thirteenth in the Stephanie Plum series. It was released on June 19, 2007.
Plum Lucky is a crime novel by mystery writer Janet Evanovich. It is the sixteenth part of her series dedicated to bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was published on January 8, 2008.
Fearless Fourteen is a novel written by Janet Evanovich, the fourteenth in her series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. It was released on June 17, 2008.
Plum Lovin' is a 2007 novel by Janet Evanovich. It is the 14th book in the Stephanie Plum series.
One for the Money is a 2012 American crime comedy film based on Janet Evanovich's 1994 novel of the same name. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, the screenplay was written by Liz Brixius, Karen McCullah Lutz, and Kirsten Smith. It stars Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Debbie Reynolds, Daniel Sunjata and Sherri Shepherd. The story revolves around a broke and unemployed woman becoming a bail enforcement agent, going after a former high school crush who both skipped out on his payments and is a murder suspect.
Finger Lickin' Fifteen is a 2009 novel by Janet Evanovich, the fifteenth in the Stephanie Plum series.
Sizzling Sixteen is a 2010 novel by Janet Evanovich, the sixteenth in the Stephanie Plum series.