This story focusses on the mystery associated with the disappearance of the man everyone in the community loved and called "Uncle Mo". He owned the candy store where children and adults alike had good memories. He was stopped by a rookie cop when he was doing ten miles above the speed limit. Mo had been carrying a concealed weapon and was arrested because of this.
Stephanie's cousin Vinnie had posted bail on behalf of Uncle Mo but, when Uncle Mo didn't appear when he was required, Stephanie was assigned to the case. Her role, as bounty hunter, is to capture the missing person and turn him into the police station. As payment for her work, she receives ten percent of the amount of bail that was posted.
In this book, Stephanie face a great deal of scorn and resistance from the community as they all have grown to love Uncle Mo over the years. Their perception is that Uncle Mo would never have done anything wrong.
Stephanie knows the law, but she doesn't always follow it. She breaks into Uncle Mo's apartment and is surprised by what she finds. She, and community members are also shocked by the fact that dead bodies keep turning up. The danger increases and Stephanie finds herself dealing with drug dealers and prostitutes in areas of New Jersey that she would likely not otherwise frequent.
Joe Morelli, the vice-cop who had sexually abused Stephanie in the past and Ranger who is Stephanie's bounty hunter mentor are both supports and irritants for Stephanie who is determined to find Uncle Mo and determine who was doing all the killing.
Stephanie's eccentric parents and Grandmother Mazur also have important roles in this crime novel. They all have strong ideas about how Stephanie should live and work, a situation that causes her stress. At the same time, however, they are always there for Stephanie if she wants a good home-cooked meal, advice or someone to accompany her on missions.
Lula, a former prostitute, who was introduced to us in an earlier Plum novel, is now working in Vinnie's office as a filing clerk. She has a bigger role in "Three to get Deadly" as she provides valuable information, transportation and interesting but unconventional companionship to Stephanie.
Stephanie and Joe Morelli's relationship becomes even more complex than in the past. They begin caring about one another and it is obvious that Joe wants to ensure that Stephanie is safe.
This was a great book that, in typical Evanovich style, has a plot with unexpected twists and turns. I continue to enjoy the way in which she combines the seriousness of violence and crime with the everyday humour of the interesting characters who all contribute to the plot in their own unique ways.
I can hardly wait for the next installment in the Stephanie Plum novel collection. I'm looking forward to more of the same suspenseful and funny stories.