Home > Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22)(9)

Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22)(9)
Janet Evanovich

“You’re Ken’s advisor,” I said to Pooka.

“I was his advisor. He’s disappeared. Good riddance. He was a screwup anyway. Everyone at this school is a screwup.”

“He belonged to Zeta,” I said.

Pooka narrowed his eyes. “And? Are you implying something?”

“Nope,” I said. “Just looking for answers.”

“Then you’re in the wrong place. No one wants answers here. This school is the work of the devil.”

“Heard that before,” Lula said.

“Academic freedom is dead here,” Pooka said.

“Looks to me like what they got is freedom to spank,” Lula said, still pawing around in her purse. “I can’t find my gun. I must have left it in my other purse. I changed it at the last minute on account of it wasn’t complementary with my pink sweater. I’m careful about my accessorizing.”

“Pink is a feminist color,” Pooka said to Lula. “Are you a feminist?”

“You bet your ass,” Lula said. “Unless I need something done that’s man’s work. Like relocating a snake. Then I’m all about bending the rules. Just ’cause I wear pink don’t mean I’m stupid. And while we’re on the subject of fashion, I have to tell you the necklace you’re wearing is excellent.”

“It’s my power amulet,” Pooka said. “I never take it off. It’s the only protection I have from the evils of this school. To take it off would be an insult to the amulet.”

“Yeah, and you don’t want to insult your power amulet,” Lula said. “It probably could do all kinds of shit. It might make your dick fall off. I saw an episode of South Park once where this guy drank gluten and his dick flew off.”

“Excuse me,” I said to Pooka. “Getting back to Ken Globovic. Do you have any idea where I might find him?”

“Try talking to his girlfriend. She’s one of those activist nuts. Writes stupid things for the school paper.”

“Do you know her name?”

“Don’t know her name, but she looks like Malibu Barbie.”

“Do you know Barbie don’t wear no underpants?” Lula said. “I bought one for my niece and that doll didn’t have no underpants. I mean, what kind of message is that to someone? She had something sort of drawn on her molded plastic butt that might have looked like underpants, but it’s not the same, you see what I’m saying? And she didn’t have no bra, either. ’Course she don’t need one on account of she’s got perky plastic titties.”

“Anything other than the girlfriend?” I asked Pooka.

“Talk to Avi. He’s usually in the lab down the hall. He knows everyone. All the undergrads go to him for help with their projects.”

“He’s the wonder kid, right?” Lula asked. “I hear he’s a real cutie.”

“Girls love him,” Pooka said. “They line up outside the lab. I think it’s his hair. He has good hair.”

Lula and I walked down the hall to the lab.

“I don’t see any girls here,” Lula said. “Must be a slow day for the wonder kid.”

I’d had basic biology in high school and two semesters of microbiology in college. I’d hated every second of every class. I hated the way the labs smelled. I hated growing ick in the petri dishes, test tubes, and glass beakers. And I’d set my lab coat on fire trying to light my Bunsen burner…twice.

A slim, nice-looking teen was perched on a stool, working at a laptop. He was wearing a T-shirt and jeans and running shoes. He was the only one in the lab.

“Avi?” I asked him.


“I represent Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, and I’m looking for Ken Globovic.”

“Everyone calls him Gobbles,” Avi said. “I haven’t seen him since he was arrested.”

“Do you have any idea where he might be hiding?”

“No, but I suspect he’s in the area. There have been sightings of him on campus. Mostly late at night.”

“I was told he has a girlfriend.”

“Julie Ruley,” Avi said. “She’s really nice. I think she’s a journalism major. She came here with Gobbles a couple times.”

“So what do you think of this Gobbles guy?” Lula asked him.

“I like him. And I can’t see him breaking into Dean Mintner’s house without good cause, if that’s what you want to know.”

I gave him my card and told him to call or text if Gobbles turned up.

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