The novel starts out with Stephanie Plum in the middle of Loretta Rizzi's apartment where Loretta has a gun to her head, ready to commit suicide. Loretta explains that she just went to get an alcoholic beverage and she couldn't afford it, and that's why she held up the place. Stephanie convinces her that killing herself wouldn't be the way to go, so Loretta leaves in cuffs. Just before they leave, Loretta asks if Stephanie will take care of her son, Mario, who is Morelli's cousin. Stephanie goes to the office to try and get her bailed out, but no one can afford it so she stays.
Meanwhile, Ranger calls Stephanie with a job, Brenda (a famous singer like Cher), is coming to town and she needs security, so Stephanie reluctantly obliges. After awhile Stephanie goes and tends with Ranger and helps with several disastrous Brenda-fiascos that happen throughout the book.
Through the book, Loretta is eventually bailed out. Everything seems to be going smoothly until Loretta is kidnapped. With the stress of that, and the added stress of taking care of Mario/Zook, Stephanie is given another bombshell: While asking around about Loretta, she runs into Dom Rizzi, the man who robbed a bank of nine million and then got busted, aka, Loretta's brother. Dom is so pissed and he's ranting and raving and let slips that Morelli got Loretta pregnant. Mario is Morelli's son.
The book carries on, the hunt for Loretta, tending to Zook and Brenda, and trying to survive Lula who has just engaged Tank, Ranger's employee. After a while, Stephanie goes to tend to other skips and Brenda gets attacked by an evil monkey. Familiar faces arrive, such as, Mooner, the stoned hippie, and a new face appears, Brenda's cousin/stalker who claims to have psychic visions that involve Brenda getting attacked by a pizza.
After a few dead body discoveries, and crazy events, such as everybody believing that the nine million is stashed away in Morelli's house, life seems to carry on. But then Stephanie receives a pinky- Loretta's.
Everything's gone crazy, Zook, Mooner, and Gary (the stalker), build a spud shooter that guards against the treasure salvagers hunting in Morelli's yard and the hunt for Dom and Loretta, along with the man that kidnapped her is going crazy.
Later in the book, closure comes suddenly and clearly. A camera is discovered in Morelli's neighborhood and Ranger calls a tech guy to disable the camera, and see who might have hung it. The tech man arrives and it's revealed that he was the one who had been threatening Stephanie and killing everyone.
A chase ensues and eventually it leads to a garage, and the tech guy/kidnapper, is driving around in the van that holds the nine million and a set of explosives. After the chase is over, with the help of Mooner and the spud gun, the van is tipped over and explodes, killing the tech man. Dom finds Loretta in the garage, safe, with no toes missing. Gary's prophecy comes true, the explosion, which happened right near a deli, shoots out a pepperonni pizza and hits Brenda, who had been following Stephanie, right in the face.
After everyone has settled down the story ends at Morelli's house, everyone has newly bought items thanks to Mooner collecting hundreds from the van explosion and Brenda announces that she won't be returning to Jersey, she's going to do a reality show with her (now) great stalker/cousin Gary. Zook isn't Morelli's kid, Morelli had been caught with another girl.
The getaway van used by Steve Fowler (the kidnapper).