SPOILERS

Okay, let's talk about the last chapter of Lean Mean Thirteen. This is an entry in a long-running series involving a female bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

Chapter Eighteen is the last. It begins:

[INDENT]Grandma Mazur had Blackie under her arm when she opened the door.

"What are you doing with Blackie?" I asked her.

"I've been trying to find just the right place to set him out. I want him to look natural."

At the risk of being unkind, Blackie would need to be in Frankenstein's lab to look natural.
[INDENT]

What's going on here is winding up two of the plot arcs. The genre here is comedy/drama with a romance element. First person, past tense narrator.

The plot arcs are the comedy taxidermist (one of the persons that our narrator wanted to catch for skipping bail), and the nymphomaniac grandmother. These are minor arcs. The grandmother is a continuing character, but the taxidermist, I believe, first appeared in this book and will vanish from subsequent books.


"I have Morelli's laundry. I thought i'd throw it in the washer, and then I have to get back to Morelli," I told Grandma.

"Blackie and me will take care of it for you. We haven't got anything better to do."

I left the laundry with Grandma and ran back to Morelli's SUV. I thought maybe Lula was right and I didn't do much for Morelli. It wouldn't kill me to pitch in and clean his house today. It was only a matter of time before my life would be back to normal, although I was beginning to think weird might be normal for me. The police would get the car and the clock and the money. They'd find Petiak and lock him up. And I wasn't sure what would happen to Dickie.

Morelli's house was less than a quarter of a mile from my parents' house. I drove two blocks and was T-boned by a Hummer coming out of an alley that ran behind a row of houses. The impact rammed me into a parked car and left me breathless. Before I had a chance to collect myself, my door was wrenched open, and I was yanked from behind the wheel. It was Dave with a broken nose, bandaged fingers, and a brace on his knee.

"Haw," Dave said, jamming the barrel of a gun into my ribs "We figured you'd come to see your mom. We've been waiting for you."

That takes us to the first scene break.

We're winding down the romantic sub-plot (narrator/Morelli). We're winding down the mystery plot: car/clock/money. We're winding down the major villain plot: Petiak. We're winding down the minor continuing comedy-villain: Dickie.

The scene ends with sudden violence, and the unexpected appearance of the bumbling comedy-henchman: Dave. (Unexpected because, with all the injuries he's sustained, he should be in a hospital somewhere.) The subplots, which appeared to be winding down, are now all back in play.

This also takes us through the second page of the last chapter. The chapter has fifteen pages in the edition I'm using; 14%. We've just been told that none of the subplots are actually winding down. Instead, they're going to be brought back into play with some kind of twist: "weird."