Dirty Blonde

( 70 )

Overview

"Cate Fante is strong and smart, but when she becomes a federal judge, even she wonders if she can do the job justice. She's in her thirties, so she feels though she's joining the world's most exclusive retirement village. She worries inwardly that she only looks the part, in a designer suit donned like overpriced armor. After all, a job described in the United States Constitution would intimidate anybody." "But Cate keeps her doubts a secret. And, as it happens, much else. For she leads a dark double life that she hides from everyone, even her
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Dirty Blonde

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Overview

"Cate Fante is strong and smart, but when she becomes a federal judge, even she wonders if she can do the job justice. She's in her thirties, so she feels though she's joining the world's most exclusive retirement village. She worries inwardly that she only looks the part, in a designer suit donned like overpriced armor. After all, a job described in the United States Constitution would intimidate anybody." "But Cate keeps her doubts a secret. And, as it happens, much else. For she leads a dark double life that she hides from everyone, even her best friend." Then a high-profile case in her courtroom explodes into a shocking murder-suicide, and it blasts her cover wide open. Overnight the tabloids tell her secrets, her boyfriend dumps her, and her new career hangs in tatters. But Cate's troubles are only beginning. An enemy no one anticipated sends her running for her life - embarking on a journey that begins in the mystery of her own childhood, where she first learned to lie.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In this Lisa Scottoline thriller, a reckless federal judge with a sordid sex life is forced to track down a murderer before her reputation and career are irrevocably destroyed.

It's only been a few months since 39-year-old Cate Fante has donned the prestigious black robes, and she has quickly made a name for herself as a competent, well-liked, and unusually attractive judge. But no one else knows about her secret sex life, her irrational yearning to go to the sleaziest bars in and around Philadelphia to pick up the sleaziest men she can find. When a highly volatile lawsuit involving an allegedly stolen idea for a television show ends in a murder-suicide, Fante's sexual escapades are laid bare by a police officer who stumbles across a video tape and believes that the judge is somehow involved in murder…

A novel of extreme contrasts, Dirty Blonde adeptly blends the high-powered judicial world with the seedy nocturnal realm of run-down bars and drunken one-night stands. Straddling the line between these two very disparate environments, Fante is a much-flawed protagonist awash in contradictions. Readers, however, will find it virtually impossible not to root for this courageous and determined woman as she stands up to sexist social mores, an indifferent judicial system, merciless paparazzi, a rogue cop, and a heartless killer. Equal parts cold-blooded mystery and steamy erotic thriller, Dirty Blonde is an absolute knockout. Paul Goat Allen
Library Journal
Cate Fante worries that at 39 she's too young to become a judge. But she's even more worried that a dark life she keeps secret will come out-which, of course, it does. With a one-day laydown; 12-city tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Judges who live in glass houses shouldn't mouth off, as the latest of Scottoline's Philadelphia legal eagles learns when her public and private lives collide with a bang. The Honorable Cate Fante is the golden girl of the Eastern District bench, appointed at 39 to one of the most prestigious positions in the American bar. But not even her sharp mind can figure out a way to keep powerful TV producer Art Simone from evading Philadelphia lawyer Richard Marz's clearly meritorious claim that his one-time buddy stole the idea and the leading characters for the wildly successful series Attorneys at Law from Marz. Cate reluctantly decides the case in favor of Simone. But the stern lecture she delivers to the defendant from the bench, which inspires Marz to hurl abuse at him in open court, is a distinct faux pas, as Chief Judge Sherman informs her privately. Actually, it's a hundred times worse. Within two days Simone and Marz are both dead, the first a murder, the second an apparent suicide. As if the resulting notoriety weren't punishment enough, Marz's friend and partner, Detective Frank Russo, threatens to go public with details of Cate's compulsive sexual interludes with lowlife pickups, the latest of whom is also dead. Even worse, Simone's death evidently won't prevent his production company from launching Judges at Court, a new series based on Cate's life, featuring thinly fictionalized versions of not only the besmirched judge but her publicity-shy best friend Gina Katsakis and her autistic son Warren. Can she sue the company to prevent her private life from turning into prime-time drama? Probably not-but if she doesn't, her days as a judge will be numbered. If only the fireworks whichScottoline (Devil's Corner, 2005, etc.) uses to extricate her feisty heroine from her problems were as compelling or believable as the sure-footed mastery with which she plunges her into hot water.
Seattle Times
“Quick-witted.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“Another winner...[a] fast-paced, entertaining yarn....Scottoline is a pro. She knows how to keep the pages turning.”
People
“Breathless thriller...If a good roller-coaster is what you want, step up and have your ticket punched.”
Booklist
“Scottoline...renders snappy dialogue and vivid descriptions of her native Pennsylvania in this engaging...suspense about consequences and truths.”
Orlando Sentinel
“[An] explosive novel about legal entanglements that is hard to resist.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Assured way with dialogue.”
People Magazine
"Breathless thriller...If a good roller-coaster is what you want, step up and have your ticket punched."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060742911
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/30/2007
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 112,351
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and serves as president of the Mystery Writers of America. She has won the Edgar Award, as well as many other writing awards. She also writes a Sunday humor column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled "Chick Wit," with her daughter, Francesca Serritella. There are thirty million copies of Lisa's books in print, and she has been published in thirty-two countries. She lives in Pennsylvania with an array of disobedient but adorable pets.

Kate Burton has made numerous stage, film, and television appearances, and was seen on Broadway most recently in Hedda Gabler and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. She played the title role in Alice in Wonderland with her father, Richard Burton, on PBS.

Biography

Most authors admit that they need to work in silence in order to get into the creative process. For them, writing is serious work that requires the utmost peace and concentration. Of course, most authors are not writing the kind of whiz-bang, sharp, wild, and witty works that Lisa Scottoline is producing. Scottoline's unusual working methods and desire for all things pop culture have helped her to create some of the most unapologetically entertaining and compulsively page-turning novels in contemporary popular fiction.

Scottoline's initial impetus to become a novelist was not quite as joyful as her novels might suggest. She had recently given up her position as a litigator at a Philadelphia law firm to raise her newborn daughter at the same time as she was breaking up with her husband. While the birth of her daughter was an undoubtedly happy moment for Scottoline, she was also thrust into relative isolation in the wake of her separation and the end of her job. To keep herself busy (when not tending to her daughter, that is), she decided to write a novel, the provocative story of an ambitious young lawyer whose hectic life becomes even more manic when she learns she is being stalked. Three years after beginning the novel, Scottoline sold Everywhere That Mary Went to HarperCollins a mere week after taking a part-time job as a clerk for an appellate judge—her first job since beginning the book. While her transition from lawyer to novelist may seem abrupt to some, Scottoline asserts that it was law school that gave her the necessary tools to spin a compelling yarn. In a 2005 interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Scottoline asserted that the job of a lawyer is surprisingly similar to that of a good writer: "Take the facts that matter, throw out the ones that don't, order them in such a way in which a point of view is created so that by the time someone is finished listening to your argument or reading your book they see things completely in that point of view."

Scottoline's sure-handed way with an intriguing narrative has led to a string of bestselling thrillers and a popular series revolving around the women of Rosato & Associates, an all-female law firm in Philadelphia—the author's own beloved hometown. Jam-packed with humor, mystery, eroticism, and smarts, her novels are published worldwide and have been translated into twenty-five different languages.

Good To Know

Lisa Scottoline is definitely no TV snob. She feels no shame when revealing her love of everything from Court TV to Oprah to The Apprentice to I Love Lucy.

One of the reasons that Scottoline is such a fabulous writer may have something to do with having a particularly fabulous teacher. While studying English at the University of Pennsylvania she was instructed by National Book Award Winner Philip Roth.

Don't try this at home! Scottoline completed her first novel, Everywhere That Mary Went, while she and her newborn daughter lived solely on $35,000 worth of credit from five Visa cards, which she'd completely maxed out by the time she completed the book three years later.

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    1. Hometown:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 1, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A GREAT INTRIGUE

    Lisa Scottoline is by now a well known commodity. Her women have, hitherto, been bright, attractive and starkly consumerist. Good people but obsessed with the things that are the tokens of success. This novel marks a move in a more human and humane direction. Her judge finds herself in a situation requiring a ruling according to law not justice which becomes tangled with the judges private life. Friends and associates also become involved (pay close attention to cell phones)and attitudes clash and shift. While deep motivations -childhood, friendship, family- make sense, there are also some unrealistic bits. The conclusion is somewhat scurried after the lingering development, but this is a real improvement over ealier works. One little thing, I really could do without the expression :aargh" regularly appearing throughout...

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    dirty little secrets

    i don't usually like abridged books because i think you lose character development. i like lisa scottaline and couldn't find this audio unabridged.i was not disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2014

    We all have a secret life.

    Sometimes we can hide it other times not. When you are in a visible position you need to watch yourself and who your "friends" are. As I read this book, I kept thinking if it were me I would be in deep dodo. It was a great read and could not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Another Lisa Scottoline thriller.

    More for us Scottoline addicts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    worth reading

    I liked this book. I thought it was very good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Message Mystery

    Not the best Scottoline, but still worth a read. Sometimes the pace becomes tedious, bound with TMI.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Not the best

    I had a hard time staying focused on the story. Just couldn't get into the read. It never really held my interest. It wasn't as good as Devil's Corner which was a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    My first Scottoline boo

    I never seem to find the book that is hard to put down, until I began reading this. I look forward to reading more books by Lisa Scottoline.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Decent

    This book was good but not one of my favorites by this author, whom I love. Still a decent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Recommend this book and author

    Always looking for an author to enjoy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    Delicious!

    This is what I always hope for in a thriller/mystery. Being hooked in the first two pages & having a plot unfold in an unexpected way that is more daring/horrifying/mortifying or scandalous than I could imagine! I found this to be a read that hit all the right notes.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2008

    Junk Mystery

    I became curious about Ms. Scottoline's novel when I saw her interviewed on Court TV - what she has in presentation - verbally telling a story to an audience like any great attorney - she lacks as a writer.<BR/><BR/>None of the characters were developed enough to make you believe any of the actions they took; she gives you a bio of who the main character is, but expects you to believe that the undertow characters are moved to greatness without giving you any context for their actions.<BR/>The plot summary was interesting - it's what made my buy the book when I read the jacket, but the jacket is as good as it got - it fell flat after that.<BR/><BR/>This is a good gift for the office blond you don't like, but don't have the courage to call her a name to her face.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    not bad, not great

    the story moves quickly and is fairly engaging. however, the characters are not developed with a lot of depth and the storyline gets a little hard to believe. <BR/><BR/>some interesting real life touches on a mysterious town in Pennsylavania and a parent raising a child with autism.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    Fantastic

    Cate Fante is young, beautiful and has lots of money, one would think she has it all. But wait! She gets appointed as a federal judge, a very good and rewarding job. Now she really does have it all. Or does she? There is just something a bit off in Cate's head, because she apparently can't believe she deserves her success, because this blonde has a dirty little habit. She sneaks off to sleazy bars, meets sleazy men and has sleazy sex. Then one of her first cases results in a murder and a suicide and this causes the dirty blonde's secrets to come to light. She's suspended from the bench and all of a sudden she is a woman on the run, because the man she ruled against in that fateful case seems bent on revenge in this very fast paced stand alone thriller by Lisa Scottoline. I think it was very brave of Ms. Scottoline to venture away from her tried and true formula for success and abandon the women of the all-female Philadelphia law firm Rosato and Associates and try something new, but boy did she hit paydirt when she did. This book will reach right out, grab you, tie you down and keep your eyes glued to the pages as your fingers keep 'em turning. Wow, that's what I have to say about this book. Keep them coming, Lisa Scottoline.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A STERLING READING BY KATE BURTON

    Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some, but certainly not for Lisa Scottoline. Already entrenched as one of the most popular authors of legal thrillers, this Edgar winning author scores again with her thirteenth release following on the heels of Devil's Corner (2005). We open with a scene of celebration. Attractive thirty-something Cate Fante has just been appointed a Federal Judge. Clad in a Chanel suit 'donned like overpriced armor,' she accepts accolades from her peers at Philadelphia's Four Seasons. Coming from a very modest background, a small ming town, she seems to be on top of the world - until we read the last page of the Prologue. Hailing a cab she starts home only to spy a dingy looking tavern. She tells the driver to let her out there. Once perched on a bar stool sipping a glass of Miller, she wonders how long it will take - not long at all. Soon there is someone beside her with his hand on her knee. '.....he had bloodshot blue eyes, heavy stubble, and hair that shone in greasy strands.' Nonetheless, Cate moves that hand onto her thigh and tells him her name is Karen. Obviously, our heroine has a really serious problem, one that she cannot keep hidden for long after a famous TV producer, Art Simone, is brought before her. Prosecutor Richard Marz accuses him of stealing his idea for what has become a popular television show. Cate rules in favor of Simone who is soon murdered. Naturally, Marz becomes the prime suspect until he, too, is found dead. Enter the prosecutor's partner, a reprehensible police officer who digs deeply enough into Cate's life to discover her seamy secrets. Once they become headline news everything important to her is in jeopardy, as well as her life. Scottoline is a master of fast paced dialogue and plot twists that keep the pages turning, and Kate Burton's sterling reading keeps us listening. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    Very Good Read

    Like all of Lisa Scottoline's novels, this is a fast-paced, enjoyable novel. The new character of Cate Fante is a strong female main character with a great sense of humor. I love that all of Lisa's lead characters are down-to-earth females, and Cate is no exception. The ending of the novel was unexpected, and the novel wrapped up nicely.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2007

    Entertaining

    Lisa Scottoline's razor sharp wit was the best part of this story. I found the mystery less suspenseful than it could have been but the main character was very, very witty. I also enjoyed some of the behind-the-scenes legal acitivity. This was my first by Scottoline, and I will definetly read more of her work. Very entertaining. I did have a problem with the story's central premise, however, and didn't really see the problem with a single, adult woman having a consensual one night stand with a single adult male, even if she is a judge. She's still a human being. Would a man be judged as harshly?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Don't be misled by the bad reviews below!

    I cannot for the life of me understand the bad reviews posted here about this book. This book was excellent. Cate, the judge, is a perfect example of how a judge is human, too. Also, I loved the true historical data that Lisa Scottoline includes in this book, and in her other books. I had no idea about the mine fires in PA, that still burn today. This book was truly fabulous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2006

    a good read

    I really enjoyed Cate's character, and I found the book to be very entertaining (you just had to appreciate Cate's sense of humor)and couldn't put it down - the suspense kept the pages turning. This is the first book I've read by Scottoline and plan to read the rest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    Not the Lisa Scottoline characters I'm used to,

    I have been an avid fan of Lisa Scottoline, have read each and every one of her books and never failed to be satisfied. However, in Dirty Blond, I was disappointed enough to miss Bennie, Mary and Judy and their usual antics to stop reading the book halfway through. I find this book difficult to retain my attention and found my mind trying to relate to Lisa's new Cate Fante. Bring back the old pals......please!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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