Final Appeal

( 138 )

Overview

Grace Rossi is starting over after a divorce, and a part-time job with a federal appeals court sounds perfect. But she doesn't count on being assigned to an explosive death penalty appeal. Nor does she expect ardor in the court in the form of an affair with the chief judge. Then Grace finds herself investigating a murder, unearthing a secret bank account and following a trail of bribery and judicial corruption that's stumped even the FBI. In no time at all, Grace under fire ...

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Overview

Grace Rossi is starting over after a divorce, and a part-time job with a federal appeals court sounds perfect. But she doesn't count on being assigned to an explosive death penalty appeal. Nor does she expect ardor in the court in the form of an affair with the chief judge. Then Grace finds herself investigating a murder, unearthing a secret bank account and following a trail of bribery and judicial corruption that's stumped even the FBI. In no time at all, Grace under fire takes on a whole new meaning.

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Editorial Reviews

Susan Isaacs
What fun! Lisa Scottoline brings something new to the lawyer-mystery—a brilliant sense of humor.
Entertainment Weekly
Good, speedy fun.
Drood Review of Mystery
Excellent.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Philadelphia lawyer Grace Rossi is a single mother trying to make ends meet by working part-time for the handsome Judge Armen Gregorian in the federal appeals court. Although he is by all accounts happily married, many women carry a torch for him. Grace is no exception, so when Gregorian picks her out of a group of clerks to assist him in researching the infamous Hightower case, she considers herself lucky-maybe even blessed, when their first night on the job turns romantic. But her newfound happiness is shattered when the morning news announces that Gregorian has been found shot, apparently a suicide. Grace, knowing that it has to be murder, immediately takes up the search to find out who is responsible for his death. She encounters help along the away, in the form of a resourceful homeless man who turns out to be an FBI agent in disguise, investigating possible fraud within the court. Scottoline, an Edgar nominee for her first book, Everywhere That Mary Went, has again pulled together an intriguing cast of characters and a smart mystery to make an exciting, action-packed read. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061042942
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 94,272
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.93 (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.

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:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


At times like this I realize I'm too old to be starting over, working with law clerks. I own pantyhose with more mileage than these kids, and better judgment. For example, two of the clerks, Ben Safer and Artie Weiss, are bickering as we speak; never mind that they're making a scene in an otherwise quiet appellate courtroom, in front of the most expensive members of the Philadelphia bar.

"No arguing in the courtroom," I tell them, in the same tone I use on my six-year-old. Not that it works with her either.

"He started it, Grace," Ben says in a firm stage whisper, standing before the bank of leather chairs against the wall. "He told me he'd save me a seat and he didn't. Now there's no seats left."

“Will you move, geek? You're blocking my sun," Artie says, not bothering to look up from the sports page. He rarely overexerts himself; he's sauntered through life to date, relying on his golden-boy good looks, native intelligence, and uncanny jump shot. He throws one strong leg over the other and turns the page, confident he'll win this argument even if it runs into overtime. Artie, in short, is a winner.

But so is Ben in his own way; he was number two at Chicago Law School, meat grinder of the Midwest. "You told me you'd save me a seat, Weiss," he says, "so you owe me one. Yours. Get up."

"Eat me," Artie says, loud enough to distract the lawyers conferring at the counsel table like a bouquet of bald spots. They'd give him a dirty look if he were anyone else, but because he works for the chief judge they flash capped smiles; you never know which clerk's got your case on his desk.

"Get up. Now,Weiss."

"Separate, you two," I say. "Ben, go sit in the back. Argument's going to start any minute."

"Out of the question. I won't sit in public seating. He said he'd save me a seat, he owes me a seat."

"It's not a contract, Ben," I advise him. For free.

"I understand that. But he should be the one who moves, not me." He straightens the knot on his tie, already at tourniquet tension; between the squeeze on his neck and the one on his sphincter, the kid's twisted shut at both ends like a skinny piece of saltwater taffy. "I have a case being argued."

"So do 1, jizzbag," Artie says, flipping the page.

I like Artie, but the problem with the Artie Weisses of the world is they have no limits. "Artie, did you tell him you'd save him a seat?"

"Why would I do that> Then I'd have to sit next to him." He gives Ben the finger behind the tent of newspaper.

I draw the line. "Artie, put your finger away."

"Ooooh, spank me, Grace. Spank me hard. Pull my wittle pants down and throw me over your gorgeous knees."

"You couldn't handle it, big guy."

"Try me." He leans over with a broad grin.

441 mean it, Artie. You're on notice." He doesn't know I haven't had sex since my marriage ended three years ago. Nobody's in the market for a single mother, even a decent-looking one with improved brown hair,, authentic blue eyes, and a body that's staying the course, at least as we speak.

"Come on, sugar," Artie says, nuzzling my shoulder. "live the dream."

"Cut it out."

"You read the book, now see the movie."

I turn toward Ben to avoid laughing; it's not good to laugh when you're setting limits. "Ben , you know he's not going to move. The judges will be out any minute. Go find a seat in the back."

Ben scans the back row where the courthouse groupies sit; it's a lineup that includes retired men, the truly lunatic, even the homeless. Ben, looking them over, makes no effort to hide his disdain; you'd think he'd been asked to skinnydip in the Ganges. He turns to me, vaguely desperate. "Let me have your seat, Grace. I'll take notes for you."

"No.""But my notes are like transcripts. I used to

sell them at school."

"I can take my own notes, thank you." Ten years as a trial lawyer, I can handle taking notes-, taking notes is mostly what I do now as the assistant to the chief judge. I take notes while real lawyers argue, then I go to the library and draft an opinion that real lawyers cite in their next argument. But I'm not complaining. I took this job because it was part-time and I'm not as good a juggler as Joan Lunden, Paula Zahn, and other circus performers.

"How about you, Sarah?" Ben asks the third law clerk, Sarah Whittemore, sitting on my other side. "You don't have a case this morning. You can sit in the back."

Fat chance. Sarah smooths a strand of cool blond hair away from her face, revealing a nose so diminutive it's a wonder she gets any oxygen at all. "Sorry, I need this seat," she says.

I could have told him that. Sarah wants to represent the downtrodden, not mingle with them.

A paneled door opens near the dais and the

court crier, a compact man with a competent air, begins a last-minute check on the microphones at the dais and podium. Ben glances at the back row with dismay. "I can't sit back there with those people. One of them has a plastic hat on, for God's sake."

Artie looks over the top of his paper. "A plastic hat? Where?"

"There." Ben jerks his thumb toward a bearded man sporting a crinkled cellophane rain bonnet and a black raincoat buttoned to the neck.

Final Appeal. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Many book clubs have written Lisa asking for questions to guide their discussion, so Lisa came up with a bunch for each book. Her goal in writing books is to entertain, so it goes without saying that Lisa wants you to have lots of fun discussing her books, and has reflected that in her questions. She provides the talking points, and you and your group shape the conversation. So go ahead, get together, chat it up with your friends, discuss books, kids, and relationships, but by all means, have fun.

Questions

  1. Grace Rossi is a fun character (I think, anyway) whom I have yet to write about again. Why, other than it's hard to have a heroine who needs a babysitter.

  2. What do we think about Grace? Is she believable? Is she a good or bad mother? How weird is her relationship to her mother? How great is her kid? Hint: She's modeled after my kid. I was a single mom for 11 years and never looked as good as Grace a single day.

  3. I have a crush on Shake and Bake. Do you? Are we nuts? We hardly know him. Also he doesn't exist.

  4. I have a crush on Armen The Sexy Judge. Do you? Now we are really sick. Can you have sex on a desk? Hint: ARE YOU CRAZY? OF COURSE NOT.

  5. I think secretaries matter, and not only because my mother was one. Do you agree? You have to. This brings me to Arletha. Do you love/hate her? What do we think of her choices? Final Appeal was nominated for an Edgar and WON! Is it any better than Everywhere? Hint: Does a fish need a bicycle?

About the author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and former trial lawyer. She has won theEdgar Award, the highest prize in suspense fiction, and the Distinguished Author Award from the Weinberg Library of the University of Scranton. She has served as the Leo Goodwin Senior Professor of Law and Popular Culture at Nova Southeastern Law School, and her novels are used by bar associations for the ethical issues they present. Her books are published in more than twenty languages. She lives with her family in the Philadelphia area.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 138 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(43)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 138 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Somewhat disappointed.

    I'm in the middle of it now and I must say, I've read several books by Lisa Scottoline and I am surprised and disappointed with the language although the story is good, I never have seen the point in using the f... word and it's in this book entirely too much. I want to see how it ends but don't know if I can get past that word much more.

    13 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Jennie

    Enjoyable reading. I continue to read this authors work and would always recommend this to anyone who enjoys John Grishom, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, John Lecroart...

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2012

    It's ok, in the middle of Lisa Scottoline's works

    I have read a lot of her books, and to me, this one falls in the middle somewhere...not great, but not awful, either. The character development, except for the main character s not that well done, and you can't help wonder what the heck it was all about at the end. Maybe I'm being too picky, but it just left an empty taste in my mouth.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Low price

    What on earth was she thinking? I'm so glad I bought this nook book for less than $4 or I'd really be miffed. I couldn't even finish it. Was this a creative writing assignment in dialogue? it's all dialogue. Well, maybe it isn't but there was enough of all dialogue in the first chapter to stop me from reading further. Who has time to spend on something that's not appealing. Read it if you must. Since it has such a "high stared" review, someone enjoyed it. So give it a try. It could be just for people other than me. The first book, "Every where that Mary went" was very good. i'll recommend it without hesitation. Enjoy.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    Not as good as the rest.....

    Although entertaining, this book is definitely not as good as others by the author. I was disappointed by 'who done it'. 'Mistaken Identity' and 'Everywhere That Mary Went' are the best in my opinion.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Disappointing

    This was my first Scottoline book, and I don't believe I'll read another. Utterly forgettable characters, and the reading level appeared to be at the 4th or 5th grade.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    A good read. Not her best but not bad.

    A good read. Not her best but not bad.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    Recommended

    This is a great book with lots of drama and action. It almost ranks up there with the rest of her material.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2007

    A great read

    I've read about half the books Lisa Scottoline has written and this one is one of my favorites. It's interesting and keeps your attention.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    Lisa Scottoline - what an author!!!

    From page one - which draws the reader in and makes one feel part of the plot - to the last page, it is hard to put Lisa's books down. Needless to say, as soon as this book is finished the reader is SO ready for the next one. Brilliant writer - want to see her books as movies!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Final Appeal

    I love all her books, I always look forward to a new one coming out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2012

    Entertaining read.

    A little romance, back story and intrigue. Kept my interest enough for me not to put down. Would definitely recommend to others.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Slow at first, but enjoyable

    It took a while to get into the story, but once I did, I enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    mmi.h

    o u.y I I n by uju .kin bhoj ynyyi. bjyj

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    Great

    Always enjoy reading Lisa Scottoline books Problem is once I start reading can not put it down, and can't wait to start the next book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Great read

    Lisa has done it again. I really enjoyed this page turner. Never boring. Great characters and plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Good read.

    Really caught me off guard. Interesting twist to the mystery with several layers to the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Very good. Easy reading and kept your interest. You need to read it!!

    This is another winner from Lisa Scottoline. The mystery is very compelling.

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  • Posted May 25, 2013

    Excellent read!

    Lisa Scottoline is a great writer, and the book Final Appeal is a great read!

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    Must read!

    This book had more twists and turns than a roller coaster. Just when I thought that I had it figured out here comes a surprise. However the person who did the crime and the reason seemed very far fetched. Now for book 3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 138 Customer Reviews

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