The New York Times Book Review calls Marissa Piesman's Nina Fischman mystery series "hilarious...the Fischman women are delightfully brash." Nina fought for angry tenants in Unorthodox Practices and single women in Personal Effects. In Heading Uptown she does battle with smarmy suburban businessmen and big-haired housewives on Long Island. Manhattan's Upper West Side is Nina Fischman's natural habitat. Her meddling mother, Ida Fischman, keeps her updated on the latest single men in the area and reminds her when ...
The New York Times Book Review calls Marissa Piesman's Nina Fischman mystery series "hilarious...the Fischman women are delightfully brash." Nina fought for angry tenants in Unorthodox Practices and single women in Personal Effects. In Heading Uptown she does battle with smarmy suburban businessmen and big-haired housewives on Long Island. Manhattan's Upper West Side is Nina Fischman's natural habitat. Her meddling mother, Ida Fischman, keeps her updated on the latest single men in the area and reminds her when her figure begins to inch out of control. Although Nina works during the day as a housing court attorney downtown, she rarely ventures out of that forty-block square between the Hudson River and Central Park. With her aerobics class only a few steps away and Chinese food within shouting distance, who needs to? Like a bagel without cream cheese, Nina is out of sorts when she travels with Ida to family friend Helen Hirsch's funeral in Great Neck, Long Island. Not only does she have to spend an entire afternoon dodging highheeled mourners, but Ida reminds her that in a previous moment of generosity she'd agreed to be an alternate executor of Helen's will. To complicate matters further, the primary executor, Mark Hirsch, predeceased his mother under some rather unusual circumstances, which leaves Nina holding the executor bag. When Nina begins closing Helen's apartment in Queens, she meets young Lisa Hirsch, Mark's daughter and Helen's granddaughter. Lisa has her own theories about her father's death and wants Nina to look into her suspicions. Don't these people realize that Nina is not a probate specialist or a private investigator? With a mother like Ida, it's hard to keep any sort of professional acumen a secret. The troubled Lisa, though, reminds Nina a bit of herself, so she agrees to do what she can. What lurks behind the manicured lawns and pristine porches of Great Neck proves stranger than Nina ever imagined and makes Heading Uptown a delightful esc
Nina Fischman, a public service lawyer for the elderly, carries on the Rhoda Morganstern tradition of witty Jewish Manhattanites with husbandless homes and easily stirred sympathies (``Everything that happened to anybody anywhere was a concern. It made it difficult to prioritize''). Serving as executor of her mother's best friend's estate, Nina plunges into her third sleuthing adventure (following Personal Effects ) when she discovers a mystery surrounding the death of the deceased woman's son several months earlier. Her probe turns up a bunch of heartless rich people who dabble in adultery and questionable real estate deals. Relieving the fashionable ennui are a sad, smart, bulimic teenager and Nina's mother, a retired teacher who picked up not just a degree from Hunter College ca. 1939, but also a social conscience and an appreciation of ``the moving primitivism of Diego Rivera and the agitprop drama of Clifford Odets'' to match. These two characters, along with the disarming Nina, a solid plot, snappy prose and attorney Piesman's knowledge of New York City real estate and ethnic echelons, almost make the reader overlook her occasional inattention to what she has written a few pages earlier. (Feb.)
Chubby Jewish lawyer Nina Fischman (who appeared recently in Personal Effects , Pocket Bks., 1991), executrix of an acquaintance's will, investigates the man's ``accidental'' death at the request of his teenage daughter. The case involves careful planning, questioning, and a somewhat anticlimactic denouement, but the author/narrator gains yardage with humorous ethnic palaver, prejudiced views of New York peccadilloes, and satiric commentary on the ``hazards'' of being Jewish. Clear, straightforward, and pleasant. Another good choice.
V. I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone, make room for Nina Fischman, a feisty, funny, neurotic New York lawyer with hair resembling a wire brush and a body that needs "toning" in the hips and thighs. Nina's social life mostly revolves around her mother, Ida. Sort of by default, Nina's been named executor of Ida's best friend Helen's estate. Nina would just like to probate Helen's will, but it's not that simple. First, there's Helen's son, Mark, who's mysteriously disappeared and turns up dead. Then there's Mark's wife, Beverly, whose biggest interest in life is spandex "aerobicwear." Finally, there's Lisa, Mark's daughter, an unhappy teenager with more intelligence than anyone gives her credit for. Lisa thinks her father was murdered, and she wants Nina to find out who the killer is. Being a natural yenta, Nina can't resist the challenge. She's persistent, she's relentless, she won't take no for an answer, and--guess what?--she tracks down the bad guys. "Heading Uptown" has a clever plot, a little romance, wonderfully eccentric characters, lots of laugh-out-loud humor, and a satisfying conclusion. Get your order in early for this one, and make a note: you haven't heard the last of Nina Fischman.