Lady Killer (Rosato & Associates Series #10)

Lady Killer (Rosato & Associates Series #10)

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by Lisa Scottoline
     
 

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Mary DiNunzio has become a big-time business-getter at Rosato & Associates. But the last person she expects to walk into her office one morning—in mile-high stilettos—is super-sexy Trish Gambone, her high-school rival. Back when Mary was becoming the straight-A president of the Latin Club and Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood, Trish was the head Mean

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Overview

Mary DiNunzio has become a big-time business-getter at Rosato & Associates. But the last person she expects to walk into her office one morning—in mile-high stilettos—is super-sexy Trish Gambone, her high-school rival. Back when Mary was becoming the straight-A president of the Latin Club and Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood, Trish was the head Mean Girl, who flunked religion and excelled at smoking in the bathroom.

These days, however, Trish needs help. She is terrified of her live-in boyfriend, an abusive, gun-toting drug dealer for the South Philly mob. Mary remembers the guy from high school, too. She had a major crush on him.

Then Trish vanishes, a dead body turns up in an alley, and Mary is plunged into a nightmare that threatens her job, her family, and even her life. She goes on a one-woman crusade to unmask the killer, and on the way finds new love in a very unexpected place.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Scottoline's latest thriller presents a successful businesswoman's journey to confront her past, and Rosenblat draws upon her theatrical experience to create a fun listening experience. With a variety of tones and dialects on her palette, Rosenblat creates a colorful cast of characters (with even a little singing thrown in). While her omnipresent narrator is somewhat overbearing at times, this is downplayed by her wonderful character creations. While not exactly the most thrilling or believable story, the brilliant Rosenblat grabs the spotlight and owns it from start to finish. The final disc offers a noteworthy interview with Scottoline. Simultaneous release with the Harper hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 3, 2007). (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

New York Times bestselling author Scottoline has returned to her most interesting and popular characters, the women of the Philadelphiabased Rosato and Associates, and to her first leading lady, Mary DiNunzio. Mary finds herself unwillingly engaged in a domestic violence case, tinged with Mafia connections, that revolves around her old high school rivals, the "mean girls," and her first love. As the case becomes more intense and dangerous, Mary must choose between righting a past wrong and maintaining her legal career. Simultaneously humorous and appropriately serious, this wonderful story will delight faithful fans and enchant listeners new to the series. Narrated by topnotch performers Barbara Rosenblat and Kate Burton, respectively, both productions of are of high quality. The readers have different styles and do a wonderful job of conveying humor and distinguishing among numerous characters in a smooth and engaging fashion; Burton maintains a slight edge in the abridged version, capturing the very distinct South Philadelphia dialectal flavor. Both programs are highly recommended. [HarperAudio has another version of Lady Killer available: 9 CDs. unabridged. 10½ hrs. 2008. ISBN 9780061452994]
—Nicole A. Cooke

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061793578
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Rosato & Associates Series , #10
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
14,095
File size:
1 MB

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Read an Excerpt

Lady Killer

Chapter One

Mary DiNunzio sat across from the old men, deciding which one to shoot first. Her father, Matty DiNunzio, was the natural choice because he was the most stubborn, but his three friends were tied for second. They sat next to him at the conference table, a trinity of Tonys—Pigeon Tony Lucia, Tony-From-Down-The-Block LoMonaco, and Tony Two Feet Pensiera, who was called Feet, making him the only man in South Philly whose nickname had a nickname.

"Pop, wait, think about this," Mary said, hiding her exasperation. "You don't want to sue anybody, not really." She met her father's milky brown eyes, magnified by his bifocals, as he sat behind an open box of aromatic pignoli-nut cookies. Her mother wouldn't have let him visit her, even at work, without bringing saturated fats. Besides the cookies, waiting for her in the office refrigerator was a Pyrex dish of emergency lasagna.

"Yes, we do, honey. The club took a vote. We wanna sue. It's about honor."

"Honor?" Mary tried not to raise her voice. She loved him, but she was wondering when he'd lost his mind. A tile setter his working life, her father had always been a practical man, at least until this meeting. "You want to sue over your honor?"

"No, over Dean's honor."

"You mean Dean Martin?"

"Yeah. He was a great singer and a great man."

"Plus a great golfer," said Tony-From-Down-The-Block.

"Great golfer," repeated Feet. "And Bernice disrespected him. In public."

"But Dean wasn't there." Mary stopped just short of saying, He's dead. Or, Are you insane, too?

Tony-From-Down-The-Block nodded. "Dean Martin wasn't his real name, you know. It was Dino Crocetti."

Mary knew. Dean Martin, born in Steubenville, Ohio. Adored his mother, Angela. Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime. She hadn't grown up her father's daughter for nothing. In his retirement, her father had started the Dean Martin Fan Club of South Philly, and she was looking at its four copresidents. Don't ask why there were four copresidents. The fifth had to step down from prostate problems.

Mary asked, "How does it avenge his honor if you sue?"

"Mare," Feet interrupted, indignant. "Bernice insulted him. She called him a drunk!"

Mary winced on Dean's behalf. Her father shook his head. Tony-From-Down-The-Block reached for another pignoli-nut cookie. Feet's slack cheeks flushed with emotion, trumping his Lipitor.

"Mare, she hollered at him like a fishwife, in front of everybody. The mouth on that woman. So Big Joey hollered back and before you know it, he's holding his chest and falling down onna floor. She gave him a heart attack." Feet pushed up the bridge of his Mr. Potatohead glasses. "That can't be legal."

"I saw on Boston Legal, it's motional distress." Tony-From-Down-The-Block brushed cookie crumbs from a red Phillies T-shirt, which matched his unfortunate new haircolor. He was single again, a fact that his red hair blared like a siren. Also that he might not own a mirror.

"That's how they always are, that club," her father said. "They never shut up. Sinatra this, Sinatra that. They think Frank was the best, but Dean had the TV show. They forget that."

"Dean was the King of Cool, 'at's all," added Tony-From-Down-The-Block, and Mary's father turned to him.

"Don't get me wrong, Sinatra was good, my Vita loves him. But he hogged the spotlight. A show-off."

"A showboat," Tony-From-Down-The-Block agreed, and Mary listened to the two men have the same conversation they'd had a thousand times. Pigeon Tony sat silently on the end, dunking a cookie into his coffee. At only five foot two, he was more wren than pigeon, with his bald head inexplicably tanned, his brown-black eyes small and round, and his tiny nose curved like a beak. He was quiet because his English wasn't that good, and for that, Mary felt grateful. Two Tonys were enough for one lawyer.

"But, Pop," Mary interrupted, trying to get them back on track. "Big Joey's fine now, and Bernice didn't cause his heart attack. He weighed three hundred pounds." Hence, the Big part. "In an intentional infliction case, you have to prove that the act caused the harm. And the statement she made wasn't outrageous enough."

"How can you say that, honey?" her father asked, stricken. "It's outrageous, to us." His forehead wrinkled all the way to his straw cabbie's hat. He was wearing an almost transparent sleeveless shirt, dark pants with a wide black belt, and black socks with pleather sandals. In other words, he was dressed up.

"Mare," Tony-From-Down-The-Block interjected, "the drinking wasn't for real on Dean's TV show. They put apple juice in the glass, not booze. It's show business."

Feet's face was still flushed. "Yeah. They just spread that rumor to make Dean look bad. They're always trying to ruin his reputation. Can we sue about that, too? If Dean was alive, he could sue, so why can't we? He can't help it he's dead."

Mary sighed. "Slow down, gentlemen. It costs money to sue. Even if I don't charge you, there are filing fees, service fees, all kinds of fees. You have to have money."

Feet said, "We have money."

"Not this kind of money."

"We got seventy-eight grand in the kitty."

"What?" Mary couldn't believe her ears. "Seventy-eight thousand! Where'd you get that?"

"Dean's got a lot of fans," Feet answered, and her father added:

"Dead fans. Angelo, you know, the barber down Ritner Street. Remember, his wife Teresa passed two years ago, and they had no kids. Also Mario, who had the auto-body shop on Moore, and Phil The Toot, got that nice settlement from the car accident. He passed, too, poor guy." Her father paused, a moment of silence. "They left their money to the club. We had three hundred and twelve dollars before that, but now we're rich. We can sue anybody we want."

"Anybody says anything bad about Dean, we're suing," Feet said.

"We don't even care if we lose," said Tony-From-Down-The-Block. "It's the principle. We're sick of Dean gettin'

Lady Killer. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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