Legal Tender (Rosato and Associates Series #2)

( 38 )

Overview

Bennie Rosato is a maverick lawyer, and business at her law firm has never been better. Then, without warning, a savage murder tears the firm apart. All evidence points to Bennie, who has motive aplenty and an unconfirmable alibi. Her world turns upside-down as the lawyer becomes the client, and the law is now after her. When another killing takes place, Bennie runs for her life, a fugitive armed only with her wits and courage. She is determined to find the real killer — or die ...

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Legal Tender (Rosato and Associates Series #2)

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Overview

Bennie Rosato is a maverick lawyer, and business at her law firm has never been better. Then, without warning, a savage murder tears the firm apart. All evidence points to Bennie, who has motive aplenty and an unconfirmable alibi. Her world turns upside-down as the lawyer becomes the client, and the law is now after her. When another killing takes place, Bennie runs for her life, a fugitive armed only with her wits and courage. She is determined to find the real killer — or die trying.

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Editorial Reviews

San Jose Mercury News
“This smooth tale moves.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A witty...tale of mayhem in the fast lane.”
San Jose Mercury News
“This smooth tale moves.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A witty...tale of mayhem in the fast lane.”
Los Angeles Times
A fast-paced, suspenseful and tongue-in-cheek legal thriller.
USA Today
Scottoline's writing style is sharp, intelligent, funny and hip...[She] gives fans of legal thrillers a good, twisty plot, lively characters and an all-around fun read.
Los Angeles Times
A fast-paced, suspenseful and tongue-in-cheek legal thriller.
USA Today
Scottoline's writing style is sharp, intelligent, funny and hip...[She] gives fans of legal thrillers a good, twisty plot, lively characters and an all-around fun read.
Library Journal
In this latest from Edgar Award winner Scottoline (for Final Appeal as best original paperback), a woman who crusades against police brutality is framed for the murder of her ex-partner (in love and law) and his new flame.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061094125
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Series: Rosato & Associates Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 114,908
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.23 (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



I edged forward on my pew in the gallery so I wouldn't miss a single word. My exlover's new girlfriend, Eve Eberlein, was about to be publicly humiliated by the Honorable Edward J. Thompson. I wanted to dance with joy right there in the courtroom. Hell hath no fury like a lawyer scorned.

"Let me remind you of something you have plainly forgotten, Ms. Eberlein," judge Thompson was saying between discreetly clenched teeth. A bald, gentlemanly judge, his legendary patience had been tested by Eve's attack on the elderly witness. "This is a court of law. There are rules of conduct. Civility, manners. One doesn't cheek common courtesy at the door of my courtroom."

"Your Honor, this witness is not being candid with the court," Eve said. Her spiky brunette cut bounced in defiance as she stood before the dais, in perfect makeup and a red knit suit that fit her curves like an Ace bandage. Not that I was jealous.

"Utter nonsense, Ms. Eberlein!" Judge Thompson scoffed, peering down through reading glasses that matched his robe. "I will not permit you to cast aspersions on the character of a witness. You have asked her the same question over and over, and she's told you she doesn't remember where the Cetor file is. She refired two years ago, if you recall. Move on to your next question, counsel."

"With all due respect, Your Honor, Mrs. Debs was the records custodian at Wellroth Chemical and she remembers perfectly well where the Cetor file is. I tell you, the witness is lying to the Court!" Eve pointed like a manicured Zola at Mrs. Debs, whose powdered skin flushed a deep pink.

"My goodness!" she exclaimed, hand fluttering tothe pearls at her chest. Mrs. Debs had a halo of fuzzy gray hair and a face as honest as Aunt Bea's. "I would never, ever lie to a court!" she said, and anybody with any sense could see she was telling the truth. "Heavens, I swore on a Bible!"

"Ms. Eberlein!" judge Thompson exploded. "You're out of order!" He grabbed his gavel and pounded it hard. Crak! Crak! Crak!

Meanwhile, Mark Biscardi, my exboyfriend and still-current law partner, was fake-reading exhibits at counsel table. He was downplaying the debacle for the jury's benefit, but was undoubtedly listening to every syllable. I hoped he remembered my prediction that Eve would crash and bum today, so I could say I told you so.

"I object, Your Honor!" shouted plaintiffs counsel, Gerry McIllvaine. "Ms. Eberlein's conduct toward this witness is an outrage! An outrage!" McIllvaine, a trial veteran, had been standing out of the crossfire, keeping his mouth shut until it was time to grandstand for the jury. All the courtroom's a stage, and all the men and women in it merely lawyers.

Then, suddenly, I began to focus on the jury box. Most of the jurors in the front row were scowling at Eve as Judge Thompson continued his lecture. Two jurors in the back, retirees like Mrs. Debs, bore a prim smile at Eve's comeuppance. Eve had alienated the lot, and it would taint their view of the defendant's case. Unfortunately, this was a high-stakes trial and the defendant was a major client of my law firm, Rosato & Biscardi, alias R & B.

Damn. I sat up straighter and looked worriedly at Mark, but he was stuck playing with the trial exhibits. He and I had started R & B seven years ago and watched it grow into one of the most successful litigation boutiques in Philadelphia. I cared about the firm so much I couldn't even enjoy watching Eve screw up something besides my love life. Something had to be done.

I stood up in the middle of the proceedings, calling attention to myself without a word because of my height, a full six feet. It's a great height for a trial lawyer, but as a teenager I stood by so many punchbowls I got sick from the fumes. I grew up to be taller, blonder, and stronger, so that now I looked like an Amazon with a law degree.

"Ouch!" said the lawyer sitting next to me, as I trounced solidly on his wingtip.

"Oh, excuse me," I yelped, almost as loudly as judge Thompson, still scolding Eve, with the jury's rapt attention.

"Shhh," said another lawyer.

"Sorry, so sorry," I chirped, struggling out of the crowded row like a boor going for Budweiser in the second inning. I noticed out of the comer of my eye that one of the jurors, the Hispanic man on the end, was being successfully distracted. "Oops! Sorry about that," I practically shouted.

Once out of the row, I strode past the bar of the court to counsel table, where my exbeloved was sweating armholes into his English pinstripes. As Mark turned to see what the commotion was, I leaned close to his dark, wavy hair and breathed in his expensive creme rinse. You're fucked, hombre," I whisper ed, with some pleasure.

"It's her first time out," he hissed bac k. "She made a mistake."

"No, you made a mistake. I told you she isn't a trial lawyer. She can't connect with people, she's too cold. Now hold up an exhibit so we can fight in peace."

Mark grabbed an exhibit and ducked behind it. "What's happening with the jury? This is killing us."

I snuck a peek sideways. Most of the jurors were watching me and Mark by now. I wondered if any recognized me, infamous radical lawyer Bennie Rosato. I could only hope my hair looked less incendiary than usual... Legal Tender. 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. Do we like Bennie? Do we care that she's not so pretty? Do we picture her as pretty? Why did Lisa make her so damn tall? Hint: Wish fulfillment.

  2. Does Bennie need a man? No hints.

  3. Do we like her partner and lover, Mark? Did he do the right thing or is he a jerk?

  4. Do we hate Eve or is she just young and beautiful and it's not her fault. Hint: IT IS HER FAULT.

  5. What is it with animal rights people? What about violence in the name of a cause? Or a religion?

  6. What does Bennie's relationship with her mother tell you about her? How realistic is this portrayal of depression and its effects on the family? Does Lisa actually know what she's talking about for a change, or is it just her usual make-it-up and see-if-it-sticks?

  7. What do we think about Hattie? About Bennie's relationship to her?

  8. Why does Bennie keep the kitten? Isn't Jamie 17 a stupid name for a cat? What's up with the cat? How many people don't know that you should not feed Snickers to kittens? Would you be amazed to learn that poor Lisa gets a zillion emails a year about howshe is espousing the feeding of Snickers to kittens? What should she do about this?

  9. What is the kitten's name in the end?

About the author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and former trial lawyer. She has won the Edgar 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 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 30, 2012

    highly recoommended...

    Lisa Scottolini writes so down to earth, I want to keep reading throught the night, her characters are both comical and professional making everything come to life well worht reading, Vince

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2010

    Engaging Characters

    Ms. Scottoline does a thorough job of balancing her character's vulnerabilities with their tenacity. This was the first novel of her's that I have read and I am currently starting another.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    highly recommend

    I really enjoyed this book and I plan to read more of this genre.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Well done

    I enjoyed this novel on many levels. It was the first legal mystery I had read in a long time and it did not disappoint. Great plot line as well.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 7, 2000

    ...I couldn't put it down.

    My aunt gave me this book to help me pass the time on the four hour road trip. All I did in that car was read. I mean it gripped me so fast that I couldn't put it down. I even recommend it to some friends.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 21, 1999

    Best Mystery Novel Yet

    This is probably the best book I've ever read, and I don't even like to read! I read it in one sitting for the most part. I just couldn't put it down. It kept me on the edge of my seat!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Boring

    The only description for this book would be boring. The only good part was discovering who the killer was. It read more like a boring fairy tale.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 22, 2014

    Not her best

    I have read many books by Lisa Scottoline and enjoyed every one; however, this book disappointed me - the story line, the characters, etc. I will read more by her, hoping the ones I choose have a storyline up to her standards. She is a talented writer, and I wish I could recommend this particular book.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    Good Scottoline

    Early Scottoline. Good Benny background.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    Just as Cindy answered I am inspired that a mother able to profi

    Just as Cindy answered I am inspired that a mother able to profit $8518 in 1 month on the computer. Visit Your…...W­­o­­r­­k­­s­­7­­7­­.­­c­­o­­¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    highly recommended

    read first 4 of series... enjoyed them all... altho a series, they were not all the same which helps in keeping the interest on this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Great read

    Loved it

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    Posted June 24, 2009

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    Posted May 17, 2011

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    Posted May 15, 2013

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    Posted April 30, 2011

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    Posted September 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted May 15, 2011

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