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Sticky Fingers [NOOK Book]

Overview


Roxy Abruzzo stays one step ahead of trouble----especially now that her cash flow is less than stellar, and she's "doing favors" for her slippery uncle Carmine, one of the last old-time Mob bosses in Pittsburgh.

With her sidekick, Nooch, and her thieving pitbull, Rooney, Roxy hustles the mean streets collecting debts for Uncle Carmine and keeping his customers in line. With her daughter's college tuition to pay, Roxy can almost ...

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Sticky Fingers

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Overview


Roxy Abruzzo stays one step ahead of trouble----especially now that her cash flow is less than stellar, and she's "doing favors" for her slippery uncle Carmine, one of the last old-time Mob bosses in Pittsburgh.

With her sidekick, Nooch, and her thieving pitbull, Rooney, Roxy hustles the mean streets collecting debts for Uncle Carmine and keeping his customers in line. With her daughter's college tuition to pay, Roxy can almost convince herself that the shady jobs are legal. But when Carmine's consigliere offers Roxy a contract to kidnap someone, that's a line she won’t cross.

Trouble is the kidnapping happens anyway, and when the victim turns up murdered, Roxy’s number one on the police hit parade. To protect herself, she investigates and soon learns the victim had a big secret---or two. Add a rock singer with a penchant for dinosaur bones and throw in a pesky paleontologist, plus an ex-nun with a mustache problem---not to mention a sexy chef with a taste for whatever Roxy dishes up---and you've got a caper full of quirky characters and laugh-out-loud mayhem.

Peppered as usual with Nancy Martin’s sharp one-liners, Sticky Fingers---the second Roxy Abruzzo mystery---is even tastier than the first.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Martin's wacky second Roxy Abruzzo mystery improves on the excellent first entry, 2010's Our Lady of Immaculate Deception (retitled for reprint Foxy Roxy). A few days after Roxy—architectural salvage expert, singer, and recovering sex addict—turns down an offer on behalf of her imprisoned mobster uncle, Carmine Abruzzo, to kidnap snooty museum curator Clarice Crabtree, a former high school classmate of hers, Det. Bug Duffy of the Pittsburgh police takes her to a crime scene at an old industrial site. Bug shows her a body recovered from the Ohio River that Roxy identifies as Clarice. Curious to find out who popped Clarice, Roxy rolls into action accompanied by her lovable sidekick, Nooch Santonucci, a big lug with a heart of gold, and her pooch, Rooney. Roxy's evolving relationships with Sage, her rapidly maturing teenage daughter, and with Sage's chef dad, Patrick Flynn, give this series an extra heart-tugging zing. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Sticky Fingers

“Guaranteed to delight tough girls and tough-girl fans everywhere.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Martin’s wacky second Roxy Abruzzo mystery improves on the excellent first entry.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Library Journal
Her demo and salvage business suffering in the economic downturn, Roxy Abruzzo (Foxy Roxy) has done a few other jobs, like collecting overdue gambling losses for her Uncle Carmine, an imprisoned mob boss. When he asks her to kidnap a woman, Roxy refuses but finds herself the number one suspect when the woman is murdered. Martin, author of the wacky "Blackbird Sisters" series, has come up with another eccentric crew running wild, this time in Pittsburgh. Roxy, who is trying to set a good example for her teenage daughter, has given up her promiscuous ways but can't seem to shed her tendency to get into trouble. VERDICT Martin is a good choice for those who have read all of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and want to try something new. [Library marketing; regional author tour.]
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews
An architectural salvager discovers that the real trash can be found among Pittsburgh's intellectual elite.

When times are tough in the salvage business, Roxy Abruzzo (Our Lady of Immaculate Deception,2010, etc.) isn't above taking on odd jobs for her mobbed-up uncle Carmine. But there are some jobs that are just too odd for Roxy, and kidnapping her old schoolmate Clarice Crabtree is one of them. Not that Clarice wasn't a pain even in high school, where she rubbed Roxy's nose in her working-class roots. But now that she's a museum curator who specializes in megafauna, Clarice is an insufferable snob who brushes off Roxy's attempts to warn her about the kidnap threat. When a rug containing Clarice's corpse turns up in an abandoned field, Roxy sheds no tears. But her old friend Bug Duffy, now a police detective, thinks Roxy knows more than she's telling. Besides, Roxy has promised herself to be a better role model for her teenaged daughter Sage. So she bundles her cousin Nooch and her mutt Rooney into her truck to check out Clarice's digs, where she finds two grieving widowers: the sire to Richie, Clarice's budding fashion-designer son, and the adopted father of her China-born daughter, Olympic skating hopeful Sugar. Now Clarice has to evade Bug's sharp questions—as well as some softer advances from Sage's father Flynn, her old flame—while figuring out who had it in for a multiply-married lady.

Guaranteed to delight tough girls and tough-girl fans everywhere.

Kirkus Reviews
An architectural salvager discovers that the real trash can be found among Pittsburgh's intellectual elite.

When times are tough in the salvage business, Roxy Abruzzo (Our Lady of Immaculate Deception,2010, etc.) isn't above taking on odd jobs for her mobbed-up uncle Carmine. But there are some jobs that are just too odd for Roxy, and kidnapping her old schoolmate Clarice Crabtree is one of them. Not that Clarice wasn't a pain even in high school, where she rubbed Roxy's nose in her working-class roots. But now that she's a museum curator who specializes in megafauna, Clarice is an insufferable snob who brushes off Roxy's attempts to warn her about the kidnap threat. When a rug containing Clarice's corpse turns up in an abandoned field, Roxy sheds no tears. But her old friend Bug Duffy, now a police detective, thinks Roxy knows more than she's telling. Besides, Roxy has promised herself to be a better role model for her teenaged daughter Sage. So she bundles her cousin Nooch and her mutt Rooney into her truck to check out Clarice's digs, where she finds two grieving widowers: the sire to Richie, Clarice's budding fashion-designer son, and the adopted father of her China-born daughter, Olympic skating hopeful Sugar. Now Clarice has to evade Bug's sharp questions—as well as some softer advances from Sage's father Flynn, her old flame—while figuring out who had it in for a multiply-married lady.

Guaranteed to delight tough girls and tough-girl fans everywhere.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429966948
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/29/2011
  • Series: Roxy Abruzzo , #2
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 303,958
  • File size: 325 KB

Meet the Author

Nancy Martin

Nancy Martin, winner of the Lifetime Achievement award for mystery writing from RT Book Reviews, is the author of Foxy Roxy and the bestselling Blackbird Sisters mysteries. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia.

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Read an Excerpt


1
 
The first thing I noticed as I was sitting in a squad car was that police cruisers don’t have seatbelts in the back. Me, I’m used to traveling through life without a seatbelt. I’m a no-retraints kinda girl. But today my wrists were in handcuffs so tight I felt like a Christmas turkey, and I planned on bringing up the issue with my arresting officer.
Trouble was, Detective Duffy was already plenty ticked off at me. Behind the wheel, he snapped his cell phone shut, turned around, and said through the screen, “Roxy, behave yourself. I gotta take a detour.”
“What? You gonna show me all the romantic sights of Pittsburgh before you book me?”
“Shut up,” he said. “Or I’ll drop you in the river.”
I’d met Bug Duffy years after he earned his nickname eating crickets on the playground of St. Raphael Elementary. He’d been a year ahead of me in high school, when we’d both done time wearing our respective Catholic school uniforms. Back then, he was vice president of his class, and I was a member of an unofficial club called Future Delinquents of America. Things hadn’t changed much.
He made a U-turn in front of a convenience store and cut down through the North Side—a maze of cobblestoned streets lined with boarded-up storefronts and magnificent old houses either crumbling to bits or under rehab by hopeful do-it-yourselfers. A pair of stone-faced teenagers melted back from the curb at the sight of the cop car. On the next block a young woman in a ponytail and expensive sneakers briskly jogged behind a high-tech baby carriage. Funny thing was, I knew the teenagers, not the mom.
In a few minutes, we were bumping along a deserted stretch of road that ran parallel to the Ohio River. It wasn’t exactly scenic there, and like most old Pittsburgh industrial sites, the ground probably hadn’t passed an EPA inspection even back in the day when bribes made a difference.
A river patrol boat bobbed offshore with its crew leaning on the rail to watch. A tug cruised past, engine low, pushing six empty barges, going downriver fast. On the shoreline, a couple of crime-scene guys stood hunched against the November wind, hands in their pockets, looking down at a sodden, rolled-up carpet that had clearly just floated up on the river.
A police photographer snapped pictures of it.
Bug shut off the patrol car’s engine, got out, and came around to the rear door. He pulled me out and unlocked the cuffs. He was just about my height, and I could have kicked him in the nuts and made a break for it, but he gave me a look and said, “What do you bet this is her?”
I saw what he meant and said, “Oh, shit.”
We walked across a stubbly field that had once been a steel mill, and he said hello to the crime-scene guys. I looked at the foot sticking out of one end of the carpet—a woman’s bare foot with a pink pedicure. I felt the wind bite through the layers of my sweatshirts, but the cold wasn’t the reason I suddenly had to clench my teeth to keep them from chattering.
Bug hunkered down over the carpet and used a pocketknife to cut the twine. Somebody had tied it with Boy Scout precision—little loops and knots every twelve inches or so. Like a rolled steak braciole, I thought. Bug handed the twine to one of the techs, who put it into a plastic bag. Then Bug unrolled the rug—a lot more gently than he’d handled me.
“This her?” Bug looked up at me when the gray, flattened face came into view.
“That’s Clarice,” I said, although I hardly recognized my own voice.
Clarice Crabtree had been shot a couple of times in the head—not the way you’d expect a distinguished museum curator to die. She probably never broke a sweat doing her work—but it was work that a lot of people seemed to think was valuable. In the last second of her life, I bet she’d been surprised to feel the barrel of a gun against her skull.
As I looked at Clarice, my own mother’s death swam up in my head. I tried to shove it down into the blackness where all bad memories belong. But it was the sight of Clarice’s ear—the one that was now missing a sedate gold earring, the mate of the one that remained clipped to her other lobe—that took me fast into a shadowy kitchen with blood on the floor next to a dead or dying woman whose earring—not gold, but a cheap one–had been torn from her by a glancing fist. I had hidden in another room while my parents shouted. While he beat her. As he killed her. A day later, while packing up some clothes and books for foster care, I’d found the missing earring embedded in a loaf of moldy bread on the kitchen counter.
I doubted Clarice Crabtree’s kids ate moldy bread.
Still kneeling, Bug said, “I don’t like that look on your face, Roxy.”
Too late, I wiped away all expression and turned away, shaking and sick.
Bug said something to the techs, then came over and put one hand on my shoulder. “Don’t even think about it.”
I pushed his hand away. “About what?”
“Doing something about this on your own.”
I said, “She has two kids.”
He sighed. “Oh, hell. Look, I know how you get about mothers and kids, but this is my case now, Rox. I don’t want to be tripping over you for weeks while I figure out who killed this lady.”
“I won’t get in your way.”
“Better not,” he said.


 
Copyright © 2011 by Nancy Martin
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Totally Enjoyed this book!!

    I enjoyed this so much, I read it in one night. The second book in the Roxie Abruzzo Mysteries ( after Our Lady of Immaculate Deception, re-released as Foxy Roxy) was a page turner from beginning to end. Roxie has turned over a new leaf in her personal life but her professional life is a little flat. Her Uncle Carmine, a low level Pittsburgh mob boss, has approached her through his geeky lawyer, Marvin, to kidnap an old classmate of Roxie's. She is desperate for money, but not that much, and says no. She even goes to see her former nemesis, Clarice Crabtree, to warn her. Clarice is still a mean girl however, and Roxie leaves without delivering the warning. While she is at Clarice's house, Clarice disappears and Roxie is smack in the middle of another mess. She ends up identifying the body when Clarice is fished out of the river, and decides she needs to investigate to keep herself out of jail. Roxie is nothing if not tenacious and she keeps one step ahead of the police while figuring out whodunit. The book has stolen cars, bratty teenagers, a vengeful stalker with a spray paint can, and a large mastadon bone to peak your interest.



    This book reminded me of the early Stephanie Plum books. Set in a similar setting ( Pittsburgh vs Trenton), both featuring a single woman working in a man's profession ( salvage yard vs bail bond tracer), and having interesting side kicks ( Nooch vs Lula), the books are different enough that you can still enjoy them. Roxie is tough and has a teenage daughter Sage, who lives with Roxie's aunt. Roxie has a love-hate relationship with Sage's father and lots of unresolved feelings about him which get more complicated as the book goes on. Roxie does sometimes behave in an unlikeable way but the character remains sympathetic.


    I recommend reading the first book before this one because it sets up the history of Roxie's life and some of the other characters as well. You don't have to, but I think it will make this book more enjoyable. I also suggest you read Ms. Martin's other series- the Blackbird Sisters mysteries which also take place in PA and feature Michael Abruzzo, Roxie's cousin, as a recurring character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    E

    I enjoyed the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    I loved this charmer of a book. It earned rave reviews from prof

    I loved this charmer of a book. It earned rave reviews from professionals in the industry and for good reason. The writing is smooth and Roxie is a fresh, appealing character who is caught up in unusual circumstances. Highly recommended.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Quick and fun with a large touch of deja vu

    Roxy Abruzzo runs an architectural salvage business by day, but picks up jobs from her incarcerated mob boss uncle to make ends meet. She doesn't mind collecting gambling debts but she draws the line at kidnapping one of her old schoolmates, Clarice Crabtree.

    When Clarice turns up murdered, Roxy is on the trail of the killer, in part to prove that she isn't the murderer. Roxy soon discovers that Crabtree had two separate families and was the major breadwinner for both, something that wouldn't have been possible to afford even with her lofty museum job. Roxy's search leads her to a dinosaur bone collecting rock star and a small army of other zany characters.

    Halfway through STICKY FINGERS, I had to go to Google to see if Nancy Martin is a pseudonym for Janet Evanovich. (She's not.) The parallels between Roxy and Evanovich's Stephanie Plum are uncanny.

    Instead of Lulu, Roxy's sidekick is Nooch, a big lovable guy who's a little slow; instead of feisty Grandma Mazur, Roxy has Sister Bob, a retired nun looking to spend her golden years discovering sex. Just like Stephanie, Roxy has commitment problems even though Martin takes it a little further and has given her character the persona of a sex addict. Like Stephanie plum who can't stand next to Morelli or Ranger without her pulse increasing, Roxy's sexual attraction to her high school boyfriend (and the father of her daughter Sage) pulsates off the page. The similarities don't end with the characters; even the writing style and one-liners will have you thinking you're reading Evanovich.

    STICKY FINGERS is a quick fun read, but I can't help but wonder if Janet Evanovich is flattered or alarmed that Nancy Martin has so closely followed in her footsteps. Lynn Kimmerle

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Roxy's Back and Trouble Isn't Far Behind

    Roxy Abruzzo tries to stay as far away from her Uncle Carmine and his boys as possible...after all, she's got a daughter to raise and a business to run, and the mob is no place for either. Trouble is, the salvage business isn't great these days so she's done a job or two for her Uncle. Nothing big...until she gets word he wants her to kidnap someone; Clarice Crabtree. Roxy turns the job down flat and decides to warn the intended victim, even though she happens to be an old nemesis from high school. True to form, Roxy ends up arguing with Clarice, who stomps out the door and promptly disappears. Suddenly, Roxy's problems multiply faster than rabbits in the springtime.
    Nancy Martin's characters are well fleshed out...quirky, fun, and sometimes dangerous. She has a knack for making the reader feel like part of the neighborhood. We want to ride shotgun with Roxy and her sidekicks Nooch & Rooney, feast on Aunt Loretta's cookies, and sing backup for The Doonce, all while finding out just who killed Clarice. Great read...either on paper on the nook. And check out the first in the series, Foxy Roxy if you haven't already. Rooney will be waiting.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    fans will relish the second Abruzzo amateur sleuth mystery

    Through his intermediary, naive attorney Marvin Weiss, incarcerated gangster Uncle Carmine asks his niece Roxy Abruzzo to kidnap her former high school classmate museum curator Clarice Crabtree. Roxy declines to abduct the snotty snob. Though she does odd jobs for her behind bars mob boss relative to pay her bills, the architectural salvage consultant prefers to stay out of jail as a snatch is a felon; besides Roxy is raising her daughter Sage who is entering college soon.

    A few days after her declination, Pittsburgh Police Detective Bug Duffy escorts Roxy to a homicide scene. A corpse has been fished out of the Ohio. She identifies the victim as Clarice. Unable to resist, Roxy investigates as she assumes her uncle hired someone else to take care of Crabtree. Having her back is kindhearted man-mountain Nooch Santonucci and Rooney the dog.

    Containing her sex addiction while trying to be a model for Sage and struggling with how to deal with the father of her daughter chef Patrick Flynn as well as her mob-infested family, Foxy Roxy makes for a zany Pittsburgh crime thriller. The unusual story line is fast-paced from the moment Weiss offers Roxy employment and though over the top of The Point, fans will relish the second Abruzzo amateur sleuth (see Our Lady of Immaculate Deception) as nothing seems to go right for the foxy heroine.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 21, 2011

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