The Vendetta Defense (Rosato & Associates Series #6)

( 31 )

Overview

Judy Carrier takes the case of her career to defend Anthony Lucia, fondly known as "Pigeon Tony," who freely admits to killing his lifelong enemy in order to settle a personal vendetta. Her client's guilt, however, is only the beginning of Judy's problems. The victim's family wants revenge and is determined to finish off Pigeon Tony and Judy before the case goes to trial. Then there's Pigeon Tony's hunky grandson, who makes Judy think about everything but the law. In a case steeped in blood and memory, it will ...

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The Vendetta Defense (Rosato & Associates Series #6)

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Overview

Judy Carrier takes the case of her career to defend Anthony Lucia, fondly known as "Pigeon Tony," who freely admits to killing his lifelong enemy in order to settle a personal vendetta. Her client's guilt, however, is only the beginning of Judy's problems. The victim's family wants revenge and is determined to finish off Pigeon Tony and Judy before the case goes to trial. Then there's Pigeon Tony's hunky grandson, who makes Judy think about everything but the law. In a case steeped in blood and memory, it will take brains and a lot of luck to save Pigeon Tony. But if anyone will see justice done, it's this gutsy girl who'll risk everything to win -- including her life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
An oddly affecting combination love story, legal thriller, and ethnic screwball comedy, Lisa Scottoline's The Vendetta Defense offers a solidly entertaining account of murder and revenge, and examines the workings of the criminal justice system from a startlingly different perspective. As its plot unfolds, the novel raises provocative ethical questions and never settles for glib or easy answers. At the same time, it successfully dramatizes the collision of two radically different cultures and brings a colorful, autonomous community -- the Italian-American neighborhoods of South Philadelphia -- vibrantly to life.

The Vendetta Defense features gutsy, likable Philadelphia lawyer Judy Carrier, last seen in a supporting role in Moment of Truth. Judy is a legal scholar employed by Rosato and Associates, an all-female law firm run by long-term Scottoline heroine Benadetta "Bennie" Rosato (Legal Tender, Mistaken Identity). As the novel opens, Judy is at work on a dry, academic brief when she learns that Tony Lucia -- family friend of another Scottoline heroine, Mary DiNunzio -- has just been arrested for murder. Tony -- known throughout his South Philadelphia neighborhood as Pigeon Tony -- is a 79-year-old Italian immigrant who has spent most of his life breeding prize-winning racing pigeons. When he inexplicably murders a fellow immigrant -- 83-year-old Angelo Coluzzi -- Judy comes to his defense.

Tony's case is complicated by a single, irrefutable fact: He is technically guilty. Tony, as he immediately admits, killed Coluzzi in a fit of rage, thus concluding a vendetta begun more than 50 years before. In Tony's version of events, a jealous Angelo Coluzzi murdered Sylvana Lucia, Tony's wife, in the early days of World War II, when Angelo served as the local Fascist leader of their small Italian town. The blood feud continued across the generations, culminating in the murder of Tony's son and daughter-in-law and in Tony's act of belated retaliation. Given the peculiar circumstances of the case, Judy finds herself facing an uphill legal battle. Saddled with a client who insists on acknowledging his role in Coluzzi's death, she must somehow convince a skeptical jury that Tony's history of loss and suffering justifies his actions.

Scottoline handles this unique scenario with intelligence, sympathy, and characteristic wit. Her narrative ranges gracefully back and forth from Fascist Italy to contemporary America, gradually illuminating the personal and historical forces that turned a decent, good-hearted man into a killer. The result is a novel that entertains and enlightens in equal measure. (Bill Sheehan)

Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. His book-length critical study of the fiction of Peter Straub, At the Foot of the Story Tree, has been published by Subterranean Press (www.subterraneanpress.com).

Entertainment Weekly
Scottoline writes with ... genuine snap, producing smartly structured mystery thrillers.
Philadelphia Inquirer
The Vendeatta Defense is a thriller that's fun to hear.
Buffalo News
[a] wonderful tarantella of a tale.
Glamour
You'll lap up Scottoline's latest.
Entertainment Weekly
Scottoline writes with ... genuine snap, producing smartly structured mystery thrillers.
Baltimore Sun
Charming'swift and suspenseful enough to hold you in an airline center seat for almost endless hours... The trial preparation and courtroom stuff is what gives the book its greatest strength. Scottoline knows the biz.
Palm Beach Post
[Scottoline's] books translate well to audio because her writing is rich in dialogue, and Scottoline effortlessly writes the way people talk.
Sun-Sentinel [South Florida]
Scottoline makes us remember why legal thrillers became so popular — and so entertaining.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Is it murder or simply eye-for-an-eye justice if you kill someone who has killed members of your family? That moral conundrum lies at the heart of Scottoline's (Moment of Truth; Mistaken Identity) latest legal yarn, which gives top billing to yet another lawyer from the all-female Philadelphia firm of Rosato & Associates. The star here is the somewhat manic Judy Carrier, who has played supporting roles in the past. The story, however, revolves around Anthony "Pigeon Tony" Lucia, a lovable septuagenarian who killed his longtime rival, Angelo Coluzzi, who murdered Lucia's wife in their native Italy 60 years ago. Coluzzi, the wealthy, mob-connected owner of a big construction firm, always seems to get the upper hand until Pigeon Tony breaks his neck during a showdown at the pigeon-racing club where they're both members. Pigeon Tony freely admits he killed Coluzzi, but maintains he was justified because of the long-standing Italian tradition of vendetta; Carrier knows it will be a big stretch to make that argument fly before a 21st-century American jury. Aided, however, by Tony's many friends in South Philly's Italian neighborhoods, Carrier mounts a sparkling defense while dodging innumerable attempts on her life from Coluzzi's gang and trying to keep in check her amorous feelings for Pigeon Tony's ruggedly handsome grandson, Frank. Scottoline shows once again her knack for building a highly entertaining plot around an intriguingly simple legal issue and a cast of likable eccentrics. Her touch is light, and her satisfying mix of mischief, sex appeal, action and legal analysis justifies her wide following. (Feb. 27) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Like previous Scottoline books, this novel revolves around the fictional all-women Philadelphia law firm of Rosato and Associates, showcasing a prior supporting character, lawyer Judy Carrier. When asked by her best friend's father to defend an 83-year-old Italian immigrant on a murder charge, Judy agrees to take the case. The result is a very entertaining and thought-provoking story with a fast-paced and interesting plot and an exploration of law vs. justice. The Vendetta Defense is also about pigeon racing, the criminal justice system, Fascist Italy, and South Philly. Both major and minor characters, thanks to Barbara Rosenblat's performance, are engaging and real; she does a very effective job with all of the accents. Highly recommended. Christine Valentine, Davenport Univ. Lib., Kalamazoo, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Philadelphia contains a special law firm, Rosato and Associates, that consists exclusively of women, who have each had at least one case where someone shot them or otherwise injured them. Mary DiNunzio is on sabbatical recovering from wounds received while defending a client. Her friend and co-worker Judy Carrier, misses Mary, but the latter feels safe working civil suits and preparing briefs.That changes when Judy agrees to defend "Pigeon Tony" Lucia against a murder charge. The DA accuses Pigeon Tony of killing Angelo Coluzzi, a person he has known for six decades. Tony believes that Angelo killed his wife, son. and daughter-in-law. Consequently, he snapped the neck of Angelo. The Coluzzi family is well connected in South Philly and goes to extraordinary lengths to silence Tony and his lawyer, but the intrepid Judy refuses to stop representing her client. She wants justice, not the law served.The law and justice do not always match as the theme of The Vendetta Defense indicates. This leads to important distinctions and even more important issues that hold the audience in thrall as they anxiously wait to see Lisa Scottoline's position on justice vs. the law. Judy's legal strategy is brilliant and remains on the right side of the law although she doubts justice will be served for her client. Tony has stolen a piece of Judy's heart with his grief and likewise does this to the reader also even with the knowledge that he killed a man. Lisa Scottoline has written a clever, intelligent legal procedural that sub-genre fans will relish as the story line focuses on the essence of the justice system.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061031427
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: Rosato & Associates Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 138,820
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.05 (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

The morning Tony Lucia killed Angelo Coluzzi, he was late to feed his pigeons. As long as Tony had kept pigeons, which was for almost all of his seventy-nine years, he had never been late to feed them, and they began complaining the moment he opened the screen door. Deserting their perches, cawing and cooing, they flew agitated around the cages, their wings pounding against the chicken wire, setting into motion the air in the tiny city loft. It didn't help that the morning had dawned clear and that March blew hard outside. The birds itched to fly.

Tony waved his wrinkled hand to settle them, but his heart wasn't in it. They had a right to their bad manners, and he was a tolerant man. It was okay with him if the birds did only one thing, which was to fly home. They were homers, thirty-seven of them, and it wasn't an easy job they had, to travel to a place they'd never been, a distance in some races of three hundred or four hundred miles, then to navigate their return through skies they'd never flown, over city and country they'd never seen and couldn't possibly know, to flap their way home to a tiny speck in the middle of South Philadelphia, all without even stopping to congratulate themselves for this incredible feat, one that man couldn't even explain, much less accomplish.

There were so many mistakes a bird could make. Circling too long, as if it were a joyride or a training toss. Getting distracted on the way, buffeted by sudden bad weather, or worse, simply getting tired and disoriented -- thousands of things could result in the loss of a precious bird. Even once the first bird had made it home, the race wasn't won. Many races hadbeen lost by the bird who wouldn't trap fast enough; the one who was first to reach his loft but who stopped on the roof, dawdling on his way to the trap, so that his leg band couldn't be slipped off and clocked in before another man's bird.

But Tony's birds trapped fast. He bred them for speed, intelligence, and bravery, through six and even seven generations, and over time the birds had become his life. It wasn't a life for the impatient. It took years, even decades, for Tony to see the results of his breeding choices, and it wasn't until recently that his South Philly loft had attained the best record in his pigeon-racing club.

Suddenly the screen door banged open, blown by a gust of wind, startling Tony and frightening the birds in the first large cage. They took panicky wing, seventeen of them, all white as Communion wafers, transforming their cage into a snowy blizzard of whirring and beating, squawking and calling. Pinfeathers flurried and snagged on the chicken wire. Tony hurried to the loft door, silently reprimanding himself for being so careless. Normally he would have latched the screen behind him -- the old door had bowed in the middle, warped with the rain, and wouldn't stay shut without the latch -- but this morning, Tony's mind had been on Angelo Coluzzi.

The white pigeons finally took their perches, which were small plywood boxes lining the walls, but in their panic they had displaced each other, violating customary territories and upsetting altogether the pecking order, which led to a final round of fussing. "Mi dispiace," Tony whispered to the white birds. I'm sorry, in Italian. Though Tony understood English, he preferred Italian. As did his birds, to his mind.

He gazed at the white pigeons, really doves, which he found so beautiful. Large and healthy, the hue of their feathers so pure Tony marveled that only God could make this color. Their pearliness contrasted with the inky roundness of their eye, which looked black but in fact was the deepest of reds, blood-rich. Tony even liked their funny bird-feet, with the flaky red scales and the toe in back with a talon as black as their eyes pretended to be. And he kidded himself into thinking that the doves behaved better than the other birds. More civilized, they seemed aware of how special they were.

The secret reason for the doves' special status was that they were beloved of his son, who had finally stopped Tony from releasing them at weddings for a hundred fifty dollars a pop. Tony had thought it made a good side business; why not make some money to pay for the seed and medicines, plus keep the birds in shape during the off-season? And it made Tony happy to see the brides, whose hearts lifted at the flock of doves taking off outside the church, since you couldn't throw rice anymore. It reminded his heart of his own wedding day, less grand than theirs, though such things didn't matter when it came to love. But his son had hated the whole idea. They're not trained monkeys, Frank had said. They're athletes.

So Tony had relented. "Mi dispiace," he whispered again, this time to his son. But Tony couldn't think about Frank now. It would hurt too much, and he had birds to feed. He shuffled down the skinny aisle, and his old sneakers, their soles worn flat, made a swishing sound on the whitewash of the plywood floor. The floor had held up okay, unlike the screen door; Tony had built the loft himself when he first came to America from Abruzzo, sixty years ago. The loft measured thirty feet long, with the single door in the middle opening onto a skinny aisle that ran the short length of the building. It occupied all of Tony's backyard, as if the loft and yard were nesting boxes. Off the aisle of the loft were three large chicken wire cages lined with box perches. The aisle ended in a crammed feed room, the seed kept safe from rats in a trash can, and there was a bookshelf holding antibiotics, lice sprays, vitamins, and other supplies, all labels out, in clean white shelves.

The Vendetta Defense. 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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Interviews & Essays

Exclusive Author Essay
My Passion by Lisa Scottoline

When Barnes & Noble asked me to write about my passion, I had to think hard. I have so many I couldn't choose. Tomato sauce with sweet basil came instantly to mind, as did good novels, which are an addiction. Red pickup trucks are definitely right up there, and golden retrievers, too. (Golden retrievers in red pickups send me into orbit.) Plus, I admit to being a huge Elvis fan. And Frank Sinatra, of course. You can't be Italian American without loving Francis Albert. They throw you right out.

But when I really think about the one thing that really interests me, and that isn't dead or fattening, the answer is clear:

People.

People are my passion. I love them. And not just the people in my family but other people. Mostly, all people. We're talking about strangers here. The people they warn you not to speak to, I seek out. Ironically, as a fiction writer, I have the most isolated job in the universe -- I sit alone in a room every day for a year to write a novel -- but that has only made me appreciate people more. When I get out of my little room, even to run the most mundane errands, I have the time of my life.

I strike up conversations with high school girls in the ladies' room at the mall, about the merits of liquid versus pencil eyeliner (pencil is totally last year). I chat with old men in the produce aisle about how lousy the strawberries were this summer (the ones from Jersey were still good, so who needs Florida?). I yap with the teenage boy at the gas station about how long it took his cartilage pierce to heal (three weeks, and witch hazel sucks). The lady at the post office can't housebreak her Doberman. I don't tell her she should have gotten a golden. She knows that now.

As you can see, mostly I just listen to people. Everybody has a story; the story of their life. Older people offer that up easily, knowing how valuable it is. They will tell you how they sprinkled baby powder on the dance floors to jitterbug faster, and how they listened to Fiorello La Guardia read them the Sunday comics on the radio. You will wonder how they lived through world wars, and they will tell you that, too.

Younger people need to be prodded, because they don't realize how interesting they are, or how much fun. I ask a few questions and they give away the store, even if it is mostly about Ricky Martin. Every generation needs its Elvis.

Sometimes people, being curious by nature, ask me what I do for a living, and I tell them that I write popular fiction. Thrillers. The first thing they ask is: Where do you get your ideas? And I always answer:

From people.

Because it's the truth.

I swear to Francis Albert.

Lisa Scottoline, a former trial attorney, is the author of seven previous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Moment of Truth and Mistaken Identity. She lives near Philadelphia.

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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. What is up with the pigeons? What kind of new kick is Lisa on? Why does she tells us so damn much about pigeons? Will she ever shut about pigeons? Does this matter to plot or character at all? Hint: Lisa is far smarter than she looks. Or acts.

  2. Should this book start on Chapter Two? Would we like it better? No hints. I really want to know what you think. Email me and sound off.

  3. Was Pigeon Tony right to do what he did? Would you have? Do you understand? Do you love/ hate the flashbacks?

  4. Why is Judy the star of this book? Is she good/bad/better/worse than other Scottoline heroines? Do you like her? Does it matter if you do?

  5. What about the Tonys? Are they in there for purpose or just wacky? What could possibly be the purpose? Should Judy trespass in the junkyard? Can you spell sfogatelle?

  6. How hunky is Frank? Does someone named Frank automatically come out hunky or is just me? Is it relevant that Frank is my father's name? Or is this just plain sick?

  7. Are the Coluzzi's, the Tonys, Frank and Pigeon Tony Italian stereotypes? Does it matter? Why? Doesthe Italian-ness of these characters matter, or is Lisa just trying to make a point about identity to further characterize her already sensational characterizations?

  8. Like the courtroom scenes or are you bored? Agree with the verdict or not? How would you have voted if you were on the jury?

  9. How many Scottoline characters are owned by golden retrievers?

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 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Excellent Book

    Well-written, gets you involved with the characters, great plot and great humor. I love Pigeon Tony and all the characters. I intend to read more Lisa Scottoline books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Scottoline is a great read

    This author never dissapoints. Written well with humor, innovative characters, imaginative plots and gripping endings... Lisa Scottoline's books are always a treat!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 23, 2003

    Favorite!

    I have read all of Lisa's books and this one definately is my all time fav! Judy and Tony (main characters) mixed suspence w/ humor to make a great plot. Loved this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 25, 2014

    I have to say this was the BEST book I've "read" (I do

    I have to say this was the BEST book I've "read" (I do audiobooks while working out)!  This book is very long, but I couldn't stop listening to it.  Couldn't wait to work out again to get back into it each time.  And I'm a tough book critic.  :)

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    A typical Lisa Scottoline novel

    You will like this if you are hooked on Lisa Scottoline legal, Philadelphia, Italian mysteries. I must admit I am hooked, although I'm not sure why since I have never lived in Philadelphia and I am not Italian. This novel is about the defence of Tony "Pigeon". one of Mary's father's friends. He has actually killed someone and the suspense is about how Mary and her colleagues will get him off.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Recommend

    Good reading, funny, and interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Vm gltuuvnpti j

    Roghn,bntu b.j
    nctvntu

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    So damn funny! I know people like these characters. If you nee

    So damn funny! I know people like these characters. If you need to take your mind off your troubles and have a good laugh then read this book. One of my favorites in this genre!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2009

    Great Read~~I loved it~a must read.

    I have read 12 of Lisa's books and have not been disapointed yet. This one has to be one of her best, especially if you like the way the Italians speak the English language. Her books all have a light humor as well as a serious side which makes her a very enjoyable author to read. The court drama was really good to, I'm glad I wasn't wearing mascre at the end of this one.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Story-telling at it's best!

    "Vendetta Defense" is yet another sharp, witty story in which Scottoline's crazy characters win your heart and have you rooting for them to the very end. As Judy Carrier defends a delightful, though somewhat eccentric, elderly Italian man, she winds her way through the past and the present, with the usual pitfalls along the way. Told with engaging humor, this one is a heart-warmer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Enjoyable

    I have read many books by Lisa Scottoline and have yet to be disappointed. I enjoy this series with the female lawyers from Rosato and Associates. This is a book which makes you think about your personal definition of justice. It also provides a love story which though improper adds to the intesity of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2003

    Great Read

    My first Lisa Scottoline novel and it won't be my last. The characters really come to life. This book is entertaining from cover to cover!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2002

    :o)

    This book, although well written, didn't really appeal to me b/c of the lack of plot. Some things seemed very clear and obvious to me. The plot needed to be seasoned and thickened w/ more underlying themes and intriguing understandings of law. However, I love Lisa Scottoline as an author, I was a bit let down on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2001

    Si . . . Si . . .

    This review is of the unabridged audiocassette version of The Vendetta Defense as performed by Ms. Barbara Rosenblat. Warm, rich, rewarding, and engaging are all adjectives that jump to mind about this masterly story of the clash of cultures, egos, and generations. Ms. Scottoline has a rich imagination, love of her characters, and warm feelings for her readers that make this story come alive with passion, tension, and revealing emotions. The character of Anthony 'Pigeon Tony' Lucia is one of the most interesting and appealing that I have come across in many years. He may be the most interesting defendent ever in a fictional case. Mr. Lucia is essentially a simple man of peace, with a great respect for nature, beauty, and honesty. Yet his natural goodness has brought him into conflict with the literal forces of darkness in the form of an ex-fascist black shirt, Angelo Coluzzi. The two men's lives have moved in parallel orbits for over 60 years, and this story recounts how all that occurred and what the implications are for all of us. Pigeon Tony has always sought to turn the other cheek, and has paid a large price for his acceptance of his tormentor's attentions. Did he do the right thing? The Vendetta Defense sets up many interesting conflicts to build on the basic one of good versus evil. These contrasts include the law versus taking action as ways to solve problems, the perspectives of different generations, the views of the native-born Americans versus immigrants, Italian-Americans versus those of other national backgrounds, and seeking pleasure versus seeking goodness. The plot is even more complicated than that, including flashbacks over Pigeon Tony's life, a complex set of legal maneuvers, physical and mental battles, and a developing relationship for Ms. Judy Carrier, Pigeon Tony's attorney, and Pigeon Tony's grandson, Frank. For those who like top-notch legal conflicts in their fiction, you will like the many twists and turns of this case. It also has a comedic flair to offset the many moments of darkest despair. You will be reminded of the gravedigger's scene in Hamlet at several points in the book. Ms. Rosenblat's performance is superb. She easily makes the transition between male and female voices, people of vastly different ages, alternative accents, and a wide range of emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her read this outstanding book. I strongly urge you to listen to this version of the book. You will undoubtedly enjoy the book even more than if you simply read it. After you finish The Vendetta Defense, ask yourself what you would have done at each step in the life of Pigeon Tony. What did you learn about yourself in the process? Let your actions show who you are! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Couldn't put it down

    I've read most of Lisa's books and each one is a page turner. She keeps her readers interested to the last page and makes her characters real. There are a few authors that I automatically buy when a new book is published and she is one of them. Can't wait till her next one comes out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    Carrier-Pigeon

    Judy Carrier, lawyer, is set to defend Pigeon Tony a man who has not only been accused of committing a murder but actually admits he did it. For a lawyer an admission of guilt makes for a tough defense; for a story it makes a great plot. I enjoy legal thrillers, as long as the bulk of the story is told outside of the courtroom. To me there is nothing more boring than courtroom action, or inaction as it were, and courtroom dialog. I was not disappointed when I read The Vendetta Defense. The courtroom scenes turned out to be very well written and entertaining. Lisa Scottoline is great at characterization. Pigeon Tony, this guy is a character, reminded me so much of my father that part way through the story I had totally empathized with him. The story is great, the writing is exceptional, the characters are wonderful, the dialog is crisp, and should Judy Carrier lose her case at least Lisa Scottoline comes away a big winner with her masterpiece The Vendetta Defense. (Pigeon fanciers take note: was it intentional or ironic that Judy ¿Carrier¿ ended up defending ¿Pigeon¿ Tony?)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2001

    Lisa Scottoline at her best - again!

    Is a 'vendetta defense' really plausible? When someone kills another, is it always murder? Lisa Scottoline tackles these moral and legal dilemmas in THE VENDETTA DEFENSE; her eighth published novel and her newest. In this reviewer's opinion, it's her best work to date. The very first line of this book states that Tony Lucia killed Angelo Colluzi that morning. 'Pigeon Tony' is an elderly man who gets his name from the pigeons he loves and races, as he has done all his life. He is arrested for the murder of Colluzi, who has had a vendetta going against Pigeon Tony and his family since the days when they both lived in Fascist Italy. To those who have read Ms. Scottoline's previous novels the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato and Associates will be familiar. In this book Judy Carrier takes the lead role of Pigeon Tony's defense attorney against the wishes of the crusty Bennie Rosato, who is her boss. And to further complicate issues, Judy falls in love with Pigeon Tony's grandson, Frank. Lisa Scottoline is a master at characterization. She writes about South Philadelphia and its people as if she's strolled through the streets, examining the cracks on the sidewalks, noting the walls that have peeling paint, remembering which parking meters are not functioning. Her attention to detail comes from one who has experienced the area and its people, not just imagined them. She makes one visualize her characters as real, multi-dimensional people, and not just flat caricatures. As a mystery writer, Ms. Scottoline has successfully drawn on her experiences as an attorney. She further deals with touchy legal ethical issues in this book, something she has lectured on at law schools before. As in her previous novels this book is often movingly sensitive. At times it is subtly humorous, and at other times you'll want to laugh out loud. I didn't feel that the concept of a 'vendetta defense' would make a believable story when I first read about it. Ms. Scottoline seems to bring her three-dimensional characters to life, and make the concept conceivable. If you have come to enjoy Lisa Scottoline's writing style, her characterizations and her subtle sense of humor, then this is a book you will find to be amongst her best, right up there with MOMENT OF TRUTH, MISTAKEN IDENTITY and ROUGH JUSTICE, to name a few. And if you haven't read any of her previous works, you may want to pick up a few of them in addition to this one. In any case, you'll understand why People magazine complimented her by calling her 'the female John Grisham' after reading just one of her books. This is a good one to start with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2001

    ANOTHER BLOCKBUSTER LEGAL THRILLER

    Judy Carrier is a lawyer about to take on a case that can make her career. When an elderly pigeon racer, Anthony Lucia (known to his friends as pigeon Tony) is arrested for the murder of his lifelong enemy Angelo Coluzzi, bloodshed will erupt to destroy Tony's life. Judy takes on this case, knowing full-well of her client's guilt, but that is just the tip of the iceberg, for Judy must go head to head with her boss Bennie Rosato (of previous novels), as well as deal with the Colluzi family, so hell bent on revenge, they will do anything to stop this from going to trial. As things heat up, Judy knows that she must risk EVERYTHING (including her life) if she is to save 'pigeon Tony'. 'The Vendetta Defense' is another masterful legal thriller, from Lisa Scottoline, an author that I think is about the BEST out there today writing legal thrillers. Scottoline's new book is, as always, a suspenseful, action-packed, plot twisting page-turner that can't be put down. I have said it before, and I will say it again, Scottoline has been compared to Grisham, BUT she is better, MUCH better! Nick Gonnella

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2001

    A WINNER AGAIN

    A best with the writing of the legal thrillers. Scottoline's book is a suspenseful and action-packed. A plot twisting page-turner that can't be put down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    A TAUT, NUANCED READING OF AN ACE LEGAL THRILLER

    Broadway actress Barbara Rosenblat offers a taut, nuanced reading of Lisa Scottoline's latest compelling legal thriller, 'The Vendetta Defense.' Mystery fans have come to respect Ms. Scottoline not only for her suspense driven narratives but for the integrity of her work as she largely bases stories on her experience as a Philadelphia trial lawyer. Legal ethics are often the core of her drama, and she has lectured on this subject at law schools throughout the country. Now, we meet 'Pigeon Tony'Lucia, an elderly Italian pigeon racer who admits killing his number one enemy, Angelo Coluzzi, to avenge a fifty year old blood feud. His attorney, Judy Carrier, has more than a guilty client on her hands as Coluzzi's family want vengeance for their father's death and Judy long gone before the case goes to trial. Can she outrun and outsmart these lethal, amoral foes? You're simply going to have to listen to Barbara Rosenblat's accomplished reading to find out.

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