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Dead Ringer [Hardcover]

Lisa Scottoline
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Hardcover CDN $35.79  
Hardcover, May 15 2003 --  
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Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.89  
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Book Description

May 15 2003 Scottoline, Lisa

Philadelphia lawyer Bennie Rosato has her eye focused firmly on the bottom line, especially since she has three dedicated young associates and a very pregnant secretary on her payroll, and she takes a professional risk, charging into a class action lawsuit that could make -- or break -- her career. Never mind that she's never handled anything like this before. Having won nearly every civil and criminal case she's ever tried, the brilliant and unconventional Bennie has the guts, and she'll do what it takes to succeed. Even if that means wearing pantyhose and putting herself on a curse diet.

Then her wallet goes missing. And Bennie's life goes crazy.

It's not just that one of her associates has dyed her hair pink. Or that another's old-world Italian mother gives Bennie the evil eye. But someone posing as the outspoken, blue-eyed, blond attorney is wreaking havoc around town, apparently determined to destroy everything Bennie loves. Only one person can pull off this double deception -- Bennie's identical twin sister, Alice Connelly. But as far as Bennie knows, Alice left Philly long ago and never looked back.

When events escalate into murder, the maverick lawyer realizes that the stakes are far greater than she feared. But Bennie Rosato refuses to be anyone's victim. To find the killer, she'll plunge head-first into a life-and-death investigation that will bring her face-to-face with evil darker yet more familiar than anything before.

A riveting legal thriller set against the backdrop of a richly emotional family story, Dead Ringer is this author's most intriguing novel yet. According to 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." With this book, Scottoline delivers a tour de force that is not to be missed.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Another bestseller is on the docket for Scottoline (Courting Trouble; Rough Justice; The Vendetta Defense), with a new legal caper featuring the lady lawyers of series heroine Bennie Rosato's Philadelphia law firm, Rosato and Associates. This time out it's Bennie playing the lead role, as she fights to save her financially sinking firm; mother her lovable partners, Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier; solve the murder of a valuable client; and battle her evil twin, Alice. The eviction notice is on the door when suave Frenchman Robert St. Amien steps in with a class-action suit that promises not only to stave off Bennie's landlord but to shovel millions of dollars into the firm's bottomed-out bank account. The fact that our heroine has never handled a class-action suit doesn't faze her for more than a nanosecond. Bennie has her wallet stolen and soon becomes the target of increasingly sinister attacks, until it becomes clear that Alice (last seen in Mistaken Identity) is back in town and bent on revenge. When the stakes are upped to murder, Bennie realizes she's in big trouble. Fortunately, hunky SEAL David Holland shows up to save her dog, act as bodyguard and supply the love interest. Of course, he has a dark secret, but this just makes him more appealing and sympathetic when it is revealed. Occasional awkward writing intrudes ("Anger bubbled like lifeblood to her cheeks"), there are too many pantyhose jokes, and the solution to the mystery is a clunker, but readers caught up in the fast and furious wordplay will hardly notice. Bennie grows on you, and soon enough you're rooting for the home team and laughing at her corny jokes.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Bennie Rosato's all-female Philadelphia law firm has seen better days so it's no surprise when Bennie jumps at the chance to represent Robert St. Amien, a debonair European businessman whose U.S. interests are being stolen by a naive trade association's collusive practices. Though Bennie sees dollar signs, there is a group of similarly situated foreign businesses also seeking damages, which brings the case to class-action status, something about which neither Bennie nor her associates possess much expertise. Bennie is game to learn as she goes, but her learning curve is slowed by other distractions, mainly the reappearance of her estranged identical twin sister (from Mistaken Identity, 1999), who is impersonating Bennie and causing no end of trouble. This episode is a bit short on thrills, but it's nice to have Bennie back in the spotlight in a series whose focus jumps among the four partners. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Bennie Rosato had waited for more than a hundred jury verdicts in her career, but the waiting never got easier. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Up To Par May 31 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I usually enjoy the "Rosato and Associates" series, but this was was really lacking.
In previous books in the series, all the characters except Mary came off as strong and independent, but you always got the feeling that Bennie was in charge and kept that fine line between employer and employees. That line has been erased. Bennie is portrayed as "one of the girls," and the associates (whom she annoyingly refers to as "the kids" throughout the book) seem to have taken over the asylum, demanding to know Bennie's financial situation as if it's their right, and standing by their homegirl as one united entity. That's all well and good, but in the real world, single women would be hitting the pavement looking for interviews if they found out their job might not last another two months. The dialog between them seems as if they're in a high school home ec class, filled with silly slang that isn't befitting a group of women professionals. And some of the writing left a lot to be desired -- his change jingled unhappily in his pocket as he ran? Do coins have the ability to be happy or unhappy? Where on earth would Ms. Scottoline come up with drivel like this?
The problem with the story is that it's too scattered. Bennie's twin is back playing havoc with her life, but we never really understand why, even after she tells us. She breaks into Bennie's house and kidnaps her dog, who Bennie obviously loves dearly, and all she does the next day is put the dog in the basement as a safeguard? Then there's the "mysterious stranger" who shows up to save the dog and suddenly devotes his life to trailing Bennie to make sure she's safe. Wow. That sure happens every day.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More Bennie is always just enough! April 23 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
I met Lisa Scottoline at Book Expo Canada a few years ago, and she's a blast. So, whenever I saw her books, I nabbed them. But, truth be told, I'd not started reading them. Recently, I listened to 'Legal Tender,' and really enjoyed it, and so when I saw this and another Lisa Scottoline available on audio, I nabbed it.

We return to Bennie Rosato and find her just as snarky, sarcastic, and tough as ever. The reader still being Kate Burton really helped, as she's got the perfect voice for the character.

Now, since I've been reading this out of order, some characters I knew weren't in it (apparently, the relationship that began in 'Legal Tender' didn't work out, for one), and I didn't know that Bennie had a twin (I must have missed a book between this and the last one). But when her twin starts to show up and make malicious attempts to ruin Bennie's life, things get interesting. Especially when Bennie's own little law firm is on the financial rocks. And when her biggest client ends up murdered, Bennie's in real trouble - because what if the murderer is her twin? Or are they unrelated? Or, is someone else also trying to ruin Bennie?

Solid stuff, this story, interesting, and the mystery had me confounded (bonus points for that). Thumbs-up, especially for Kate Burton's reading voice.

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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Bennie Rosato is the heroine and narrator of Dead Ringer, and the book opens with a very compelling series of episodes that display the problems that any small legal practice faces during hard economic conditions. Bennie is losing clients right and left to bankruptcy, and the clients she has aren't paying her. She's behind on the rent, and has laid off one staff person. No new clients seem to be on the horizon when she gets an unexpected call from a courtly Frenchman whose company has been hurt by an illegal boycott. But . . . the case will be a class action suit, and Bennie has never done one before. Soon, she's mixing it up with the multimillion dollar class action lawyers who expect her to pony up $30,000 to play in the contingent fee case. If that isn't enough, someone has started impersonating her and is using her credit cards to send unwanted goods to the office. Whenever Bennie thinks she has gotten her head above water, she has another setback.
Before long, she's engaged forced to defend her very honor by solving two mysterious crimes. In the process, the danger grows to unacceptable levels . . . and a mysterious, handsome stranger becomes her Good Samaritan. With her hear aflutter, she finds it hard to concentrate on her legal practice.
Dead Ringer started off to be a remarkably entertaining book. Around two-thirds of the way through, the book began to unwind from its excellent beginning. The first weakness is that Ms. Scottoline makes too little use of the other characters who work at the Rosato firm. Although they are in many scenes, the narration doesn't shift to them . . . or give us enough of a sense about how they feel. As a result, the associates and staff seem more than a little too understanding about Bennie's financial problems.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Murder Mystery and Humor Feb. 5 2004
Bennie Rosato, is a successful lawyer but a businesswoman on the decline. While her reputation as a trial lawyer is stellar, her firm is on the verge of bankruptcy, until a big case comes along that just might solve all her problems, then things suddenly go haywire, and it started with a lost wallet.
Lisa Scottoline brings us through this mystery with attitude and wit, never allowing a serious moment to go by without a quirky afterthought. The writing was informed and just right, and while certain things just pop out of nowhere, this book has no pretentions. The tension its plot could have had in unbearable proportions was lightened by the exceptional character of Bennie Rosato who, even in the direst of situations, never takes herself seriously. Bennie is pushy, but endearingly so, and she doesn't have to apologize for it either. Her character and St. Amien's was the best developed in the entire cast. Bennie, however, could've done without a certain Navy Seal. A hefty reward and a thank you would've sufficed. ^_~ All in all, it was a good book and I would recommend it for the Murder-Mystery enthusiast who just wants to sit back, relax and take a break from intensity.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The twin is starting to annoy me
I like all of Scottoline's books and this is also a quick, enterntaining read. Unfortunately, the evit twin of Bernie's returns to cause more chaos. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Judith Schonhoff
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so legal thriller
It's my first book by Lisa Scottoline. Maybe I didn't pick the best one by this author but I found this book without much suspense, without well developed and believable characters... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by Vahania63
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Girl' Attorneys Need To Grow Up
This is a good book in the Rosato series, but please, Ms. Scottoline: write the women attorneys as a BIT more mature than seeming as giggly members of a girls club; and PLEASE... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by G. H. Giroux
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable legal thriller! Great book!
Dead Ringer caught me off guard because I frankly did not expect a lot from it. Boy was I surprised when I discovered that this is an incredible legal thriller that rivals many of... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Jerry L. McGahagin
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a bestselling book???
I read this book based on the "best-seller" status combined with good reviews on-line. What a joke. I was embarrassed for this author! Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Plot or Money
I like Lisa Scottoline. Really I do, but this is one of the worst books I read by her. She is a great writer, with such good books as Running from the Law, Courting Trouble,... Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2003 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars I Really Wanted to like this book
I brought this book based on the good reviews but ended up walking away wondering if I read the same book the other reviewers are raving about. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by nodice
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing; Holes in Plot
I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought the narrator was fantastic. Unfortunately, the material left much to be desired. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The verdict is -- excellent!
One of Scottoline's best -- my third favorite after Everywhere That Mary Went and Mistaken Identity. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by Dr. Cathy Goodwin
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