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Lady Killer Mass Market Paperback – Dec 30 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Philadelphia attorney Mary DiNunzio, last seen in Killer Smile (2004), agrees to help her high school nemesis, Trish Gambone, at the start of this less than convincing thriller from bestseller Scottoline. Trish, whom Mary used to regard as the quintessential Mean Girl, has turned in desperation to the lawyer, the all-around Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood at St. Maria Goretti High School, because she wants to escape from her abusive, and possibly Mafia-connected boyfriend, Bobby Mancuso. Trish rejects Mary's practical suggestions for dealing with Bobby, but once Trish disappears, Mary finds herself under pressure from other high school classmates as well as people from her old neighborhood who blame her for not doing enough. Mary unwisely hides a connection with Bobby from the Feds, who then shut her out of the search for Trish when they learn of it. Scottoline fans will cheer Mary as she stumbles toward the solution, but others may have trouble suspending disbelief. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Mary DiNunzio is my favorite Lisa Scottoline heroine. I was thrilled to find that she was back as the narrator of Lady Killer . . . and was even happier when I found what a wonderful story Ms. Scottoline had crafted around this delightful character.
Lady Killer is a term that usually refers to a man who wows women . . . even against their better judgment. As the book opens, there's a different meaning. Heart-throb Bobby Mancuso has been hooked up with Trish Gambone since high school, but he's turned into a drug-dealing, connected villain who continually threatens Trish's health and safety. Now he's threatening to kill Trish.
Based on being acquainted in high school, Trish comes to see Mary seeking safety from being killed. Mary proposes legal alternatives . . . none of which appeal to Trish. That's where matters would have ended, except that Trish and Bobby go missing that night. Mary gets the blame from Trish's friends and family, and Mary digs in to see what she can do. The cops aren't very interested and Mary finds herself turning detective.
Life is more complicated than this sounds. Mary's legal practice is booming, and she has to ignore the rest of her clients to help Trish. This annoys virtually everyone else.
In addition, Mary used to tutor Bobby in high school . . . and the two dated for awhile.
Can Mary save Trish? Can we ever escape high school? Can Mary find happiness as a lawyer for the angry people in South Philly? Can Mary get a life?
Lisa Scottoline's interesting story races along all these tracks at the same time. It's good story telling . . . and even better reading.
In the process, you'll get to know Mary as you've never known her before. I think you'll like what you learn about her.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There's way too much going on in Lady Killer. We've got South Philly Italian culture, Mary's low self-esteem, Mary's widowhood, kookie neighbors and coworkers, an abusive boyfriend, high school bullies, Mary's high school ex-boyfriend, mob connections, and MARY'S BIG SECRET.
I fgured out the secret in the middle of the book. It wasn't shocking, but some readers might be offended. The secret does and doesn't help the story. I think it is treated too lightly. When Mary reveals the secret, it just isn't **so shocking**. (Is that why Judy and Anthony show no emotion?) I also didn't believe that Mary was in love with Bobby Mancuso, now Trish's boyfriend. I thought she had a lusty teenage crush on the guy.
To add to the nonsense is Bonnyhart, a small town in the Poconos. How and why Mary ended up there is just too unbelievable.
Does Mary owe anything to Trish? Yes, Trish asked for Mary's help. Mary gave her legal counsel. Trish disappears. Should Mary get involved? Or, should she just wait until if and when Trish returns? And what about Mary's honor? The close-knit Italian neighborhood snubs Mary when they think she's snubbed Trish.
If Scottoline eliminated all the extras, this book would have been much better. And, Scottoline should have made Mary's involvement a little more believable. Because Lady Killer received a number of 4 and 5 star reviews, I will be reading the earlier Mary DiNunzio books.
So what does Mary do when her old high school classmate (Trish) shows up, married to the mob and an apparent victim of domestic violence? Never mind that Trish led the Mean Girls, the snooty gang that did everything they could to make Mary's high school life miserable. Mary gives Trish some lawyerly advice, worried for her classmate's safety. When Trish disappears, Mary risks everything to find her...including some trips to off the wall places far from Center City Philadelphia.
Only Scottoline knows how to combine human interest with edge of the chair suspense. Just about every character has a piece of story, just enough to be memorable. Mary rounds up clues in classic detective story fashion, but shatters tradition with a romantic comedy interlude.
It's hard to imagine a better urban mystery - a page turner with soul and attitude. The only bad part is...it's impossible to put down and once you're through, you have to wait at least a year to find out what's next. Will one of these associates finally make partner (they did in the first and -- in my opinion -- best book, when they worked at the white shoe law firm). Will Mary finally fall in love for more than a few pages? Will we learn more about Judy, besides the facts that she's a perfect gal pal who defies fashion conventions? Will Mary buy a house and get a dog, like Bennie's goldens? And whatever happened to Mary's cat (or did I miss something)?
It's just a few hours and already I'm in Scottoline withdrawal...and homesick again for that great town of Philadelphia.
I've enjoyed all of Scottoline's books right from word one (except "Dirty Blonde"), especially the ones that take place in the world of continuing character Bennie Rosato (Scottoline's "alter ego"?), and this one's simply a feast of goodies.
Fast-paced and tightly plotted, the characterizations are vivid, engaging, and in many cases truly hilarious.
To begin with, I just love the character of Mary DiNunzio. She cracks me up! If she were a real person, I'd want to date her. She's such a true girly-girl, in the midst of some crisis she'll be worrying about her fashion statement, or whether her stockings have a run, or whatever. It is just hilarious!
The Mean Girls, pivotal secondary characters in the plot of this book, are simply a hoot.
The plot itself is tightly knit, and moves along without any glitches or hitches, crafted with Scottoline's deft touch for discrete misdirection. Like a magician, while you're watching her right hand, her left hand carries off the illusion.
A solid five stars for a really entertaining read.
The return of Mary DiNuzio, Rosato & Associates and the whole South Philly Neighborhood, was a sweet sweet homecoming in my book.
Mary DiNuzio was the same old Mare struggling with self doubt and catholic school guilt and the desire to save the world and make everything all better. She is surrounded by her loving and adorable parents, her faithful BFF Judy Carrier and a surprising new romance. She finds her way despite the opposition, and against everybody else's ideas of who she is and what she should do. She is tough as nails in spite of herself. Carrier said it best, "You know what I love best about you...everything."
Lisa Scottoline, as always, sends out clear message of right and wrong, good and evil, brains against brawn, while touching on thought provoking hard topics of true justice. Girls Rule and Justice Prevails.
Lisa Scottoline has once again rocked my world with this fabulous new release. Buy this book and you will not be disappointed.