Carre Gardner's Reviews > Lady Killer

Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline
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's review
Sep 14, 2011

it was amazing

Disclaimer: In order to appreciate this book fully, you need to listen to the audiobook version read by Barbara Rosenblat. I usually "read" (okay, listen) to audiobooks while I clean my house. I spackled and primed my whole dining room to this one. I think I've found a new favorite author to tide me over in the years when Sue Grafton isn't publishing another Kinsey Milhone installment in her Alphabet Murder Mystery series. The downside is that author Lisa Scottoline's books seem to be stand-alones, which is a pity because I could read a series about the heroine of Lady Killer forever.

Mary DiNunzio is a young-ish, widowed attorney from the Italian 'hood of South Philly. A quintessential Catholic Nice Girl. (Re: Brazilian Waxes: "She didn't think the words "Catholic" and "Brazilian" belonged in the same sentence, unless you were saying, "Many Brazilians are good Catholics.") When Trish, one of the Mean Girls from her Catholic high school looks her up all these years later, to tell her that her mobster boyfriend is trying to kill her, Mary experiences a crisis of nostalgia...and not all of it very nice. She'd like to ditch Trish and her clique of Mean Girls but she's tied to the case by a thin thread...she used to date the mobster in question, and she just can't seem to look the other way. When Trish goes missing and the boyfriend turns up dead, Mary throws up everything--including her job--to get to the bottom of the case, for the sake of a girl who treated her terribly in high school.

It's a good mystery, meaning I didn't guess the ending halfway through. And the setting (South Philly, enmeshed Italian neighborhood) really draws the reader in. (Barbara Rosenblat's voices are more...South Jersey. Or maybe Brooklyn. But I didn't care about that.) The characters are great: very flawed-yet-lovable...yet not so lovable that the Marys among us don't give a quiet cheer when bad things happen to them. After all, have any of us ever gotten over the Mean Girls from our own high school years?

I'll definitely be looking up more of Lisa Scottoline's books. Today, if possible. And if they're narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, my house may end up being cleaner than it's been since Sue Grafton's last mystery came out in audiobook.
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