Miranda "Munch" Mancini—former biker chick and ex-addict, currently a Beverly Hills auto mechanic and mom to eight-year-old Asia—is about to move into the first home she's ever owned. Life looks good; as Munch would say, "All this and sobriety, too!" Of course, that's when her old pal Ellen gets out of prison and reenters Munch's life—and where Ellen goes, trouble follows.

This time, Ellen's taken a pile of money from a dead man—he was trying to kill her, so she figures she's earned it—but now some very scary guys are after her. When her mother, Lila Mae, is brutally murdered, the stakes are raised: now it's personal, for both Ellen and Munch, who'd become close to Lila Mae. The silver lining is that along with the danger Ellen brings comes the very sexy Det. Rico Chacsn, who's interested in Munch personally as well as professionally. If only she can live long enough to enjoy it…

A tightly plotted mystery, characters and dialogue that ring with truth, and most of all, Munch herself—wry, funny and loving, but nobody's fool—make NO MAN STANDING a riveting read. I didn't want this book to end! (May, 304 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Laurie Davie