Smart, sassy and not entirely legit, Pittsburgh’s own Roxy Abruzzo is trying to keep her business going, her teenage daughter out of trouble, all while dealing with her ex-lover’s continuing involvement in her life. Martin’s got a knack for gritty and funny characters, wacky situations and piling on the complications to keep pages spinning, punctuated with the kind of chuckles only Martin can elicit.

Salvager Roxy Abruzzo has been trying to keep her head above water by doing collection work for her Uncle Carmine, a relic of the old-time mob bosses in Pittsburgh, but even Roxy has her limits, so when his consigliere asks her to handle a kidnapping, she says no. The woman is kidnapped anyway and Roxy’s a suspect when the woman turns up dead. Then things get really complicated when you add to the mix a nosy ex-nun, a paleontologist with Alzheimer’s, a bit of bigamy, a rock ‘n’ roll superstar and a couple of messed-up rich kids, not to mention the sexy chef who just happens to be her daughter’s father. (MINOTAUR, Apr., 304 pp., $24.99)

Reviewed by: 
Pat Cooper