Sunday, April 26, 2015

Accused, by Lisa Scottoline

Lawyer and amateur detective Mary DiNunzio's new client is a 13-year-old girl who believes the wrong man was convicted for her sister's murder. Allegra has known for six years that Lonnie is innocent, and she's finally able to hire a lawyer to help him, thanks to an inheritance from her grandfather that allows her to spend part of her income as she sees fit. As Mary digs into the case, she finds that there is a lot more to the story than appeared obvious at the time, and it seems clear that the police seized the first likely suspect and did no further investigations.

As with others in the Rosato and Associates novels, Mary's family becomes involved in the investigation, and she finds help from the three Tony's, octogenarian friends of her father's, as well as from others. She's struggling with her new roles as a partner in the firm (to be renamed Rosato and DiNunzio), as well as fiancé to Anthony Rotunno. Balancing her mother's and her soon-to-be mother-in-law's demands about the wedding are also a challenge.

This is a fast-paced, funny mystery with a lot of action. Like her other novels, Accused is set in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. I'm particularly fond of Ms. Scottoline because of her strong support for libraries; she's been a regular speaker at Pennsylvania Library Association events. Anyone who enjoys mysteries with a strong female protagonist would enjoy Accused.

Lisa Scottoline. Accused. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013. 354 pages. ISBN 9781250027658.

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