No one would really want to mess with Elizabeth Spann Craig's Myrtle Clover. And, Sophie Littlefield's Stella Hardesty scares the local men to death. Now, add Nancy Martin's Roxy Abruzzo to the list of women who can take care of herself. As Nancy said yesterday, Roxy certainly isn't genteel, and she is inappropriate at times, but if readers are ready for a good time, Roxy can provide it, in more ways than one, in the debut mystery in a new series, Our Lady of Immaculate Deception.
Roxy's a single mother, struggling to make ends meet in a rough neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Roxy doesn't want her daughter, Sage, to make her mistakes, so she struggled to send her to a good school, and is hoping she goes to Yale. And, if Roxy has to scrounge on the estates of the wealthy, with her architectural salvage business, she'll do it to pay the bills. Once in a while, there might be a find such as a Greek statue found on the Hyde estate. It's too bad Julius Hyde was also killed the night Roxy and her employee, Nooch, were scavenging. That Greek statue could become trouble when a lawyer comes looking for it, a drug-addicted member of the Hyde family is interested, and there could be an international scandal. Poor Roxy. She was hoping to make a little money, not have all of Pittsburgh looking into her business.
Roxy Abruzzo definitely has business she'd like to keep hidden. Everyone seems to think she's now working for her Great-uncle Carmine, head of a local crime organization. She'd like to keep her sexual escapades a secret from her daughter. And, smart as Sage is, she's just added another problem to Roxy's plate. But, Roxy has her good qualities. She has a loyalty to an old friend, Nooch, that overrides common sense. She's trying to pay her own way through life. And, she wants her daughter to have a better life. So, can she be forgiven if her activities are a little shady?
Nancy Martin kicks off her new series with a murder mystery embedded in the story of a complicated woman's life. She's right. Roxy isn't designed for readers who want a nice heroine. She's not always nice. She's a sex-addict who uses men. But, she's a complex character, trying to improve the life of her daughter, and abused women. She's a character for those of us who championed Sophie Littlefield's debut, A Bad Day for Sorry. Both books have a sense of humor, and a sense of honor underneath a shady exterior. Our Lady of Immaculate Deception introduces a character to watch for, in more ways than one.
Nancy Martin's website is www.NancyMartinMysteries.com
Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin. St. Martin's Minotaur, ©2010. ISBN 9780312573720 (hardcover), 320p.
FTC Full Disclosure - My review copy was sent by the publisher, in hopes I would review it.