Thursday, April 07, 2011

Sticky Fingers by Nancy Martin

Roxy Abruzzo - hell raiser, sex addict, daughter of a murder victim and an abusive father. Roxy Abruzzo, caretaker, champion of underdogs, devoted mother. She's an independent contractor, owner of an architectural salvage company, and niece of a Mafia boss in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Is it any wonder Roxy's in trouble again in Nancy Martin's latest mystery,  Sticky Fingers?

Roxy hasn't been doing so well with her business due to the economic collapse, so she's taken on a few jobs for her Uncle Carmine. Scaring a gambler was OK, but Roxy draws the line when Carmine's lawyer asks her to kidnap Clarice Crabtree. Roxy and Clarice hated each other in high school, but Roxy still feels obligated to check on Clarice, and possibly warn her about a kidnapping attempt. Clarice is just as nasty as always, but, when she disappears, Roxy wants to know more. And, when it turns out that straitlaced Clarice had a life more interesting than it appeared, Roxy finds herself intrigued by Clarice's deceptions.

Read Nancy Martin's Roxy Abruzzo mysteries for the great characters, and the absurd predicaments Roxy and her sidekick, Nooch, get into. Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum should enjoy this working woman whose feud with Gino Martinelli, "an important man in the neighborhood," gets out of control on both sides. But, Roxy has a great deal of depth. She's a woman who lost her own mother, a victim of Roxy's abusive father. That loss led to her wild life, and a child when she herself was still young, but it also made Roxy into a woman who cares for lost kids, makes a mental note to check on a teenage boy, shelters abused women, and protects Nooch, an innocent friend from school. She's a woman who doesn't know how to be a mother, so she turned her daughter over to her aunt to raise properly. And, her relationship with her daughter's father is an on-going, changing one, as they both try to grow into roles as parents.

Sticky Fingers is a fun romp, and Martin keeps the reader guessing as to the killer. But, I'll return to Martin's books because I like Roxy Abruzzo, and the people she cares about.

Nancy Martin's website is

Sticky Fingers by Nancy Martin. St. Martin's Minotaur. ©2011. ISBN 9780312573737 (hardcover), 304p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a review copy, in hopes I would review it.

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