Book Review: Our Lady of Immaculate Deception

Roxy Abruzzo has been working hard to keep her architectural salvage business more or less legitimate while maintaining her distance from distant relative and Pittsburg crime boss, Carmine. Still, when opportunity knocks Roxy cannot help but take advantage of the five-finger discount, especially when it takes the form of a potentially valuable old statue. Occupied with “liberating” the statue from its proper owners during a post-fire salvage job on the Hyde estate, Roxy never heard the gunshot that killed Julius Hyde.

Dorothy, the Hyde family matriarch appears to spend most of her time in a coma although news of her son’s murder seemed to have brought her to awareness. Julius was well known for his womanizing ways but with the Hyde money under Dorothy’s control, he had been selling off family art treasures to finance a high-roller lifestyle. Dorothy, Julius’s siblings and the insurance company want to know exactly what treasures were destroyed in the fire set by Julius’s wife when she discovered him entertaining another woman in their living room. Henry Paxton, Dorothy’s attorney has been charged with the task of finding what art remains and specifically, what happened to a priceless statue she smuggled out of Greece years earlier. Roxy will quickly find the pilfered statue much more trouble then it could possibly be worth.

Land development deals, art treasures, the Pittsburg Mafia, a backstabbing family and more add up to a carnival ride full of twists and turns. Roxy is a strong, self-reliant single mom trying to make ends meet, frequently with unexpected results. The motley cast of characters creates plenty of opportunity for Martin’s sparkling wit to surface in this fun, fast mystery where a bun in the oven may be the least of a mother’s worries.


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