It's been a while since I picked up a book by Lisa Scottoline. I was a big fan of her legal series featuring Bennie Rosato and her firm in the past, but hadn't picked up one of her titles lately.
Her latest book, Accused, (#12) releases today and brings back favourite characters. Mary DiNunzio is no longer an associate with the firm, instead she's just been made partner.
When the firm is approached by a client and asked to look into the murder of her sister, Mary is ready to take on the case. The rest of the team hesitates - the client is thirteen years old and the murderer is already behind bars. But Allegra swears he's innocent. Mary makes her first decision as a partner and takes the case.
Scottoline's characters are warm, funny and real. Mary comes from a vocal Italian family. Her parents and their friends - the three Tonys - are a large part of her life. Scottoline works them into many scenes and their dialogue is quite fun. Scottoline has been quoted as saying that "she need not look past her own family, “The Flying Scottolines” for inspiration." It is the personal story lines, sense of family and friends that make Scottoline's books feel so warm and personable. Mary takes the lead role in Accused both professionally and personally this time around, We don't see as much of the other three lawyers in the firm.
Scottoline is a lawyer herself and the legal details ring true. Scottoline has conceived an interesting plot line. It's not one that will overly challenge hard core whodunit fans, as the outcome is fairly predictable, but it is the delivery that is the draw. The crime is not gory and will appeal to gentle readers. I'd be tempted to label the series 'light legal'. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Accused. Or listen to an excerpt of Accused.
Lisa, a Philadelphia native, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, earned a B.A. in English in just three years and received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School cum laude. Lisa worked as a trial attorney until the birth of her daughter, Francesca Serritella. She left the firm to raise Francesca and began a part-time career writing legal fiction. Francesca is now an honors graduate of Harvard, author and columnist. Lisa, as a single parent, considers her greatest achievement raising Francesca and now they co-write the “Chick Wit” column for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Through her writing, Lisa's contributions have been recognized by organizations throughout the country. Lisa is the recipient of the Fun Fearless Fiction Award by Cosmopolitan Magazine, was named a PW Innovator by Publisher's Weekly and was honored with AudioFile's Earphones Award.
Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction" at The University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater for which she one an award for Best Adjunct Professor as voted on by the students. You can find Lisa Scottoline on Facebook and on Twitter.