Our Lady Of Immaculate Deception
I was lucky enough to score an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of Our Lady of Immaculate Deception from Nancy Martin. (Whining seemed to have worked this time.)
I’d followed Nancy’s writing of this book, from the “I’m planning a new series” to “I’m locking myself always in a hotel room to finish this d*mn book,” so I was itching to get a copy in my hands. (Plans to install a key stroke program on her computer so I could follow along as she wrote when awry when Margie—her secretary—took too long of a lunch break with the UPS delivery guy. If you don’t know Margie, visit Nancy’s Blog. Margie shows up there on occasion.)
Being a long time fan of her Blackbird Sisters Mysteries, and falling totally in love with Mick Abruzzo, I was curious about his mob family and frankly, wanted to meet them (on the pages of a book…NEVER in person!) Since Nancy’s new series stars Mick’s half-sister, Roxy Abruzzo, I suspected I’d find a heroine who didn’t fit into the “heroine box” as defined by my world of romance. And boy, did I have that pegged right! Roxy definitely isn’t a “good girl” heroine who needs a man to rescue her…maybe to bail her out of jail or scratch her latest itch, but never rescue. To make sure she’s always prepared, Roxy isn’t ever without her phone, truck keys, twenty bucks for a pizza, and two Trojan Magnum Ecstasys. If you want more insights into Roxy, go here.
Roxy is a single mom doing her best to provide a better life for her daughter than Roxy had, even if this means Roxy sometimes sticks a toe over the legal line, but only when necessary and only when her great-uncle (head of the Philadelphia Mafia) needs her to because hey! Family comes first. But she tries to keep on the straight and narrow (and legal—for the most part) trail.
Her full time job is running an architectural salvage business with the help of an ex-con assistant named Nooch, who isn’t a brain-trust by any stretch of the imagination. Her latest job involves salvaging reusable architectural remains after a mansion fire, started by a jealous wife. During the salvage, she discovers an old, marble statue, covered by overgrown vines. A portion of the statue has been broken off. Figuring that this was forgotten (given the overgrowth) and that no one would really mind if she took it (even though it isn’t part of her salvage contract). The mansion is slated for implosion the next day and this lovely (and forgotten) statue would be destroyed, so she and Nooch load it up and haul it off. After she leaves, the mansion occupant (and philandering husband) is found murdered. Roxy takes it upon herself to find the murderer to clear Nooch (who is on probation) and herself. Another murder and a few threats just makes her more determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Like Nancy’s Blackbird Sisters Mysteries, this story isn’t so much about solving the crime—which is resolved in the end—but more about Roxy, Nooch, and the supporting cast of characters. This is definitely a character-driven book. On the surface, Roxy is greatly flawed, but there are depths to her character that have just begun to be explored. It’ll take many more books to discover all her layers…books I look forward to reading.
The story is very complex with a large supporting cast. Roxy’s 17-year old daughter Sage is a wonderful character, as is Roxy’s voluptuous Aunt Loretta, who is conveniently a lawyer. And I confess that my undying love for Blackbirds’ bad boy, Mick Abruzzo is being challenged by Patrick Flynn, Sage’s father, who was (and still is) a very bad boy. (Nancy seems to do these bad boys very well. I must meet her husband some day! She claims he is a straight-laced banker but I’m having my doubts.)
I’m not going to spoil the story by giving away anymore, but I loved this book. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a stellar first in a new series.”
You have to get this book TODAY.
But in the meantime, I am giving away an autographed copy of OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE DECEPTION. Here’s how to get it… Leave a comment here and then go to Nancy’s guest blog at Everyone Needs A Little Romance and leave a comment there. Two chances to win!
Thanks for coming by and THANKS for supporting Nancy with her new series.
Until Next Time…
Links to buy OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE DECEPTION.