Reviews for Accused

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
Scottoline returns to the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates, with Mary DiNunzio now a partner. Thirteen-year-old Allegra Gardner wants to hire the firm, and she has the trust fund to do it. The murder of her sister, Fiona, six years ago still haunts Allegra because she believes the confessed and convicted killer is innocent. Now she wants Mary to prove it. Mary falls for the sad little rich girl and takes the case despite serious misgivings expressed by her associates and the Gardner family. Mary starts digging, finding that Allegra is not the reliable witness she appeared to be. Nor is anyone else, for that matter. Mary gets support from her fiancé, Anthony, her warm Italian parents, and their friends, who also inject some humor. Scottoline writes Nancy Drew mysteries for adults. Mary's naïveté and belief in justice are heartwarming and believable, and all the characters are recognizable without being clichéd. This is a long-awaited (since Think Twice, 2010), solid entry into a terrific series that should appeal to fans of Sheldon Siegel, Rose Connors, and Steve Martini. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Everything Scottoline writes sells big, but her Rosato series leads the way. Fans have been waiting three years for this one and will respond enthusiastically. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 October #1
After a three-year break to write barn-burning crossover thrillers (Don't Go, 2013, etc.), Scottoline returns to those ornaments of the Philadelphia bar, Rosato & Associates, with an utterly characteristic spin on that old chestnut, the jailed innocent wrongfully convicted of murder. Making partner is even a bigger deal for Mary DiNunzio than she could have expected. For one thing, her live-in boyfriend, Anthony Rotunno asks her to marry him. For another, she lands a most peculiar case courtesy of a client who wants her to spring sometime caterer Lonnie Stall from Graterford Prison, where he's spent the past six years, ever since he pleaded guilty in the stabbing death of Fiona Gardner. What makes the case peculiar is the client: Fiona's kid sister Allegra, who was just 7 at the time of the murder. She was already then convinced that Stall was innocent. Now that she's turned 13, Allegra, "your basic poor little rich girl," is able to tap a trust fund that allows her to pay a law firm to reopen the case. Allegra, a matter-of-fact prodigy who keeps bees and fears nothing, is the best thing about this story. The second best is her parents, who are so determined to keep her from reopening old wounds that they take some pretty drastic steps against Mary and Bennie Rosato and threaten even more. Unfortunately, the battle royal within the Gardner family, with Rosato & Associates as collateral damage, is generally subordinated to Mary's sleuthing, which is surprisingly sober, methodical and uninteresting, right down to the unmasking of an unimpressive killer. Comfort food for the faithful, with less thrills and more detection than most of the firm's cases (Think Twice, 2010, etc.): a showcase for a heroine who aptly describes herself as "Nancy Drew with a J.D." Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 August #2

Mary DiNunzio faces two daunting changes in bestseller Scottoline's intriguing 12th novel featuring the all-woman Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates (after 2010's Think Twice): she has become a partner in the firm, which affects her relationships with former fellow associates; and boyfriend Anthony Rotunno gets a lot more serious. Mary's first client as a partner is 13-year-old Allegra Gardner, who wants to retain the firm to prove that Lonnie Stall, imprisoned for the murder of Allegra's older sister, Fiona, six years earlier, is innocent and to find the real killer. Allegra may be precocious, and she has her own funds, but her wealthy parents oppose her actions directly and forcibly. Myriad legal and ethical problems complicate the case, including Stall's own confession, as does the help, wanted and unwanted, of the DiNunzio and Rotunno families. Mary follows her heart and gut into danger in this welcome series return after three stand-alones. First printing of 400,000. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary Agency. (Oct.)

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