Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Rat Pack Lives

If you're looking for a light but engaging mystery that is gonna take you to a time of crooners, mob ties, and glamor,, then look no further. The Rat Pack Mysteries fit the bill perfectly, and this first one sets the stage for all that is to come.

In Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime, we meet Eddie Gianelli, pit boss and friend to many of the Names of Vegas of the 60s. Eddie gets asked by his boss, Jack Entratter, to solve a private matter involving Dean Martin: Dino's getting death threats. Eddie's not an investigator; he's just a former New Yorker who has found his calling at the famous Sands Hotel and Casino. Still, he reluctantly takes on the case, enlisting his PI friend Danny to help him figure out what's going on. Along the way, he becomes friends with the other Rat Packers, and finds at least three not what he'd signed up for. By then, he's in too deep and needs to see the whole thing to its conclusion, if he can stay alive long enough to do so.

Confession time:  I read these last three books of the series before reading this one, so I'm aware of what's ahead for Eddie G. Still, there was major delight for me in being introduced to Jack, Danny, Jerry, and the Rat Pack, and seeing them in their early days, and I found that I loved them just as much. The mystery is pretty light, though it doesn't become clear until late in the book who the culprit(s) is/are.  As usual, I was turning the pages, enjoying the atmosphere evoked and imagining myself sitting in the Copa Room as the Rat Pack played for a packed house.

I don't know, however, if it was because this was the first book in the series or what, but the story is littered with errors:  There are punctuation, spelling, and syntax errors that pulled me out every time I came across one. I still loved the story and am happy to report that these lessen as the series goes on.

I also admit that I spent time looking up some of the characters and events mentioned, and they are all right on the money for accuracy. Rindisi has done his research and it shows. He weaves Eddie G and friends seamlessly into the backdrop of the Sands, giving us a taste of the powerful behind the scenes. If you haven't tried any of these excellent, fun mysteries, do yourself a favor and make them a part of your summer reading plans.


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