Killer Smile (Rosato & Associates Series #9)

Killer Smile (Rosato & Associates Series #9)

by Lisa Scottoline

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

$7.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 23


Everybody around lawyer Mary DiNunzio has decided she isn't allowed to be a Young Widow anymore. They're all trying to fix her up — her South Philly parents, her best friend, even the office security guard.

All Mary wants to do is immerse herself in a case everybody else calls "The History Channel," a pro bono representation of the Brandolini estate: At the outbreak of World War II, Amadeo Brandolini was arrested by the FBI as part of a mass internment of Italian-Americans and was sent to a camp in Montana, where he eventually committed suicide. Now, more than sixty years later, his son's estate hires Mary to sue for reparations.

Mary vows to vindicate Amadeo even though it won't be easy. Suddenly this quiet, squeaky-clean good girl is risking life and limb to finger a killer and lay a beloved ghost to rest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060514969
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/28/2005
Series: Rosato & Associates Series , #9
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 68,595
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and serves as president of the Mystery Writers of America. She has won the Edgar Award, as well as many other writing awards. She also writes a Sunday humor column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled "Chick Wit," with her daughter, Francesca Serritella. There are thirty million copies of Lisa's books in print, and she has been published in thirty-two countries. She lives in Pennsylvania with an array of disobedient but adorable pets.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date of Birth:

July 1, 1955

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981

Read an Excerpt

Killer Smile LP

Chapter One

"Rosato & Associates," Mary DiNunzio said into the receiver, then kicked herself for answering the phone. The caller was Premenstrual Tom, a man who wanted to sue the Philadelphia Police Department, the United States Congress, and a local cantaloupe. He'd been calling the office at all hours, and Mary felt sorry for him. He was obviously off his meds and had reached one of the few lawyers in the city who wouldn't sue fruit.

"This is Mr. Thomas Cott!" he shouted. "Who's this?"

"I'm Mary DiNunzio. We spoke yesterday -- "

"Get me Ms. Benedetta Rosato!"

"Ms. Rosato is gone for the day, sir." Mary checked her watch. 10:16 P.M. Everyone had gone home hours ago, and until now, the offices had been blessedly quiet. "The office is closed."

"Then what are you doing there, Ms. Mary DiNunzio?"

Good question, Mr. Thomas Cott. Mary was working late again, reading until her brown eyes turned red and her contacts dried to the crispness of breakfast cereal. Documents blanketed the conference table like a legal snowstorm, and her compact figure had been curled into the swivel chair for so long she felt like a meatball. "Mr. Cott, I'll take a message and tell Bennie -- "

"I refuse to leave any more messages! Get Ms. Benedetta Rosato on the line! I demand to know why she won't represent me! She specializes in constitutional rights, it says so on the computer!"

"The computer?"

"In the library! The website, your website! It says it right there! That's false advertising! What about my constitutional rights? They don't matter? I don't matter?"

"Mr. Cott, no lawyer can take every case," Mary answered, then hesitated. Bennie had told the associates not to engage Premenstrual Tom, but if she could explain it to him, maybe he'd stop calling. "I think Bennie told you she didn't think your case could prevail in court. She's practiced constitutional law for a long time and has excellent judgment, so -- "

"All those judges are in on it! All of them are crooked, every single one of them! City Hall is a pit of conspiracy and corruption! They're all in the mayor's pocket!"

"Mr. Cott, the judges in City Hall aren't crooked, and your case would be in federal court anyway -- "

"You're not fooling me, either of you! Put Ms. Benedetta Rosato on the telephone right now! I know she's there! She must be, she's not at home!"

Mary blinked. "How do you know she's -- "

"I went to her house! I knocked on her door, I waited for her to answer! The windows were dark!"

Mary stiffened. "How did you get her address?"

"It's in the phone book, I looked it up! What do you think I am, incapable? I may not have a fancy law degree, but I am not incapable, MS. MARY DiNUNZIO!"

Mary suddenly stopped feeling sorry for him. He was shouting louder now, almost screaming.

"I SAID, get MS. BENEDETTA ROSATO on this telephone RIGHT NOW! I KNOW she's right there with you!"

"Mr. Cott, if you'll just -- "


"Mr. Cott, I'm not -- "

"I'll come down there, you LYING WHORE! I'll come down there and SHOOT -- "

Mary hung up, shaken. The conference room fell abruptly silent. The air felt charged. It took her a moment to process what had just happened. Okay, Premenstrual Tom had morphed into Psychotic Tom, and it wasn't funny anymore. Bennie was at an ACLU dinner, but it would be ending soon. She could be going home. Mary had to warn her. She reached for the phone to call the boss's cell.

Rring, rrriiinng! The phone rang underneath Mary's hand, jarring her. Rrrriiinng! She gritted her teeth and let it ring twice more so voicemail would pick up. She should never have engaged Premenstrual Tom. When would she learn? Her goodgirl reflexes -- Help Out, Be Nice, Tell the Truth -- sucked in the practice of law.

Mary pushed the button for her direct phone line and called Bennie, but there was no answer. She left a detailed message, then hung up, uneasy. She'd call her back in five minutes to make sure the boss had gotten the message.

Mary eased back in her swivel chair, wishing suddenly that she weren't alone in the office. She eyed the doorway to the conference room, surprised to find the threshold dark. Who turned out the lights in the reception area? Maybe the cleaning people, when they'd left.

I'll come down there and shoot

Mary eyed the phone, daring it to ring again. She didn't leave it off the hook because the drill was to record threatening messages for evidence, in case the office had to go for a restraining order, like with Premenstrual Fred. Mary wondered fleetingly if she could find a career that didn't attract garden variety homicidal rage or bad television commercials.

She told herself to get over it. Premenstrual Tom had been blowing off steam, and there was a security desk in the lobby of the building. The guard wouldn't let anybody upstairs without calling her first, especially after business hours, and nowadays you couldn't get past the desk without a driver's license and a mortgage note.

She got back to work, tucking a dark blonde tendril into its loose French twist, and picking up the document she'd been reading. It was a letter dated December 17, 1941, from the provost marshal general's office, a federal agency that no longer existed. Its type was grainy because it was a Xerox copy of a photocopy of a carbon copy, and on another night, Mary would have gotten a charge out of its vintage. Everybody in the office called her case the History Channel, but she loved the History Channel. Mary loved mostly everything on cable except The Actor's Studio, which she wouldn't watch at gunpoint. But she didn't want to think about gunpoint right now ...

Killer Smile LP. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.


Ransom Notes Interview with Lisa Scottoline

Ransom Notes: What was the genesis of Killer Smile?

Lisa Scottoline: The idea for Killer Smile came about when I learned that my grandparents had been compelled to register as enemy aliens during World War II, because they were born in Italy. This was true even though they had lived in Philadelphia for 30 years and offered up their son, my father, to the U.S. Air Force. I was so fascinated by the connection between war and civil liberties that I decided to write this book. In Killer Smile, Mary DiNunzio is investigating a suspicious suicide that took place in an Italian-American internment camp some 60 years ago. There's not any of that cool C.S.I. stuff to solve this kind of puzzle. Instead, Mary has to use wit, research, and logical reasoning, blended with a lot of heart.

RN: How does Mary fit with the other women working for Bennie Rosato?

LS: Their backgrounds and personalities may differ, but what I hope they all share is great wit, guts, and a sharp legal intellect. They're also way hot. (My variation on writing what you know is writing what you'd love to know!) My own background is most like Mary's -- I'm short (for Mary I always say "compact"), and I'm a Penn grad, a decent trial lawyer, and almost unreasonably rooted to my hometown, Philadelphia. I really love Mary. Her greatest obstacles are often her own good manners and insecurities. And she doesn't get over things easy. Death hits home for her. There's an Italian proverb that translates to: Great griefs are mute. That's Mary.

RN: What do Mary's connections to her family add to Killer Smile?

LS: My trade secret -- heretofore untold -- is to make readers know and love my main characters. You know somebody better if you meet their parents. So meeting Mary's parents helps you love her more, and helps me keep the pages turning. But, at the same time, in this book, we see that the ties that bind can actually be binding. Mary is way too involved with her family. Everybody has to change and move on, and find a way to love each other just the same. Just like life.

RN: Can you tell us anything about your future plans?

LS: The book after Killer Smile is completely different -- a stand-alone thriller about a woman U.S. attorney. It's grittier than what I've done in the Rosato & Associates books, which I will definitely go back to. Killer Smile was such a deeply emotional book for me -- driven by that discovery about my grandparents and also some ghosts in my own life -- that I needed to try something completely different. But don't pass up Killer Smile. I was born to write Killer Smile.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Killer Smile (Rosato and Associates Series #11) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy Scottoline's works, but this one is a stinker for me. The main character's obsession is almost irritating. If not for a few colorful scenes and bad words I could easily imagine this being a Nancy Drew mystery for children...
MsAudio More than 1 year ago
This book was not only a great story line, it had historically information regarding WWII regarding POW camps for Italians in the U.S. which was unknown to me & I believe to many other Americans.
xoxo_leigh More than 1 year ago
Plot was slow and about as boring as her blind dates, the state of Montana and her "prefers the past to the present" personality. I enjoy murder mysteries, but I had to choke though this one, (leave no book behind). Lastly, what is with the title? I was hoping for a little romance = none! This is the first book of Scottoline's that I have read and it's probably the last. xoxo_leigh
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Scottoline book I read and I have to say, it is a rare thing for me to pick up a book on a whim and look forward to going back to it once I put it down, but this book was one of those books! It was a little slow at first, but the quirky personality of the characters and the mystery as to why Mary was digging through boxes kept my interest, and I¿m glad I kept reading. I could relate to Mary so well, her personality and her quirks. I connected with Mary and her ¿client¿ in this book and received an interesting history lesson as well. I¿m off to find more Rosato and Associates!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of Scottoline's greatest. Her writing gets better and better with each book she writes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the twists and turns in the books that Lisa Scottoline writes. They are interesting with lots of details but never boring. I would recommend any of her other books too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read this author's books before, nor will I again. I found 'Killer Smile' to be slow and predictable. I had to force myself to finish it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was able to out guess the mystery of the story up until the very end, but I admit that the ending surprised me. It was an easy and enjoyable read, but I thought that it might be more for teens or young adults. It wasn't hard to put down for a day or two, and then pick up again. It's wasn't one that I wasn't able to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Suspensful and exciting! Lisa Scottoline is a very good writer. I want to read more of her books now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the classic Scottoline, a fast paced plot, lovable characters, great dialogue, and the suspense just keeps building. She never fails! Whoever says John Grisham is the best author for legal thrillers, they apparently have not read a Scottoline book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a welcome treat for the beginning of summer. Lisa Scottoline has combined her fact-paced traditional thriller with an intriguing story about the WWII inturnment of Italian-Americans. This book rivals The Vendetta Defense. For those Scottoline readers, like myself, who were disppointed with Dead Ringer, this recent Rosato & Associates adventure will more than make up for it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this book down. Lisa keeps you on the edge of your seat every single page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was hooked from the first page. I love all of Scottoline's characters, however, I'm particularly fond of good-girl Mary Dinunzio. Killer Smile is an entertaining winner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
VERY IMPRESSIVE, this woman is one of the gifted few.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A wonderfully engaging story that has it all -- mystery, intrigue, love, betrayal. Once you read the first page, you won't put it down until you've read the last ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of Lisa Scottoline that I have read, but it won't be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. There is enough suspense to keep you glued to the pages, and enough humor to make you laugh out loud. I have recommended the book (and the author) to everyone I know.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Hujdxsgssvd die ooga stop with the cringe it gives me chinken diabeeties. This killer is form trashville just like the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, engaging story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jepeters333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mary Dinunzio gets obsessed with the old Brandilini case in which an Italian-American was sent to an internment camp during WW II and committed suicide while interred there.
JGoto on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It may be partially because I grew up in South Philly, but I thought Lisa Scottoline's crime thriller, Killer Smile, was a fun read. It has a decent plot, a fair amount of humor, and is a good light read, perfect for the beach.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maybe some of the action sequences don't quite work, but a terrific plot. At first I expected the "blind-date" subplot to be completely gratuitous and irrelevant, but it worked its way into the main story in a way I didn't see coming. Historical touches are lovely and the pacing is good. The surprise witness at the end trial works nicely, although the evidence is a bit far-fetched. One of my favorites of the series.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story revolves around the theft of an old WWII patent. The lead character was very abrasive.
L.M.Spaeth More than 1 year ago
I am so thrilled that I am not the only "actual paper book" lover here. I have certain authors' books which I collect. Not too long ago, I came across Lisa's books and have been buying them up as quick as I come across them. This is one author I can say that I am never disappointed in reading. Her plot twists and background are exceptional and I am happy when she inserts her own brand of humor in them (Rosato & DiNunzio or Rosato & Associates). I can truly say that once I start one of her mysteries, I do not want to put them down. Spellbinding masterpieces !!! Regarding this book: I learned about Italian internment camps here in the USA during World War II, about patents and inventions, to how the hoagie got its name and history of Philadelphia and its outlying areas which I never knew. Great book !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago