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Dead Ringer Hardcover – May 27, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First edition (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060514930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060514938
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Another bestseller is on the docket for Scottoline (Courting Trouble; Rough Justice; The Vendetta Defense), with a new legal caper featuring the lady lawyers of series heroine Bennie Rosato's Philadelphia law firm, Rosato and Associates. This time out it's Bennie playing the lead role, as she fights to save her financially sinking firm; mother her lovable partners, Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier; solve the murder of a valuable client; and battle her evil twin, Alice. The eviction notice is on the door when suave Frenchman Robert St. Amien steps in with a class-action suit that promises not only to stave off Bennie's landlord but to shovel millions of dollars into the firm's bottomed-out bank account. The fact that our heroine has never handled a class-action suit doesn't faze her for more than a nanosecond. Bennie has her wallet stolen and soon becomes the target of increasingly sinister attacks, until it becomes clear that Alice (last seen in Mistaken Identity) is back in town and bent on revenge. When the stakes are upped to murder, Bennie realizes she's in big trouble. Fortunately, hunky SEAL David Holland shows up to save her dog, act as bodyguard and supply the love interest. Of course, he has a dark secret, but this just makes him more appealing and sympathetic when it is revealed. Occasional awkward writing intrudes ("Anger bubbled like lifeblood to her cheeks"), there are too many pantyhose jokes, and the solution to the mystery is a clunker, but readers caught up in the fast and furious wordplay will hardly notice. Bennie grows on you, and soon enough you're rooting for the home team and laughing at her corny jokes.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Bennie Rosato's all-female Philadelphia law firm has seen better days so it's no surprise when Bennie jumps at the chance to represent Robert St. Amien, a debonair European businessman whose U.S. interests are being stolen by a naive trade association's collusive practices. Though Bennie sees dollar signs, there is a group of similarly situated foreign businesses also seeking damages, which brings the case to class-action status, something about which neither Bennie nor her associates possess much expertise. Bennie is game to learn as she goes, but her learning curve is slowed by other distractions, mainly the reappearance of her estranged identical twin sister (from Mistaken Identity, 1999), who is impersonating Bennie and causing no end of trouble. This episode is a bit short on thrills, but it's nice to have Bennie back in the spotlight in a series whose focus jumps among the four partners. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels including her most recent, THINK TWICE, and also writes a weekly column, called Chick Wit, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has won many honors and awards, notably the Edgar Award, given for excellence in crime fiction, and the Fun Fearless Female Award from Cosmopolitan Magazine. She also teaches a course she created, called Justice and Fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and regularly does speaking engagements. There are twenty-five million copies of her books in print, and she is published in over thirty other countries.Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She remains a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her array of disobedient pets.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Bennie Rosato is a lawyer familiar with struggle and heartbreak, but nothing could prepare her for what's about to hit...
Bennie's law firm is having a hard time financially, and her current client has just dropped the bombshell of not being able to pay her, but before she can say bankruptcy in walks a new client wealthy businessman Robert St. Amien.
Just as things start looking up for Bennie a lost wallet will spin her life out of control.
Someone hell-bent on destroying everything in Bennie's life has stolen her identity, and Bennie knows it's her twin sister Alice.
As Bennie desperately searches for her twin, a murder will force her to track down a killer, and in the process bring her face to face a dark evil.
`Dead Ringer' is a fast-paced read that will keep readers guessing right up until the end. Lisa Scottoline can always be depended upon to write original thrillers filled with interesting characters, and surprising plot twists and her latest novel scores on all accounts. `Dead Ringer' is filled with humor and suspense, and anyone looking for a great beach read should look no further...Scottoline has written another winner.
Nick Gonnella
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anna Balasi on February 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Bennie Rosato, is a successful lawyer but a businesswoman on the decline. While her reputation as a trial lawyer is stellar, her firm is on the verge of bankruptcy, until a big case comes along that just might solve all her problems, then things suddenly go haywire, and it started with a lost wallet.
Lisa Scottoline brings us through this mystery with attitude and wit, never allowing a serious moment to go by without a quirky afterthought. The writing was informed and just right, and while certain things just pop out of nowhere, this book has no pretentions. The tension its plot could have had in unbearable proportions was lightened by the exceptional character of Bennie Rosato who, even in the direst of situations, never takes herself seriously. Bennie is pushy, but endearingly so, and she doesn't have to apologize for it either. Her character and St. Amien's was the best developed in the entire cast. Bennie, however, could've done without a certain Navy Seal. A hefty reward and a thank you would've sufficed. ^_~ All in all, it was a good book and I would recommend it for the Murder-Mystery enthusiast who just wants to sit back, relax and take a break from intensity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Bull on July 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
We might have rated this newest in the fine Bennie Rosata Law Firm series from Lisa Scottoline all the way to five stars but for two factors. First, her evil twin is back from "Mistaken Identity", and all the havoc she wreaks seems to have little or nothing to do with the main plot, thus serving as a frequently irritating distraction. Second, the primary story line is about Bennie fighting to take lead on a class action lawsuit, a very specialized area of legal practice (as demonstrated vividly in Grisham's latest "King of Torts") for which she is really totally unqualified. So much of the proceedings are based on Bennie's bravado in dealing with other lawyers and trying to save the case when her client suddenly turns up quite dead. The law firm is also in financial straits, a threat to closing the door on the fun associates Judy, Mary, and Ann, the leading ladies of previous stories in the series. Even Mary's mother puts in one of her infamous appearances in which she casts her "spell" over Bennie's latest difficulties. Lastly, throw in a mysterious Navy SEAL for a little romantic interest for Bennie, together with a twisty plot, and out pops another enjoyable, often humorous, novel from the Scottoline machine.
We admit to being a fan of the series, and look forward to each new addition. While we feel the quality of a few of the novels has varied a bit, this seems to be one of the better ones based on the satisfaction we felt at the end and our anxiety to reach the conclusion in a reasonable hurry. We commend this author to your attention.
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Format: Hardcover
Bennie Rosato is the heroine and narrator of Dead Ringer, and the book opens with a very compelling series of episodes that display the problems that any small legal practice faces during hard economic conditions. Bennie is losing clients right and left to bankruptcy, and the clients she has aren't paying her. She's behind on the rent, and has laid off one staff person. No new clients seem to be on the horizon when she gets an unexpected call from a courtly Frenchman whose company has been hurt by an illegal boycott. But . . . the case will be a class action suit, and Bennie has never done one before. Soon, she's mixing it up with the multimillion dollar class action lawyers who expect her to pony up $30,000 to play in the contingent fee case. If that isn't enough, someone has started impersonating her and is using her credit cards to send unwanted goods to the office. Whenever Bennie thinks she has gotten her head above water, she has another setback.
Before long, she's engaged forced to defend her very honor by solving two mysterious crimes. In the process, the danger grows to unacceptable levels . . . and a mysterious, handsome stranger becomes her Good Samaritan. With her hear aflutter, she finds it hard to concentrate on her legal practice.
Dead Ringer started off to be a remarkably entertaining book. Around two-thirds of the way through, the book began to unwind from its excellent beginning. The first weakness is that Ms. Scottoline makes too little use of the other characters who work at the Rosato firm. Although they are in many scenes, the narration doesn't shift to them . . . or give us enough of a sense about how they feel. As a result, the associates and staff seem more than a little too understanding about Bennie's financial problems.
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