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You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Kills You: A Rat Pack Mystery (Rat Pack Mysteries) Hardcover – September 15, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 4 of 7 in the Rat Pack Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Randisi's entertaining fourth Rat Pack mystery (after 2008's Hey There, You with the Gun in Your Hand) once again displays Vegas pit boss Eddie Gianelli's skill at discreetly getting his eminent friends out of embarrassing jams. In early 1962, Dean Martin asks Eddie to help a fragile Marilyn Monroe, who's worried she's being followed and is feeling guilty she contributed to the death of her ailing co-star, Clark Gable, from The Misfits by making him wait too long on the set. The Rat Pack, which also includes Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., plays second fiddle as Gianelli tries to protect Monroe from myriad problems real and imaginary. The Brooklyn-born Gianelli, a humble straight shooter who can call on friends in high and low places, needs both when one friend helping him disappears and another ends up in the hospital. Randisi clothes a factual skeleton of information about his famous characters with an artful tapestry of vivid imagination. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

ROBERT J. RANDISI is the founder and executive director of the Private Eye Writers of America. He lives in Missouri.


Product Details

  • Series: Rat Pack Mysteries (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031237643X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312376437
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,346,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By DOA on January 15, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my first book by this author, or in this series, though it's not the first book in the series. I found that it easily stood on it's own without the kind of constant explaining of previous books that can make a mystery series so tiring to read sometimes. It's extremely easy to read because it's mostly dialogue, driving, and eating. Of course that means there isn't a lot of depth, but for this type of glamor/Rat Pack/mob fiction there doesn't need to be.

The oddest part of this book to me was the surprisingly lengthy and completely unrelated side trip the main character Eddie G takes to New York to his mother's funeral. I imagine it's to give depth to the series character, but it in no way affects the story, advances the story, or even really does much to affect the character. It seemed like filler, and it came right when the mystery was about to take off.

Once they get back on track, headed for Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood house (the one she eventually died in), the pages start turning again, though I did find it fairly easy to put down--and just as easy to pick up where I'd left off. I liked how the author treated Marilyn, not as a brainless sexpot, but as a real human being with deep regrets, fears and complete ease around men. I think he shorted her on her famous sense of humor (when asked about the nude photos she did a journalist asked if she had anything on when she did them and she replied, off the cuff: "The radio") and her interest in improving her mind and her insecurity over her childhood. In fact, there was disappointingly little to do with Marilyn, she only appears in a few scenes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you're on vacation, or just taking an afternoon break, I couldn't recommend a better choice for an escape to another world. Robert J. Randisi struck gold when he started his 'Rat Pack' series, and this, the third entry, is my favorite so far.

Old friends, such as Dino, Frank and Jerry 'I never met a pancake I didn't love' Epstein are back....and, now we have the addition of the lovely Marilyn Monroe to add beauty and mystery to the mix.

So, put on your fedora, mix a dry martini, and slip into another time we can only dream about.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
YOU'RE NOBODY 'TIL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU is Robert Randisi's fourth Rat Pack Mystery. The title is a take-off on a popular song, but it's also a comment on the price of fame. While Randisi never waxes philosophical in these books, YOU'RE NOBODY 'TIL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU has a strong undercurrent of retrospection.

This is a lightning read, comic, colorful, and very entertaining. It's one weak spot is it's ending, a deux ex machina reprised from an earlier Rat Pack Mystery. Considering that this weak spot is on the second-to-last page, and that it works, I'll give Randisi a pass, this time, anyway. I read the book through in one sitting, and didn't lift my eyes from print once until page 77.

Unlike the previous entries in this series, YOU'RE NOBODY 'TIL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU hardly takes place in Las Vegas. Instead, Eddie Gianelli and his pancake-addicted sidekick, the good-natured killer-for-hire Jerry Epstein, spend most of their time in Los Angeles (and a few days in Brooklyn).

Dean Martin asks Eddie G to look after Marilyn Monroe, who, after filming THE MISFITS, is wracked with misplaced guilt for being the cause of Clark Gable's death, and is seemingly awash in paranoia, convinced that she's being followed. Nobody is taking Marilyn very seriously. She's "fragile," and Eddie is expecting to do little more than to reassure her.

When Eddie G has to leave Los Angeles for a few days to attend his mother's funeral, he leaves his friend, Private Investigator Danny Bardini, in charge of Marilyn. Eddie's Brooklyn venture is disastrous as he comes face-to-face with his severely dysfunctional family. He leaves Brooklyn right after his mother's funeral, vowing never to return.
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Format: Hardcover
Okay, yes, I admit it: I am addicted to these fun novels about the Rat Pack! This time, our Eddie G. is asked to help a friend of Dean's...one Marilyn Monroe. What red-blooded male of the early 60s would turn down such a gig? Not our favorite pit boss. Marilyn feels someone has been following her, so Eddie agrees to look into it. Unfortunately, he receives word of the passing of his mother back in New Jersey, so Eddie turns the job over temporarily to detective buddy, Danny Bardini. Things take a turn for the worse when the funeral doesn't go well and Danny disappears. Along with sidekick Jerry, Eddie becomes determined to discover what happened to his friend and also to keep Marilyn safe. Suffice it say, nothing goes as planned and someone ends up injured and someone ends up...dead.

The portrayal of Marilyn in this mystery is handled sensitively yet realistically; it's great to see Eddie react with care and concern for Marilyn's worries, and to see her portrayed as sexy yet vulnerable. Along with Marilyn, Frank comes off particularly well in this installment, agreeing to help Eddie G out more than once. I can feel the relationships developing here, deepening into true friendship. Jerry is a delight as usual, and it's great to see Eddie relying more on his friend, and realizing just how important Jerry is to him. The story does go off in an unexpected way, but more icons of the 60s are involved and it's easy to see how seamlessly Randisi weaves personalities into his story. Particularly poignant is the ending; you'll start to believe it all truly happened this way. And that is the true beauty and fun of this novel. So much fun!
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