- Series: Rat Pack Mysteries (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (October 31, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312338627
- ISBN-13: 978-0312338626
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime (Rat Pack Mysteries) Hardcover – October 31, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Randisi (Arch Angels) provides a snazzy snapshot of a mythic 1960 Las Vegas in this enjoyable first of a new series. When Eddie Gianelli, former Brooklyn CPA turned Vegas pit boss, is asked to do a favor for Frank Sinatra, what's he gonna do, say no? Of course not. He wants to please his boss at the Sands casino, Jack Entratter, as well as the fabled blue-eyed Chairman of the Board, by catching the bozo who's sending Dean Martin threatening notes that have put the filming of Ocean's 11 in jeopardy. After two thugs break into Eddie's house and smack him around, though, things get complicated with further investigation turning up two dead dancers. Randisi's hilarious, pitch-perfect time capsule captures the swaggering era when the Rat Packers reigned in a city glittering with celebrities, gamblers, showgirls, gangsters and crimes that had to be solved without annoyingly clever CSI techs. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Eddie Gianelli, formerly of Brooklyn and known on the floor of the Sands casino in Vegas as Eddie G, knows everyone there is to know on the Strip. That's why, in early January 1960, during the filming of Ocean's Eleven, Joey Bishop approaches him with a request to help Frank Sinatra. Eddie can't imagine why a superstar with the resources of Sinatra would need help from a lowly pit boss, but with some pressure from the Sands' management, he agrees. Dean Martin is receiving threats--not death threats exactly but ominous nonetheless. Oddly, the crudely written notes are missing the unless-you-do-this-we'll-do-that element contained in most threats. Eddie is a reluctant investigator until two thugs warn him off the case with a minor beating and the promise of more to come. Eddie is mad now and gets madder as the bodies pile up, though he remains unconvinced that the murders and the threats to Dino are unconnected. The prolific and talented Randisi vividly re-creates the rough-and-tumble Vegas of four decades past and weaves appealing portraits of Frank, Sammy, Dean, Joey, and, yes, even Peter Lawford into the tale. The Rat Pack defined cool for a generation, and Randisi does them all justice in this wonderfully entertaining mystery. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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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 bodies...so 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.
Dean is in town (the town being Las Vegas, 1960) with Frank, Sammy, Joey, and Peter to film the original OCEAN'S 11. Concerned for his friend's safety, Ol' Blue Eyes approaches Jack Entratter, the operator of the Sands, for help. Jack puts Frank onto Eddie Gianelli, a former Brooklyn street kid-turned CPA-now-turned pit boss, who knows everybody on The Strip.
As soon as Eddie G. starts asking questions, the bodies start piling up. After he's roughed up by a couple of torpedoes, Eddie starts taking it all very personally, and delves into his investigation with the passion (if not the professionalism) of Hercule Poirot.
Prolific thriller writer Robert J. Randisi has written a humorous and affectionate homage to the Era of the Rat Pack and to the vanished Sin City of the Fifties, where goombahs, celebrities, and everyday people lost fortunes, made fortunes and rubbed shoulders.
Bright and breezy though he is, Randisi is still writing Genre Noir and doesn't shy away from the drugs, hookers and shady deals that made (or make) up the seedy side of Las Vegas, but he doesn't obsess on them either. He is unsparing of the racism of the time: the outrage of some toward Sammy Davis Jr.'s impending marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, the mockery of Davis' Judaism, the disdain shown by white cops to a black detective, and the institutionalized segregation of Vegas are all mentioned in brief and summarily dismissed as ignorant by the diamond-in-the-rough Eddie, who blends with Casino owners, hitmen, showgirls, and The Boys quite comfortably, no matter what.
The Rat Pack and Friends (with cameo appearances by George Raft and then-Senator Jack Kennedy) move sparklingly across these pages. EVERYBODY KILLS SOMEBODY SOMETIME is a great poolside read. Brief, snappy chapters move the story right along. Just about as light and fluffy as a murder mystery can be, EVERYBODY KILLS SOMEBODY SOMETIME drips with ambience and that ring-a-ding-ding good feeling of the time.
The first in a new series, this little novel is a time capsule. Climb in and be transported.