Accused (Scottoline)

Accused (Rosato & Associates, 12)
Lisa Scottoline, 2013
St. Martin's Press
384 pp.
ISBN-13: 9781250054531

New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author Lisa Scottoline revolutionized crime fiction when she introduced her all-female law firm of Rosato & Associates, thrilling readers with her twisty, fast-paced plots and capturing their hearts with her cast of strong and relatable female characters.

Now Bennie Rosato, Mary DiNunzio, Judy Carrier, and Anne Murphy are back with all cylinders firing in Accused.

Mary Dinuzio has just been promoted to partner and is about to take on her most unusual case yet, brought to the firm by a thirteen-year-old genius with a penchant for beekeeping. Allegra Gardner’s sister Fiona was murdered six years ago, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case: the accused, Lonnie Stall, was seen fleeing the scene; his blood was on Fiona and her blood was on him; most damningly, Lonnie Stall pleaded guilty.

But Allegra believes Lonnie is innocent and has been wrongly imprisoned. The Gardner family is one of the most powerful in the country and Allegra’s parents don’t believe in reopening the case, so taking it on is risky. But the Rosato & Associates firm can never resist an underdog. Was justice really served all those years ago? It will take a team of unstoppable female lawyers, plus one thirteen-year-old genius, to find out. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Birth—July 1, 1955
Where—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Education—B.A., J.D., University of Pennsylvania
Awards—Edgar Award
Currently—lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of some two dozen novels and several nonfiction books. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Chick Wit" which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman's perspective.

These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in four books including their most recent, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, and the earlier, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space.

Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction" at The University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater.

Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

Lisa's books have landed on all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and Look Again was named "One of the Best Novels of the Year" by the Washington Post, and one of the best books in the world as part of World Book Night 2013.

Lisa's novels are known for their emotionality and their warm and down-to-earth characters, which resonate with readers and reviewers long after they have finished the books. When writing about Lisa’s Rosato & Associates series, Janet Maslin of the New York Times applauds Lisa's books as "punchy, wisecracking thrillers" whose "characters are earthy, fun and self-deprecating" and distinguishes her as having "one of the best-branded franchise styles in current crime writing."

Lisa's contributions through her writing has been recognized by organizations throughout the country. She is the recipient of the Edgar Award, the Mystery Writer's of America most prestigious honor, the Fun, Fearless, Fiction Award by Cosmopolitan Magazine, and named a PW Innovator by Publisher's Weekly.

Lisa was honored with AudioFile's Earphones Award and named Voice of the Year for her recording of her non-fiction book, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. The follow up collection, My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space has garnered both Lisa and her daughter, Francesca, an Earphones Award as well. In addition, she has been honored with a Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University, and a "Paving the Way" award from the University of Pennsylvania, Women in Business. 

Lisa's accomplishments all pale in comparison to what she considers her greatest achievement, raising, as a single mom, her beautiful (a completely unbiased opinion) daughter, an honors graduate of Harvard, author, and columnist, who is currently working on her first novel.

Lisa believes in writing what you know, and she puts so much of herself into her books. What you may or may not learn about Lisa from her books is that...
♦ she is an incredibly generous person
♦ an engaging and entertaining speaker
♦ a die-hard Eagles fan
♦ a good cook.
♦ She loves the color pink, her Ipod has everything from U2 to Sinatra to 50 Cent, she is proud to be an American, and nothing makes her happier than spending time with her daughter. 

Lisa is also a softie when it comes to her furry family. Nothing can turn Lisa from a professional, career-minded author, to a mushy, sweet-talking, ball-throwing woman like her beloved dogs. Although she has owned and loves various dog breeds, including her amazing goldens, she has gone crazy for her collection of King Charles Spaniels.

Lisa first fell in love with the breed when Francesca added her Blehneim Cavalier, Pip, to the mix. This prompted Lisa to get her own, and she started with the adorable, if not anatomically correct (Lisa wrote a "Chick Wit" column about this), Little Tony, her first male dog. Little Tony is a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

But Lisa couldn't stop at just one and soon added her little Peach, a Blehneim King Charles Cavalier. Lisa is now beyond thrilled to be raising Peach’s puppies, Daniel Boone and Kit Carson, and for daily puppy pictures, be sure to follow Lisa on Facebook or Twitter. Herding together the entire pack is Lisa’s spunky spit-fire of a Corgi named Ruby. The solitude of writing isn't very quiet with her furry family, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Not to be outshined by their canine counterparts, Lisa's cats, Vivi and Mimi, are the princesses of the house, and have no problem keeping the rest of the brood in line. Vivi is a grey and white beauty and is more aloof than her cuddly, black and white partner, Mimi. 

When Lisa’s friend and neighbor passed, Lisa adopted his beloved cat, Spunky, a content and beautiful ball of fur.

Lisa loves the coziness of her farmhouse, and no farm is complete without chickens. Lisa has recently added a chicken coop and has populated it with chicks of different types, and is overjoyed with each and every colorful egg they produce. Watching over Lisa's chicks are her horses, which gladly welcomed the chicks and all the new excitement they bring. (Author bio adapted from the author's website.)

Visit the author's website.
Follow Lisa on Facebook.

Book Reviews
Her new novel, Accused, which just came out, is Scottoline in top form. The book continues her series of mystery-thrillers about Rosato and Associates, an all-female law firm. (Scottoline knows from whence she speaks: she practiced law herself, having graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania law school.)

Mary DiNunzio faces two daunting changes in bestseller Scottoline’s intriguing 12th novel featuring the all-woman Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates (after 2010’s Think Twice).... Myriad legal and ethical problems complicate the case [at hand].... Mary follows her heart and gut into danger in this welcome series return after three stand-alones.
Publishers Weekly

Scottoline returns to the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates, with Mary DiNunzio now a partner. Thirteen-year-old Allegra Gardner wants to hire the firm, and she has the trust fund to do it. The murder of her sister, Fiona, six years ago still haunts Allegra.... Mary’s naivete and belief in justice are heartwarming and believable, and all the characters are recognizable without being cliched. This is a long-awaited (since Think Twice, 2010), solid entry into a terrific series. —Stacy Alesi

After a three-year break to write barn-burning crossover thrillers, Scottoline returns to...Rosato & Associates, with an utterly characteristic spin on that old chestnut, the jailed innocent wrongfully convicted of murder.... Mary's surprisingly sober, methodical and uninteresting.... [L]ess thrills and more detection than most of the firm's cases: a showcase for a heroine who aptly describes herself as "Nancy Drew with a J.D."
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
1. In Accused, 13-year-old Allegra comes to Rosato & Associates looking for help. How do you feel about Mary taking on the case despite the parents’ objections? Of the four lawyers, why was Mary the right one for Allegra? As a society, do we take teens seriously enough and listen closely enough to what they have to say?
2. Mary and Bennie each have a different business style. For Mary, business is personal. How is that both beneficial and detrimental to Mary in her career? Do you relate more to Bennie or Mary’s business philosphy? Who would you rather have as your lawyer?
3. Mary is showing signs that she is reluctant to get married. What do you think is holding her back? How much of it can you contribute to pre-wedding jitters, or do you think there is more to it? Do you think it’s a problem when the wife makes more than her husband, or are we past that as a society? is Mary making too much of their power and financial imbalance—or is she making too little of it? Do you think their marriage will happen—and will it succeed? Why or why not?
4. Judy and Mary’s friendship gets tested when Mary becomes Judy’s boss. How do you think this changes their relationship? What advice would you give to Mary on how to handle the situation? Have you ever worked for a friend? Is it a good idea, or a bad idea? Why?
5. Do you think Lonnie was treated fairly by the justice system? How do you feel about Lonnie pleading guilty on the advice of his lawyer? Do you think it was the right thing for him to do given the facts of the case and the situation he was in? How big a part do you think race and social class played in the case?
6. How do you think Fiona’s death affected each family member? Who do you think handled it the best? Who handled it the worst? Do you think Allegra’s parents are still in denial, and in what ways do you think the death of a child changes a family, specifically the dynamics of the family?
7. The wedding dress! What do you think Mary should have done about the battle over her wedding dress? How much of a say do you think parents should have in their children’s weddings? Does it make a difference if the parent’s are paying for the wedding? In what ways do you think a bride shoud cater to her requests of her family, and which things should she do according to her plans, no matter what anyone else wants or thinks?

8. Allegra is a 13-year-old genius. Doesn’t everyone want a genius for a child? Why or why not? Children are bullied and ostracized for so many reasons, both good and bad. What message should parents send their children about trying to fit in? How do children balance the fine line between embracing who they are, yet, fitting in with their peers?
9. Allegra’s parents took a very strong stand, even though it went against their own daughter. What do you think of them as parents? Did you agree or disagree with them? Why? What do you think motivated them to try and stop Mary from investigating the murder? Did you like them, or dislike them? Why?
10. This is Lisa’s first Rosato & Associates book in several years, and she was thrilled that so many readers were anxiously awaiting their return. What do you think it is about the characters that readers relate to? Which of the characters would you like to hear more from?
(Questions from author's website. )

top of page (summary)

Site by BOOM Boom Supercreative

LitLovers © 2018