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NO MAN STANDING by Barbara Seranella


by Barbara Seranella

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2002
ISBN: 0-7432-1386-6
Publisher: Scribner

Munch Mancini (Unfinished Business, 2001, etc.) is about to realize the dream of a lifetime as she and her daughter Asia prepare to move into the home she’s bought with money she’s actually earned—as opposed to hustled or stolen—at a legitimate job as a mechanic in a Texaco station in LA. Only two things stand in her way: (1) Noreen Ramsey, a realtor whose lease on reality expired last month and who takes revenge for Munch’s brief fling with her ex-husband Alex by posting the ex-biker’s rap sheet, complete with busts for possession, all over town; and (2) Ellen Summers, a friend from Munch’s old life, who’s released from prison to find her mother brutally murdered by someone who thought she knew something that breaking all her fingers could coax her into telling. With nowhere else to go, Ellen lands on Munch’s soon-to-be-vacated doorstep with the clothes on her back, an extensive wardrobe of wigs, and a bag of cash certified by Suki Monash—whose taste for heroin cost her a steady job at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing—as high-grade counterfeit. But the bills’ iffy pedigree doesn’t discourage every grifter in town, including Billy Vega and Lawrence (Animal) Whitley, Ellen’s old pals from the Spearmint Rhino strip club. Tempers flare and corpses pile up as Ellen and her excess baggage test Munch’s loyalty to the limit.

Seranella’s fifth may be her best yet: fast-paced and brainy but with plenty of heart.