CHARLIE OPERA by Charlie Stella


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Stella’s Goodfellas (Jimmy Bench-Press, 2002, etc.) do their wild and crazy thing once more.

All is not harmonious in the Vignieri crime family. Underboss Anthony Cuccia, age 65, is trying to talk his recently made nephew into being sensible. Vendettas are okay, the older and wiser mobster acknowledges, if they don’t interfere with business. But Nick has wires in his mouth as the result of a jaw broken by a seriously annoyed husband, and somebody has to pay. What happened was this: Nick attempted to lay claim to a portion of Lisa Pellecchia’s anatomy to which he was neither legally nor morally entitled. She slapped him, he shoved her, and Charlie Pellecchia decked him. “He gotta answer for this,” Nick intones. Cut from New York to Las Vegas, where opera-loving Charlie and his opera-hating Lisa are vacationing in the hope of repairing rifts in their marriage. Though Nick is indefatigable in his pursuit of vengeance, hit-men just aren’t what they used to be, and Charlie proves exceptionally clever besides, good with his hands, and very elusive. Nick’s hit-men (think Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in sharp suits) fail, and a variety of second-string killers don’t kill any better. Still, this is the mob according to Stella, which means body bags will be piled high sooner or later.

Violent, brutal at times, but the pace never slows, and you’ll like tough, tenderhearted Charlie a lot.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7867-1213-9
Page count: 308pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2003


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