Her architectural-salvage business involves Roxy Abruzzo in a number of exciting finds, including an unexpected case of murder.
The burned-out mansion of Pittsburgh millionaire Julius Hyde is the latest stop on Roxy’s list of salvage jobs. She and her hefty but none-too-bright assistant Nooch run into Julius, but he leaves before Roxy helps herself to what appears to be a valuable marble statue in order to help out at home. Roxy, who had a rough childhood and got pregnant at 17, relies on a lawyer aunt to help her raise bright, beautiful and possibly pregnant daughter Sage, whose father Flynn is now the chef at one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants. Finding money for school fees without relying on Flynn or her Mafia-connected family has gotten so difficult that the valuable statue proves an irresistible temptation, but perhaps a perilous one as well. When someone murders Julius after Roxy leaves the site, she’s in a fix. Her free-and-easy lifestyle, which has already led to sex with another Hyde brother, now pairs her with Henry Paxton, the family’s lawyer, who’s not above fiddling with the will of matriarch Dorothy Hyde as she slips in and out of comas. With all that money up for grabs, Roxy’s quest to discover who killed Julius puts her in grave danger.
Martin’s change of sleuths from wishy-washy Philadelphia socialite Nora Blackbird (Murder Melts in Your Mouth, 2008, etc.) to gritty Pittsburgh tough gal Roxy is a definite improvement.