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PRIZZI'S MONEY by Richard Condon

PRIZZI'S MONEY

By Richard Condon

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1994
ISBN: 0-517-59695-4
Publisher: Crown

 Condon in top form with his fourth all-Prizzi novel. Just as Prizzi's Family (1986) was a prequel to Prizzi's Honor (1982), so this latest is a prequel to Prizzi's Glory (1988). Aging billionaire Henry Asbury, his investments collapsing, arranges to have himself ``kidnapped'' so that his young wife Julia can pay a $75-million tax-free ransom for him. Although Julia is in on the scam, she doesn't know that Henry's money is largely tied up with the Prizzi billions, that the whole scam is a Prizzi invention, with the rather amazing kidnapping (from a high-speed boat going 68 mph in Long Island Sound) to be carried off by Prizzi hoods. On the other hand, what Henry doesn't know is that Julia is the daughter of Prizzi enforcer Charley Partanna's chief assistant, known as ``The Plumber.'' So when Julia schemes to keep the $75 million, which the Prizzis see as rightfully theirs, they ice husband Henry, dump his body into the Sound, and leave her a widow. But somehow her claims escalate until a billion.four of Prizzi money seems headed directly into her purse. Thus Charley Partanna is dispatched to off Julia--but instead he falls for her just as she falls for him like electrons joining head-on in a supercollider and they begin hearing marriage bells. Charley, though, is still engaged to sleek, exiled Maerose, while the Prizzi family's top brain, Harvard-educated Edward C. Price (Eduardo Prizzi), has himself fallen for Julia and wants to shoehorn Charley Partanna out of the picture and marry Julia himself and save the family's billion.four (with interest). Will Julia choose Eduardo or Charley Partanna? We know from Prizzi's Glory that Charley at last marries Maerose and becomes Chief of Staff to Edward's President of the USA. A tangled web!