A Deadly Habit
A Penelope Santucci Mystery by Andrea Sisco
Review: Andrea Sisco introduces Twin Cities probation officer Pen Santucci, who's trying to avoid being arrested for the murder of her ex-husband, in A Deadly Habit.
Pen, short for Penelope, had broken in to her ex-husband's house to retrieve among other things her first edition of Sue Grafton's A is for Alibi, a book definitely worth committing a felony for, when she stumbles over the body of the former man of her dreams. As a probation officer she knows a thing or two about how the law works, and realizes she will be suspect number one (and maybe suspect number only one). She asks a local priest she's known since childhood for help, which arrives in the form of a high-powered attorney, Marco Silva. While Marco does his best keeping Pen out of jail, Pen does her best to discover who killed her ex … and why.
A Deadly Habit is one of those books that can be defined by its opening line; if it causes the reader to grin, it's definitely worth reading on: "'It's been seventeen years since my last confession, Father.' I didn't bother to add 'and seven months and thirteen days.' It didn't make a difference since I'm not Catholic." Pen is almost the very definition of irreverent, but in a respectful way. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, it is … and so is Pen. This is really a character-driven mystery, the character being Pen.
Though Pen's ex was a successful, if less than totally ethical, attorney, there should be no shortage of people who might want him dead. Yet it isn't until halfway through the book that credible suspects are introduced. For some, that may be a little too long to wait for the whodunit element to get started. Still, Pen is a personable companion to pass the time with and her antics in A Deadly Habit will keep many smiling throughout.
Acknowledgment: Andrea Sisco provided an ARC of A Deadly Habit for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in A Deadly Habit: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
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A Deadly Habit by Andrea Sisco — A Penelope Santucci Mystery
Publisher: Five Star
Publication Date: July 2009
List Price: $25.95