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No Human Involved: A Munch Mancini Mystery

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Munch Mancini is trying to get clean and get her act together, but when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder case, sobriety may be what gets her killed. “Smart plotting, taut suspense and a highly original heroine.” — Desert Sun "[A] gripping high-tension ballad of low-life L.A.” —L.A. Buzz A former junkie-turned-auto mechanic, Miranda “Munch” Mancini just wants to ma Munch Mancini is trying to get clean and get her act together, but when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder case, sobriety may be what gets her killed. “Smart plotting, taut suspense and a highly original heroine.” — Desert Sun "[A] gripping high-tension ballad of low-life L.A.” —L.A. Buzz A former junkie-turned-auto mechanic, Miranda “Munch” Mancini just wants to make an honest living. But nothing in life is easy, and Munch’s hopes for a new beginning are dashed when her abusive father turns up murdered, and Munch is the main suspect. Staying clean is one thing, but staying off Detective Mace St. John’s radar, especially when a series of gruesome murders all point to Munch as the culprit, may prove impossible. Her only hope is to cut a deal with the detective, putting her own life on the line to catch a killer. But trust doesn’t come easily for ex-junkies, or for cops. The impulse to betray this precarious alliance may be too strong for either to resist–and may get both of them killed. “Seranella drops us right down into the middle of a dark and perplexing world and makes us feel – along with her hero–just how hard it is to get out.”—T. Jefferson Parker, author of THE TRIGGERMAN’S DANCE “Every so often a first novel is so strong, so original and so well written that it is obviously the beginning of an important career. Seranella has written such a book.”—Poisoned Pen "[A] gritty, gripping novel ... Surprisingly optimistic and funny.”—Orange County Register (L.A.) “Scenes pulse with such startling immediacy—she’s definitely worth another round.”—Kirkus Reviews “Has grit and authentic street life to spare...A book in which characters reveal more depth and humanity than first impressions indicate.”—Publishers Weekly


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Munch Mancini is trying to get clean and get her act together, but when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder case, sobriety may be what gets her killed. “Smart plotting, taut suspense and a highly original heroine.” — Desert Sun "[A] gripping high-tension ballad of low-life L.A.” —L.A. Buzz A former junkie-turned-auto mechanic, Miranda “Munch” Mancini just wants to ma Munch Mancini is trying to get clean and get her act together, but when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder case, sobriety may be what gets her killed. “Smart plotting, taut suspense and a highly original heroine.” — Desert Sun "[A] gripping high-tension ballad of low-life L.A.” —L.A. Buzz A former junkie-turned-auto mechanic, Miranda “Munch” Mancini just wants to make an honest living. But nothing in life is easy, and Munch’s hopes for a new beginning are dashed when her abusive father turns up murdered, and Munch is the main suspect. Staying clean is one thing, but staying off Detective Mace St. John’s radar, especially when a series of gruesome murders all point to Munch as the culprit, may prove impossible. Her only hope is to cut a deal with the detective, putting her own life on the line to catch a killer. But trust doesn’t come easily for ex-junkies, or for cops. The impulse to betray this precarious alliance may be too strong for either to resist–and may get both of them killed. “Seranella drops us right down into the middle of a dark and perplexing world and makes us feel – along with her hero–just how hard it is to get out.”—T. Jefferson Parker, author of THE TRIGGERMAN’S DANCE “Every so often a first novel is so strong, so original and so well written that it is obviously the beginning of an important career. Seranella has written such a book.”—Poisoned Pen "[A] gritty, gripping novel ... Surprisingly optimistic and funny.”—Orange County Register (L.A.) “Scenes pulse with such startling immediacy—she’s definitely worth another round.”—Kirkus Reviews “Has grit and authentic street life to spare...A book in which characters reveal more depth and humanity than first impressions indicate.”—Publishers Weekly

30 review for No Human Involved: A Munch Mancini Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Putnam

    She was a wonderful woman and a friend. She was in my writers read and critique group. I enjoyed her books.. d.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    A much darker story than I had expected, but I really liked the main character Munch and wanted the best for her as she tried to escape her old life - even if her actions were not the most sensible or civilised!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Scheherazade

    Quite mixed feelings about this book. The storyline in itself is not exceptional - somewhat predictable at times, giving way to cliché. Seranella's writing style is solid but she tends to break up the narrative and go off on a tangent, which is quite distracting in a book of this particular genre in particular. Having said all this, I love the characters and already feel a closeness to them because how vulnerable and probable they seem. I am quite willing to read the next book in the series before Quite mixed feelings about this book. The storyline in itself is not exceptional - somewhat predictable at times, giving way to cliché. Seranella's writing style is solid but she tends to break up the narrative and go off on a tangent, which is quite distracting in a book of this particular genre in particular. Having said all this, I love the characters and already feel a closeness to them because how vulnerable and probable they seem. I am quite willing to read the next book in the series before giving up on Seranella just yet.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    I don’t usually seek out drug addict fiction. I’m not an addict or a recovering one but like many, I have loved ones who are both and it’s not something I really try to engage with when reading for leisure. I did enjoy Sara Gran’s Dope earlier this year, but besides that, I can’t recall really engaging with a fictional work featuring a drug addict in the lead. I can’t remember where I originally read a recommendation for Barbara Seranella’s Munch Mancini series. Maybe Christa Faust, who is always I don’t usually seek out drug addict fiction. I’m not an addict or a recovering one but like many, I have loved ones who are both and it’s not something I really try to engage with when reading for leisure. I did enjoy Sara Gran’s Dope earlier this year, but besides that, I can’t recall really engaging with a fictional work featuring a drug addict in the lead. I can’t remember where I originally read a recommendation for Barbara Seranella’s Munch Mancini series. Maybe Christa Faust, who is always recommending random, obscure authors or perhaps it was crimereads.com or some other online listicle. Either way, the premise looked interesting so I decided to try it. I’m glad I did. This is sort of a cat-and-mouse game featuring a cop and possible criminal revolving around biker gangs and a potential serial killer. There’s a mystery but this is more of a character study between the two. And I think Barbara Seranella does a great job of bringing them both to life. I was invested in their stories, Munch’s more so than the cop’s, but I found myself caring about both of their respective well beings and not as much about the case itself. And again, since addict fiction is not my forte, it’s not for me to say definitively how Sernallea handled Munch’s struggle to stay off drugs but I think she did well. It felt authentic enough to see her hurdling through withdrawal and fighting off cravings. And this added desperation to her already desperate character, who while not necessarily trying to walk the straight and narrow, is at the very least making a new life for herself and avoiding one of crime, one she was forced into against her will. This is a bleak, gritty look at the American underbelly in lower class south California. It will not uplift you. But if you like interesting characters trying to figure their loves out with a mystery in the middle, you’ll enjoy this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Longo

    I have a mixed reaction to this book. But the main female character is unique, Munch Mancinci. She is a drug addict who is trying to get clean, a prostitute, and an automobile mechanic. Yes, an automobile mechanic. Her description of the prostitute life is graphic and disturbing. The other main character is Mace St. John, an LA police detective. He is investigating the death of Flower George, Munch's alleged pimp father. She is the main suspect. The procedural aspect of the novel could have been I have a mixed reaction to this book. But the main female character is unique, Munch Mancinci. She is a drug addict who is trying to get clean, a prostitute, and an automobile mechanic. Yes, an automobile mechanic. Her description of the prostitute life is graphic and disturbing. The other main character is Mace St. John, an LA police detective. He is investigating the death of Flower George, Munch's alleged pimp father. She is the main suspect. The procedural aspect of the novel could have been clearer. But in retrospect I liked this book and found Munch Mancini a pretty interesting character.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm52732

    Read many years ago... i know I liked it as I answered a question regarding books with female mechanics and the author's name popped into my mind. Read many years ago... i know I liked it as I answered a question regarding books with female mechanics and the author's name popped into my mind.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Barstad

    Good story This was a pretty good story. A few surprises, especially the ending. Even a nice happy ending for Lunch after everything she's been through. Good story This was a pretty good story. A few surprises, especially the ending. Even a nice happy ending for Lunch after everything she's been through.

  8. 5 out of 5

    William Milks

    A nice switcheroo ending I didn’t see coming. A noir LA crime novel from the 90s that was recommended to me via a “list of LA noir classics.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Clinton

    This book didnt grab my attention from the start and I found it only picked up during the last few chapters. I did enjoy the characters but the book just didnt blow me away.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Darbyshire

    [These comments are taken from a mailing list discussion and as such contain spoilers....] [on the characters] I've been looking forward to reading this book for yonks and was expecting to love it and I wasn't disappointed. I was surprised that Mace had a bigger role than Munch as I hadn't heard about him and having read the book I'm surprised to find that Mace doesn't come back again straight away in the next book. If I hadn't known that this was Munch's series before reading the book the [These comments are taken from a mailing list discussion and as such contain spoilers....] [on the characters] I've been looking forward to reading this book for yonks and was expecting to love it and I wasn't disappointed. I was surprised that Mace had a bigger role than Munch as I hadn't heard about him and having read the book I'm surprised to find that Mace doesn't come back again straight away in the next book. If I hadn't known that this was Munch's series before reading the book then I would have expected it to be Mace's series.Most of the characterisations in the book were great, I loved both Munch and Mace. The various mechanics, Ruby and Digger were the other characters who made an impression on me. Some of the characters with less redeeming characteristics seemed a bit thin and stereotyped. In particular I thought Potts wasn't fleshed out enough. I got a vague idea that Mace didn't get on with him but he didn't make enough of a mark on me that the resolution seemed believable. [on the setting] The setting felt vaguely out of place to me but this has been resolved by reading the discussion. I had absolutely no idea that this was set in the 70s. In the bit about bicentennial coasters in the bar I thought that either the landlord had stocked up enough coasters to last 20 odd years or my recall of dates in American history was rather wonky; the latter was quite feasible and the former was hilarious!Knowing that the book is in the 70s makes it feel less out of joint and explains the lack of worries about AIDS, condoms, dirty needles etc. which was festering in the back of my head as a little incongruous as I read. As well as why a suspect could mistake a photocopier for a lie detector which bugged me a bit too.The physical setting didn't envelope the book as it does in some others but I got a good feel of a big city where Munch had just about never seen countryside and I liked the little details of settings like the filled in canals around Digger's house. [on the plot] I didn't feel that this book was a great mystery, it wasn't really about the plot and was far more character based. The Bellona Creek Butcher murders were interesting but seemed to fizzle out a bit to me the mystery of who killed Flower George didn't really grab me as I knew it wasn't Munch; I was far more concerned with how Munch was coping really. The resolution was good from Munch's point of view but Potts didn't really work as a killer for me. [on the pacing, scenes] The pacing seemed fine to me, I didn't feel that there were any dull lulls or filler (and the pacing would have been better if I hadn't had to put the book down every ten minutes but I can't blame the author for that!) The only thing in the book that really didn't work for me now I've got the time of the book right was the unmasking of the killer but I may just have not been paying enough attention to those bits of the story in my worries about Munch. The bits I find most memorable in the book were little details like Munch stealing syringes from the hospital and then chucking them away, the kid on the street helping Digger out, and Munch using brains rather than brawn to take engines to pieces. [on this being a first book] As I said at the top it wasn't clear to me from reading this book what the "concept for the series" was, if I hadn't already known that Munch was to star then I would have expected Mace but probably because having the detective as the central character is what I'm used to. Whilst I like Mace a lot I think Munch is going to make a great central character and I'm really looking forward to the next book.This book didn't feel like a first book to me, if I had to pick on something as not seeming fully polished it would be that some of the mystery elements could have been stronger without destroying the great character parts of the book, and that the time period wasn't clear enough to me. Mostly this book was great stuff and I'd read the next one even if it wasn't for a discussion and I doubt I'll stop until the series is over.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    This was an Ok read. I didn't think I was going to like it for the first several chapters. If it weren't for Munch, the now ex-junkie hooker, I don't think I would have liked it as much as I did. She was a very interesting character. Now for the writing and editing.... - I honestly can't say that it was edited at all. In one paragraph it would be in one setting but the next paragraph would bounce to something completely different. This happened a fair amount. - The author introduced the main dete This was an Ok read. I didn't think I was going to like it for the first several chapters. If it weren't for Munch, the now ex-junkie hooker, I don't think I would have liked it as much as I did. She was a very interesting character. Now for the writing and editing.... - I honestly can't say that it was edited at all. In one paragraph it would be in one setting but the next paragraph would bounce to something completely different. This happened a fair amount. - The author introduced the main detective character in the second chapter I believe. His name was Mace St. John. The author didn't pick one name to call him by, she alternated between Mace and St. John. I found it quite annoying. Mostly for the fact that when he was first introduced, I kept reading the narrative as though it was a different character. - For as much detail as the author allotted to Mace's home and his relationship with his father, there was hardly anything to the final sequence of events. This was a big kidnapping and then an abduction by a sadist. It should have been drawn out. I should have been on the edge of my seat. This was what the whole story brought us to, but it was a bit of a let-down. It just happened too quickly. It's not a book I would say to run out and buy but if you can get it for a couple of dollars, it's worth it. I liked it enough that I might give the next in the series a try.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    No Human Involved is the first book in Barbara Seranella's Munch Mancini series. I had read two of the later books in the series before reading this first one. All are enjoyable books, with this one, it was good to get the 'background' on Munch's character, including the origination of the name Munch. Somehow this book seemed to be a harsher look at Munch's lifestyle, (view spoiler)[I suppose this is because she is only a few days sober/clean and the threat of her backsliding is closer to being No Human Involved is the first book in Barbara Seranella's Munch Mancini series. I had read two of the later books in the series before reading this first one. All are enjoyable books, with this one, it was good to get the 'background' on Munch's character, including the origination of the name Munch. Somehow this book seemed to be a harsher look at Munch's lifestyle, (view spoiler)[I suppose this is because she is only a few days sober/clean and the threat of her backsliding is closer to being a real possibility. In addition, the fact that it takes most of this first book for Munch to be cleared as a murder suspect makes the book less of a celebration of her tenacity and strength than in the subsequent books. It is a good introduction to characters who play an important role in later books like Ruby and Mace, in fact to some extent Munch takes a more backseat role in No Human Involved and is more of a periphery character. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Hagen

    No Human Involved, by Barbara Seranella, b-plus,Narrated by Paul Poehmer, produced by Audible Inc., downloaded from audible.com. I have been waiting a long time for these books to become available through audible.com. They are all available now. I could wish that they had chosen a female narrator, but Boehmer does a decent job of narration. In this book we’re introduced to Munch Mansini. Munch is her nickname, for Munchkin, because she’s so short. She hasn’t had an easy life. She’s barely out of No Human Involved, by Barbara Seranella, b-plus,Narrated by Paul Poehmer, produced by Audible Inc., downloaded from audible.com. I have been waiting a long time for these books to become available through audible.com. They are all available now. I could wish that they had chosen a female narrator, but Boehmer does a decent job of narration. In this book we’re introduced to Munch Mansini. Munch is her nickname, for Munchkin, because she’s so short. She hasn’t had an easy life. She’s barely out of her teens and she was subjected by her father to abuse. She was hooked on drugs, was further abused by a bikers gang, but somehow learned all about cars and became a talented mechanic. This series is partly autobiographical as Seranella herself was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and was a top-notch mechanic. In the last ten years of her life, sober now, she wrote this series which was very successful.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julian Davies

    I could do without the AA/god flag-waving, but the gonorrhea-riddled (not one strain, but two, greedy thing!), lately-anti-heroin anti-heroine does have her moments. I also learned a great deal about the internal combustion engine. But what's all this bolleaux about teletypes & ham radio, I thought, then remembered that the book was set in the seventies/eighties (nineteen, not eighteen). For which reason, the pre-Crips & Bloods evocation of badlands Venice, CA, was effective too. Authoress Barbar I could do without the AA/god flag-waving, but the gonorrhea-riddled (not one strain, but two, greedy thing!), lately-anti-heroin anti-heroine does have her moments. I also learned a great deal about the internal combustion engine. But what's all this bolleaux about teletypes & ham radio, I thought, then remembered that the book was set in the seventies/eighties (nineteen, not eighteen). For which reason, the pre-Crips & Bloods evocation of badlands Venice, CA, was effective too. Authoress Barbara Seranella's early life - she died in January of this year at age 50 while awaiting a third liver transplant - seems to be the basis for her female protag, Miranda 'Munch' Mancini. Read her LA Times obit or Denise Hamilton's appreciation on LA Observed, & join the dots.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Georgiana Huizenga

    I read this book because a friend recommended the author to me, and this was the first of the series. Munch Mancini is a junkie, a former hooker and a victim of abuse. She is determined to get her life back together, though and get clean. When her brutal father, "Flower George" is murdered, she is the main suspect. Mace St. John is the cop investigating the murder and ties Munch to the gruesome murders of several hookers. He needs to find Munch to find out what really happened, and Munch will ha I read this book because a friend recommended the author to me, and this was the first of the series. Munch Mancini is a junkie, a former hooker and a victim of abuse. She is determined to get her life back together, though and get clean. When her brutal father, "Flower George" is murdered, she is the main suspect. Mace St. John is the cop investigating the murder and ties Munch to the gruesome murders of several hookers. He needs to find Munch to find out what really happened, and Munch will have to trust him unless she wants to become the next victim. This is a well-written, suspenseful novel, and Munch is a flawed, but somehow appealing heroine. I definitely want to read other books in this series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    PelicanFreak

    I just couldn't handle this book. I cannot think of any other time that I didn't see a book through, even if I did fail to get into it but this one - I just couldn't go on... it just never picked up, grasped me and was highly predictable -what I did manage to read of it. The description sounded incredibly griping but - it doesn't seem to totally fit - unless of course it takes more than 53% of the book to get to the point where it does fit the synopsis. I'd give the author another chance for sure I just couldn't handle this book. I cannot think of any other time that I didn't see a book through, even if I did fail to get into it but this one - I just couldn't go on... it just never picked up, grasped me and was highly predictable -what I did manage to read of it. The description sounded incredibly griping but - it doesn't seem to totally fit - unless of course it takes more than 53% of the book to get to the point where it does fit the synopsis. I'd give the author another chance for sure and feel bad to write a poor review but the authors I do know say to always write honest reviews either way so there it is.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ezekial Borgia

    I'm always looking for crime authors that I haven't read before. I almost passed on Seranella because her main character is named Munch. A little too cutesy for me. But then I read that Munch is an auto-mechanic. That intrigued me enough to give this book a shot. Maybe I could learn a little about car repair. As the story starts Munch is a drug addict who's taking her first steps toward recovery. Seranella does a good job of weaving this into the story without distracting from the plot. As a whole I'm always looking for crime authors that I haven't read before. I almost passed on Seranella because her main character is named Munch. A little too cutesy for me. But then I read that Munch is an auto-mechanic. That intrigued me enough to give this book a shot. Maybe I could learn a little about car repair. As the story starts Munch is a drug addict who's taking her first steps toward recovery. Seranella does a good job of weaving this into the story without distracting from the plot. As a whole, the story is good. I liked Munch and I like Seranella. I'll be reading the next book in the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    It was an interesting mystery. I think it's a perfect commuter book, and you'll find it difficult to quit since it is a cliff-hanger from chapter to chapter. However, it's not a omg omg omg kind of book, but the characters are definitely captivating. The only problem is the killer is strangely out of sight and off stage, more distant lightening than thunder, and when the mystery resolves it is too quick and inert. Munch, one of the two main characters, is pleasingly both a mess and competent sur It was an interesting mystery. I think it's a perfect commuter book, and you'll find it difficult to quit since it is a cliff-hanger from chapter to chapter. However, it's not a omg omg omg kind of book, but the characters are definitely captivating. The only problem is the killer is strangely out of sight and off stage, more distant lightening than thunder, and when the mystery resolves it is too quick and inert. Munch, one of the two main characters, is pleasingly both a mess and competent survivor.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robin Strauss

    Great story. Good pacing. I loved the characters, very fleshed out. Mace and his cronies could have their own spin off series, his instincts, detective work, and connections were so well done. Munch was tough and smart can't wait to see what else she does. A vulnerable underdog it's easy to route for but the author avoids pulling at your heart strings by making her capable and determined. Also, she doesn't spend time in the sickos heads, just sticks to the facts, it somehow keeps the nastiness f Great story. Good pacing. I loved the characters, very fleshed out. Mace and his cronies could have their own spin off series, his instincts, detective work, and connections were so well done. Munch was tough and smart can't wait to see what else she does. A vulnerable underdog it's easy to route for but the author avoids pulling at your heart strings by making her capable and determined. Also, she doesn't spend time in the sickos heads, just sticks to the facts, it somehow keeps the nastiness from being overwhelming, it keeps the focus of the story on the struggle of the good guys.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    A mystery novel, split between the detective on the case and the runaway it affected. Much of the story concerns the daily minutia of their lives rather than the investigation of Munch's father's death. Munch is a fascinating and heartbreaking character--an addicted teen with nothing going for her but stubborn will and experience as a mechanic. The mystery isn't great, and the ending is just ridiculous. A mystery novel, split between the detective on the case and the runaway it affected. Much of the story concerns the daily minutia of their lives rather than the investigation of Munch's father's death. Munch is a fascinating and heartbreaking character--an addicted teen with nothing going for her but stubborn will and experience as a mechanic. The mystery isn't great, and the ending is just ridiculous.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    This is a story about a junkie and a homicide detective- I liked that its main characters were so un-relatable, yet still somehow likable. This is, somehow, also what I did not like. If the author had pushed a little harder, gone a little deeper- if she had made the characters less likable and (or more relatable) it would have been the same story, really, but so much more intellectually stimulating.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Interesting story if you enjoy police novels While this is admittedly not my usual genre, I found the story interesting, character development nicely done and the characters interesting. I found only one instance of confusion toward the end, where it appeared the author lost track of the scene being created. Munch is tied up outside, but the scene seems to indicate something inside and upstairs for her location. All said, the story keeps the reader's attention to the end. Interesting story if you enjoy police novels While this is admittedly not my usual genre, I found the story interesting, character development nicely done and the characters interesting. I found only one instance of confusion toward the end, where it appeared the author lost track of the scene being created. Munch is tied up outside, but the scene seems to indicate something inside and upstairs for her location. All said, the story keeps the reader's attention to the end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    The first of a series, the main character, Munch Mancini, is a recovering addict and the survivor of a terrible childhood including being repeatedly raped by a man who has told her he is her father, or maybe not. At the inception of this series, Munch has stopped taking drugs (the reason is not revealed), running from the police, buys a $300 car and gets stranded in the Sepulveda Pass when the timing chain of her purchased car becomes stripped.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    A tightly written mystery involving a mechanic who's trying to kick heroin and escape her harrowing past...a total page turner. This is the first in a series and now I need to rest, stat! Sadly, I just found out the author passed very recently from liver disease while she was waiting for a transplant. A tightly written mystery involving a mechanic who's trying to kick heroin and escape her harrowing past...a total page turner. This is the first in a series and now I need to rest, stat! Sadly, I just found out the author passed very recently from liver disease while she was waiting for a transplant.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather Hatfield

    It was alright. I really enjoyed both of the main characters of the book and how the story developed. it didn't have me eager to keep the pages turning and the ending was less than great. This is also not.usually the type of.book I choose for myself though, so that may play into how I felt about it general. It was alright. I really enjoyed both of the main characters of the book and how the story developed. it didn't have me eager to keep the pages turning and the ending was less than great. This is also not.usually the type of.book I choose for myself though, so that may play into how I felt about it general.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Colin Conway

    I loved this book. Seranella's Munch Mancini is a fantastic character. From her battle with drug addiction to her size to her attitude, Munch is cut from a different cloth and that's what makes her wonderful. The book had great pacing and the plot was well-thought out. I'd definitely recommend this book and I am excited to read the next in the series. I loved this book. Seranella's Munch Mancini is a fantastic character. From her battle with drug addiction to her size to her attitude, Munch is cut from a different cloth and that's what makes her wonderful. The book had great pacing and the plot was well-thought out. I'd definitely recommend this book and I am excited to read the next in the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Another re-read, and a favorite series. Gritty, rough, with the major character very flawed woman. This book the first in a series. Am waiting for the next in the series so I can read them all in order.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Freeland

    I read this because of a NY magazine recommendation and was very disappointed: no real sense of mystery or suspense, two-dimension characters, sloppy plotting, too many cliches and stereotypes, flabby voice.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Intense, heartening. Spattered lightly with foul language, some very ugly violence. Good guys win & new life to those who change, not a Christian novel but similar theme with different "higher power" (gods). TTS-enabled, free on Amazon at this time (2014 A.D.). Intense, heartening. Spattered lightly with foul language, some very ugly violence. Good guys win & new life to those who change, not a Christian novel but similar theme with different "higher power" (gods). TTS-enabled, free on Amazon at this time (2014 A.D.).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Walter

    Loved the setting: the seedier side of Venice, California, in the late 1970s. Looking forward to the next installment. Will Munch continue to keep straight and sober? Will she and St. John interact again? What other Venice landmarks will be featured?

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