This book is part of the Rosato and DiNunzio series, but can stand alone. It focuses on Judy Carrier who is an associate at the all woman firm of Rosato and Associates. After being handed a damages case where she would have to defend a company Judy is not too happy with her boss. The case will take an enormous amount of her time and energy. She can't count on her best friend to go to bat for her with the boss because her friend is now a partner and it would cause issues. And right at the same time, she receives news that her beloved Aunt has breast cancer, has had chemo and now needs breast removal surgery. Taking the weekend she immediately goes to see her aunt before her surgery. When she arrives, however, she discovers her mother already there. Already on tense footing with her, the stress of the situation amplifies when her mother makes it clear that her Aunt Barb's Mexican friend Iris is not someone her mom approves of. When Iris turns up dead in her vehicle, Aunt Barb cannot come to grips with it being the heart attack that the police are saying it was. Suspecting foul play and out of compassion for her distraught aunt, Judy starts to poke around and discovers huge amounts of money in Iris's gardening box in her aunt's garage. As she starts to try to figure out how that kind of money could come to an illegal immigrant, Judy starts to uncover all manner of mystery about the woman's life and death. And to top it all off, things aren't going so well back at work or in her relationship with her live in boyfriend.
I love mysteries by Lisa Scottoline but I have to say this wasn't a favourite. It had it's highs and it's lows for me. For starters, I don't know if I was sold on the main character of Judy. There was just some things that didn't mesh for me. Just for a few examples without giving away story: She was desiring to eventually want to make partner in the firm yet was trying everything she could to get out of the work her boss was putting on her to do. She seemed to not know about some things in the storyline that I thought was odd, for example, for an educated woman she didn't know what surgical drains were, for a lawyer she seemed to have no clue what ICE was which is Immigration and Customs Enforcement. I thought that was odd. She may not have specialized in that but as a lawyer you'd think she would know the term. She put herself in not just extremely dangerous situations, but to me, foolishly dangerous situations... again for an educated woman? Anyway that could have just been the way I viewed things. Maybe because it involved her precious aunt she lost sight of what was totally and foolishly unsafe in lieu of finding the answers. There was also the issue of too much. Between family illness, family relational breakdowns, love relational issues, work issues, and now a big old mystery on her hands, there just seemed to be too much going on in this girl's life all at the same time. I wondered how on earth she got herself up and going with everything happening to her. I did, however, enjoy the actual mystery. It was a page turner and I couldn't put it down. I had to see what was going to happen and how it all played out. I also liked how through the characters of Iris and her immigrant friends, I learned a bit about the difficulties of illegal immigrants in the U.S. That was interesting for me.
So in all, this particular one was an average read for me, didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. But it won't stop me from reading other books from this author.