cover image I'm a Fool to Kill You: A Rat Pack Mystery

I'm a Fool to Kill You: A Rat Pack Mystery

Robert J. Randisi, Severn, $28.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-6940-1

Celebrity gossip from the early '60s gives a nostalgic gloss to Randisi's slick, lightweight fifth Rat Pack mystery (after 2009's You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Kills You). When Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra's ex-wife, shows up in Las Vegas distraught because she woke up from a drunken binge covered with someone's blood, Eddie Gianelli, a pit boss at the Sands hotel-casino and discreet fixer of entertainers' personal problems, steps in to straighten things out. That involves trips to L.A., where more murder and mayhem occur; back to Vegas, ditto; and to Chicago, where Sammy Davis Jr. accompanies him to a scary meeting with mob boss Sam Giancana. While most of the fun derives from viewing famous people in new roles (gorgeous Ava on the lam! hot-tempered Frankie with a gat!), Randisi gives a lively sense of Vegas's glitz and the glittering, feckless people who flourished in the spotlight. (Jan.)