cover image When Somebody Kills You: A Rat Pack Mystery

When Somebody Kills You: A Rat Pack Mystery

Robert J. Randisi. Severn, $27.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8516-6

In Randisi’s middling 10th Rat Pack mystery (after 2013’s The Way You Die Tonight), Frank Sinatra asks Las Vegas casino host Eddie Gianelli to assist Judy Garland, who’s being blackmailed for $50,000 by someone who claims to have a compromising photo of her. But Eddie has his own pressing problem—someone has put out a $10,000 contract on him, inspiring a motley crew of hit men. Enter the immense Big Jerry, a genial mob enforcer assigned to be Eddie’s bodyguard. Perhaps their trip to L.A. to help Judy will throw the hit men off Eddie’s trail? Not a chance. Bullets fly, cars explode, and corpses accumulate. Real-life figures such as Dean Martin, gangster Sam Giancana, and Mark Herron, a lounge lizard in line to become Judy’s fourth husband, supply some modest pleasures. Less welcome are the many scenes illustrating Big Jerry’s bottomless appetite. But for those with a nostalgic bent, Randisi’s sympathetic portrait of the fragile, fading Judy Garland may suffice. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Sept.)