These have been sitting in my TBR on my iPad for … years? And after my recent re-read binge of all the novels, I thought I’d knock these out too.
They’re all about what you’d expect from a novella; too short to get into any character development or conflict, just short, happy little mysteries with tidy endings, but they’re fun to read and one or two loose ends from the main body of the series are wrapped up.
The son of New Jersey's last remaining mob boss, Mick Abruzzo wants to live in the real world with a legitimate job, a wife and happy family. But when his family needs him, Mick feels obligated to help. This time, it's his presumed-dead brother, Little Frankie Abruzzo, who needs help getting out from under a pushy bookie. But the simple job of getting Frankie out of debt soon escalates into bad business that threatens the life Mick wants with his lover, Nora Blackbird.
At the start of book 10 A Little Night Murder (I think) it’s obvious there’s some backstory missing; something that was going on between book 9 and 10. This short story fills in the gaps. It’s not strictly necessary, but for a reader invested in the series, it’s satisfying to have.
As a bonus (because not all between novel novellas are equal) this is a very well written, fully formed story about Mick’s struggles to get out of the family business and stay legit. Martin always wrote Mick as a real person, struggling against his upbringing to be better and this story gives the struggle centre stage.
Really well done and reminds me why and how much I miss this series.