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No Regrets, No Remorse

No Regrets, No Remorse, winner of the first Poisoned Pen Press Discover Mystery Contest. Sydney Simone, wounded herself, is dedicated to helping via a cloaked website and identity those whose wrongs can t be righted by orthodox means. First she verifies the client s story; then she accepts payment: half up front, half on completion of her work. Usually it s a form of human pest control. For cover, Sydney works as an assistant at the Rose Madder Gallery in West Palm Beach run by Oscar Leopold. Oscar, a sculptor, has left his law practice behind. But now his former partner Roy is arrested for murdering Big Jack, an attorney with a sleazy television advertising presence. At the same time Sydney is dealing with a client who has seemingly penetrated her defenses and demands she complete a job rubbing out Big Jack. an assignment where she has accepted, and pocketed, an unusually large fee. So now Sydney the client gives Sydney a new target and Sydney switches gears: dedicated to saving herself, Oscar, and Roy, even as she continues to operate Teaming with Oscar isn t easy since she can t tell him all she knows, but soon their investigation leads to a complex insurance fraud scheme that implicates Roy perhaps he really is guilty. But Oscar becomes an investigative target himself and is arrested, then kidnapped and assaulted as he tries to find the true killer. The story ranges from the corporate offices of South Florida to the backwaters of the panhandle. The bad guys are dangerous and desperate to keep their careers, their freedom, even their lives. Oscar and Sydney, their own lives and livelihoods at stake, must up their game Sydney may even have to reveal her game to survive."
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About the Author

Ronald Farrington Sharp practiced law for 34 years and has been a professional sculptor for even longer. He now writes and sculpts in his studio on the beach in Florida where he lives with his wife, the artist Susannah Keith, and their standard poodle, Puccini. His sculpture is featured in the collections of two dozen major universities throughout the country. He is also the author of two non-fiction books in the legal field, Winning the Divorce War, and Living Trusts for Everyone.


Sydney Simone feels no compunction about being a vigilante hit woman while concurrently maintaining an existence as assistant to sculptor and part-time lawyer Oscar Leopold. When a hit goes bad, Sydney pockets her payment anyway, never dreaming that bad guy Rico will track her down. Meanwhile, Oscar's lawyer buddy Roy is arrested for blowing up another attorney, and Oscar reluctantly takes the case. Then yet another lawyer dies, and the common denominator appears to be Florida's corrupt insurance legal defense industry. Readers won't be surprised-although Oscar is-to find Sydney smack dab in the middle of the mess. Let's see how clever she is now. VERDICT Sharp's nifty and intricate plotting saves the day for this winner of the first Poisoned Pen Press Discovery Mystery Award. While the author's characters may fail to engage (why is Sydney so grim; why is Oscar so passive?), it's hard to argue with the author's fiery and satisfying conclusion. Floridian pairings: try with Michael Haskins and Steven Forman. [See Prepub Alert, 7/2/12.] (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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