What a fun read…

I want to follow up an earlier review of Robert Randisi’s Rat Pack Mystery novels, with a quick update and review of I’m a Fool to Kill You — the 5th book in the series.

Not being especially acquainted with Ava Gardner’s background, I thought I might have trouble connecting with this story — the previous four RPack mysteries from Randisi have placed the likes of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy and Marilyn Monroe at the center of the murder mystery story-lines — but I couldn’t have been more wrong. [Read more…]


Since we’ve been talking about Crossover Artists this week, just for fun I am crossing over to the literary side to chat you up on Robert J. Randisi’s six-pack of Rat Pack Mystery novels.

Fun is definitely the operative word with these books … at least if you’re a fan of “the Pack” and enjoy fast breaking private-eye style mysteries. We’re not talking Pulitzer prize winning stuff here, but Randisi uses the first-person PI style to great effect and immerses the reader in the lively (hot!) action packed Vegas that was home to Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey in their hey day.

All the trappings are here with scads of Hollywood stars, show girls, booze and all manner of trouble for Eddie Gianelli — former Brooklyn CPA, now a blackjack pit boss at the Sands. Eddie finds himself in the middle of it when Jack Entratter asks him for a small favor … he just wants Eddie to help his friend Frank Sinatra out with a little blackmail issue!

Thats’s the thumbnail for the first book in the series — Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime — where it turns out Frank needs someone “expendable” to help Dean out of a nasty fix.  [Read more…]


Could there be a more aptly named book about Dean Martin?

“DEAN MARTIN cool then, cool now” is a fun photo essay of how cool Dean Martin’s life was during the best of times. This is a combo photo album and dual CD musical tribute … let’s hit on the book first.

The Book…

It’s important to note that “cool then, cool now” is not a biography or expose; there are several books that fit that bill (try Shawn Levy’s Rat Pack Confidential), but this Dean Martin Family Trust effort is essentially a photo album. With the exception of a forward from Kevin Spacey and brief intros from at the beginning of each major section, the only words in the book are captions under the photos. That said, the writing that does appear is nicely done — just enough to lend some context, humor and poignancy to the great pictures. [Read more…]