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A Crazy Little Thing Called Death

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Impoverished Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster, leaving the city's bluebloods in shock. Then Nora and her sisters get some ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Even stranger, her family wants her declared dead Impoverished Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster, leaving the city's bluebloods in shock. Then Nora and her sisters get some ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Even stranger, her family wants her declared dead pronto. Could someone have plotted her final act? Now it's up to the Blackbird sisters to snoop among the snooty-until they uncover the truth.


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Impoverished Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster, leaving the city's bluebloods in shock. Then Nora and her sisters get some ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Even stranger, her family wants her declared dead Impoverished Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster, leaving the city's bluebloods in shock. Then Nora and her sisters get some ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Even stranger, her family wants her declared dead pronto. Could someone have plotted her final act? Now it's up to the Blackbird sisters to snoop among the snooty-until they uncover the truth.

30 review for A Crazy Little Thing Called Death

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Allen

    Nora is reminded every five pages what it means to be in a mob family, and every five pages, she is surprised and distraught. Nothing Mick does is ever good enough to compensate for his EEEEEEEVIL. He's like a puppy on a "but I love you" leash that she uses to reel him in so she can kick him, and it is officially on my last nerve. Repeat after me: LOVE is ACCEPTANCE. If there's any "He'd be perfect, if he'd only change into a completely different person," you need to cut him loose and find a com Nora is reminded every five pages what it means to be in a mob family, and every five pages, she is surprised and distraught. Nothing Mick does is ever good enough to compensate for his EEEEEEEVIL. He's like a puppy on a "but I love you" leash that she uses to reel him in so she can kick him, and it is officially on my last nerve. Repeat after me: LOVE is ACCEPTANCE. If there's any "He'd be perfect, if he'd only change into a completely different person," you need to cut him loose and find a completely different person, because if you don't, you're a rigid, manipulative, controlling psycho and I have zero sympathy for your excuses for being one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kayeb

    Just a fun read.... I liked the main character and her family, intrigued by her relationship with Mick, and where that may go, all in all I will read others in this series. Impoverished Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster, leaving the city's bluebloods in shock. Then Nora and her sisters get some ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Ev Just a fun read.... I liked the main character and her family, intrigued by her relationship with Mick, and where that may go, all in all I will read others in this series. Impoverished Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster, leaving the city's bluebloods in shock. Then Nora and her sisters get some ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine, ex-Hollywood starlet and daughter of the Philadelphia Devines, has mysteriously disappeared. Even stranger, her family wants her declared dead pronto. Could someone have plotted her final act? Now it's up to the Blackbird sisters to snoop among the snooty-until they uncover the truth.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mailis Viiand

    Dialog Martin writes is always funny and to the point and keeps surprising me to no end...even something frivolous can be satisfying if its been done so well...and the frustration of having meddling relatives is real and sometimes i think the main heroine should be awarded as worlds most patient sister, but in the end the comedyball keeps rolling with vigor, martin writes a pretty darn good book...this one has a little drama in it too, and it only adds warmth to it all...it never gets to sappy o Dialog Martin writes is always funny and to the point and keeps surprising me to no end...even something frivolous can be satisfying if its been done so well...and the frustration of having meddling relatives is real and sometimes i think the main heroine should be awarded as worlds most patient sister, but in the end the comedyball keeps rolling with vigor, martin writes a pretty darn good book...this one has a little drama in it too, and it only adds warmth to it all...it never gets to sappy or preaching...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cherisse

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 Darker in tone than the earlier books in this series: Michael is shot; he falls down the stairs; his leg is broken by an animal trap; he's accused of a gangland murder; he's shot several times at the end, breaking some ribs; he and Nora are engaged at the beginning of the story, and break up at the end. Nora is nearly kidnapped; she confesses to Michael that she donated eggs to a college classmate (10 years ago) who was infertile but who had married into a rich family that expected a child. T 3.5 Darker in tone than the earlier books in this series: Michael is shot; he falls down the stairs; his leg is broken by an animal trap; he's accused of a gangland murder; he's shot several times at the end, breaking some ribs; he and Nora are engaged at the beginning of the story, and break up at the end. Nora is nearly kidnapped; she confesses to Michael that she donated eggs to a college classmate (10 years ago) who was infertile but who had married into a rich family that expected a child. The father, Raphael Braga is in Philadelphia for the memorial polo match in memory of Sweet Penny Devine (cousins on Nora's mother's side), and even slips Nora roofies at one point, afraid that she will try to take her daughter back, since Raphael is now separated from his wife (Emma turns the tables and switches drinks so Raphael is the one who drinks the roofie later). Nora is slighted by some older ladies when it is broadcast that Michael is the prime suspect in the gandland slaying. Turns out that Penny's in hiding; her illegitimate son is killed by her sister and Penny's brother disposes of the body by having the tigers eat it. Penny's grandchild then lures Nora and little Lucy into Penny's sister's trailer, where Nora and Lucy must fend off a tiger. The grandchild is catatonic at the end of the story. Nora realizes that she and Michael have different values, and they are breaking up at the end of the story; she learns that Aldo, one of her bodyguards was the one who did the gandland killing. Timeframe: April (a few weejs after Nora's miscarriage) to June. One bright spot: Lexie seems to letting a man get closer to her. Darker in tone, somewhat over the top with the roofies, with the tigers and the animal trap, with the police ambush that goes bad (and Michael is shot), yet still moves the overall story arc along, with Michael and Nora trying to resolve the miscarriage and loss of their child, and trying to resolve their difference in values.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Devon

    I am a huge fan of the Blackbird sisters mysteries, I have read each of them as soon as they were released and will be pre-ordering the next installment 'MURDER MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH'. I am saying all this to say that although 'A CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DEATH' was not my favorite book in the series it is still very much a series worth reading. Having said that, I found that 'A CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DEATH' was somewhat repetitive. There was nothing fresh in this storyline, the mystery was just I am a huge fan of the Blackbird sisters mysteries, I have read each of them as soon as they were released and will be pre-ordering the next installment 'MURDER MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH'. I am saying all this to say that although 'A CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DEATH' was not my favorite book in the series it is still very much a series worth reading. Having said that, I found that 'A CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DEATH' was somewhat repetitive. There was nothing fresh in this storyline, the mystery was just okay and I am ready for Nora and Mick to move away from the stalemate their relationship seems to be in. Either they need to move on (hopefully not forever) and explore other options or agree that opposites attract and move their relationship to the next level. Also I am ready to see Nora's sister Emma developed a little further. She is such an interesting character and, in my opinion, is not being used to her potential. I look forward to reading more of this series and seeing where these characters that the fans of this series have grown to know and love will end up but I am ready for Nancy to mix it up a bit and catch the readers off guard!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    The Blackbird Sisters are a fun and fast read for me. This book disappointed me as it had no real plot. There a number of themes that didn't seem to go anywhere. Nora and Mick have separated again. Libby and Emma are there usually zany selves. The themes seem to take us in different direction and not brought together. Nora and Lucy attention a beach memorial for movie star Penny DeVine. While there AM arm is found and her family wants to buried it. The question is Penny DEAD or has she disappeare The Blackbird Sisters are a fun and fast read for me. This book disappointed me as it had no real plot. There a number of themes that didn't seem to go anywhere. Nora and Mick have separated again. Libby and Emma are there usually zany selves. The themes seem to take us in different direction and not brought together. Nora and Lucy attention a beach memorial for movie star Penny DeVine. While there AM arm is found and her family wants to buried it. The question is Penny DEAD or has she disappeared again. The ending is different and will startle you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    I really like this series. This one was pretty true to form. I found it less hysterically funny, though several scenes made me laugh out loud. On the other hand, I thought several of the characters were getting a little actual depth. Overall, very enoyable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Only a three because I'm tired of the on-again, off-again relationship, and I bawled when I thought Mick had died.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert Scott

    +++The Blackbird sisters are always a fun read. That is because they are all completely kooky, sometimes bizarre. The other characters in the books are also very entertaining. Libby B has a slew of kids by multiple fathers, Nora the middle sis inhabits the family farm and to be able to buy necessities and keep the tax man at bay writes the social column for a Philadelphia rag, & Emma the youngest is a superb horsewoman and attracts attractive men. Nora is the main character and with the aid? of +++The Blackbird sisters are always a fun read. That is because they are all completely kooky, sometimes bizarre. The other characters in the books are also very entertaining. Libby B has a slew of kids by multiple fathers, Nora the middle sis inhabits the family farm and to be able to buy necessities and keep the tax man at bay writes the social column for a Philadelphia rag, & Emma the youngest is a superb horsewoman and attracts attractive men. Nora is the main character and with the aid? of her sisters and her lover, son of a Mafia Don, Michael Abruzzo. A famous actress is rumored dead and there is a lot of speculation about, complicated by finding part of a body at a polo match to honor her death. With her brother & sister they were the heirs of a major pharmaceutical fortune. Of course Nora & her friends get involved. Cats large & small, gunfights, assaults, rape drugs and attempted kidnappings are all on the menu.+++

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    This one seemed to start a little slower than the others have. There was a lot to reintroduce because a lot has happened, and we didn't get to the murder as quickly as we have before, it seemed. There were a lot of over-the-top things, too, that looking back are pretty fantastic. It all hung together, though, and it was a fun read. Nora and Mick are finally together enough to start announcing their engagement until they start fighting about their values AGAIN. It's getting a little old, this back This one seemed to start a little slower than the others have. There was a lot to reintroduce because a lot has happened, and we didn't get to the murder as quickly as we have before, it seemed. There were a lot of over-the-top things, too, that looking back are pretty fantastic. It all hung together, though, and it was a fun read. Nora and Mick are finally together enough to start announcing their engagement until they start fighting about their values AGAIN. It's getting a little old, this back-and-forth of their relationship. It's still better than a love triangle, but too much of a new thing is an old thing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alice Teets

    I'm not sure how I missed hearing about this series, but I'm glad my husband found this book for me. Now, to get the rest of the series and start from the beginning! Even though this was book 6, I followed the storyline just fine. I think reading the earlier books would help, but it was not a necessity to enjoying this one. All of the characters were interesting, and the mystery kept me guessing until the end. It reminded me somewhat of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I will definitely I'm not sure how I missed hearing about this series, but I'm glad my husband found this book for me. Now, to get the rest of the series and start from the beginning! Even though this was book 6, I followed the storyline just fine. I think reading the earlier books would help, but it was not a necessity to enjoying this one. All of the characters were interesting, and the mystery kept me guessing until the end. It reminded me somewhat of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I will definitely read more of this series!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Still loving reading about Nora, Libby, and Emma. Though I think this book's pace slowed a bit in a few places. Regardless, still entertaining and moved the Blackbird sisters a little further down the line in their quest for money, jobs, boyfriends, husbands, etc. Love Libby's daughter Lucy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    These books seem so fluffy and shallow and then they end up sneaking up on you with some heavy stuff. I think it makes the books a little hard to classify and so you have to be in a pretty specific mood to read them. The endings almost always redeem these.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    I have enjoyed this series until this book. I found this one silly and uneventful. There was WAY more description of clothes and wedding plans than in the previous books, and the mystery got lost along the way. It just did not flow for me. I may stop reading the series with this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I discovered how sick I was of the on-again off-again romance between Nora and Michael when it looked like he had died and I was kinda glad to have it finished. That seems like a bad sign. This one felt darker and more depressing than earlier books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    I love this series! Love the characters, love the clothes, love the sisters.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelia Coakley

    I love all the books in this series! The Blackbird Sisters are adorable and the romance between Nora and Mick keeps you turning the pages!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I love how I want to know what will happen to get to the answer. And who doesn't want Mick to be the one?!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Cute story

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janet Donnelly

    Tigers! Easy read that held my interest. I love hearing about the wardrobe, as Nora unravels the crime. And I'm happy Michael wasn't killed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany E-P

    Re read during covid. Entertaining. Lots of suspense in this one when Nora and Emma take their niece Lucy to confront eccentric family with tigers.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jean Chryst

    Great read

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ivi

    I absolutely love reading this series from Nancy Martin! The plot and characters are so engaging I never want the story to end...then I remember there's another book waiting for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    CasPerfitz~SLiTsReaD

    Alas I am giving this 2 stars as not much has changed. I don't see any character growth with the lead character Nora, in fact, she sounds more a hypocrite here when it comes to Michael. Once again, someone died/murdered and Emma is again in the center of it all. She, of course, won't stop till she knows everything. And oh, there is still this same detective who uses Nora, but she's too dumb to realize that. Doesn't matter, police or detectives here only comes and do the arresting, be it the right Alas I am giving this 2 stars as not much has changed. I don't see any character growth with the lead character Nora, in fact, she sounds more a hypocrite here when it comes to Michael. Once again, someone died/murdered and Emma is again in the center of it all. She, of course, won't stop till she knows everything. And oh, there is still this same detective who uses Nora, but she's too dumb to realize that. Doesn't matter, police or detectives here only comes and do the arresting, be it the right person or not. As if it wasn't enough that Nora is going hot and cold on her relationship with Michael, her friends and even her sisters tells her how they don't belong together and how Michael will destroy her society status. (view spoiler)[And, overall, no matter how Nora justified her decision in the end, she is no different from all of them, when she, once again, ended things with Michael. (hide spoiler)] On the sisters, Emma is the more relatable one despite her own demons. I should say Nora right since she's the lead character?! The entire series is on her POV after all. And she does have her more mature moments. But like I said above, zilch on character growth. In fact, I am starting to dislike her a bit. While Libby's character, the youngest of the sisters, supposedly she acts all cutesy crazy and funny, but her acts can be way too much. Or in other words, her antics is getting old. Sadly, I am least entertained on this instalment of the series. Anyway, despite the 2 stars rating and disappointment, I'm still going for the next book, hoping this one would be better. I made it this far, HAHA. :D

  25. 4 out of 5

    Loretta

    Once again Nora is planning on getting married to Mick and, once again, her sister Libby is driving her crazy with the wedding plans she has drummed up. Mick keeps having "accidents" and even ends up in the hospital with a broken ankle. Meanwhile, one of the Blackbird sisters distant relative, Penny Devine, has mysteriously disappeared. Penny's immediate family are declaring her dead but Nora is not so sure about that and begins to try and determine Penny's whereabouts especially since a severed Once again Nora is planning on getting married to Mick and, once again, her sister Libby is driving her crazy with the wedding plans she has drummed up. Mick keeps having "accidents" and even ends up in the hospital with a broken ankle. Meanwhile, one of the Blackbird sisters distant relative, Penny Devine, has mysteriously disappeared. Penny's immediate family are declaring her dead but Nora is not so sure about that and begins to try and determine Penny's whereabouts especially since a severed hand with manicured fingernails and an expensive wristwatch are found at Penny's memorial polo match. Her adventures in this book lead her into the wilds of Philadelphia and some very unconventional family pets as well as the unveiling of a South American secret of Nora's. I enjoyed reading this book. My favorite part was when Nora "inherits" Penny's much coveted couture wardrobe and a fashion mogul friend of hers shows up one morning with two of his collegues to get a first hand look at the clothes. There is one scene when Detective Bloom, who has made another appearance, tries once again to convince Nora that Mick is not right for her. I got the impression, actually, in this instance, that it is Detective Bloom Nora needs to be wary of, not Mick. It kind of made my skin crawl.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Ann

    Nora Blackbird is one of three old money sisters who happens to be the local paper's Society Page reporter. During a memorial polo match for a disappeared/deceased relative, famous movie star Penny Devine, Nora finds a severed hand in the grass. The Devine family claims the hand belongs to Penny, but it turns out to be the hand of a man.... Nora is engaged to Mick Abruzzo, who has Crime Family ties. When Mick helps Nora with her investigation of her relatives' farm his leg gets caught in a steel Nora Blackbird is one of three old money sisters who happens to be the local paper's Society Page reporter. During a memorial polo match for a disappeared/deceased relative, famous movie star Penny Devine, Nora finds a severed hand in the grass. The Devine family claims the hand belongs to Penny, but it turns out to be the hand of a man.... Nora is engaged to Mick Abruzzo, who has Crime Family ties. When Mick helps Nora with her investigation of her relatives' farm his leg gets caught in a steel trap just inches away from an illegal tiger enclosure..... Detective Bloom, who is jealous & hates Mick, is doing everything he can break up Nora's engagement. There are many other sub-plots going on as well....... I found the book's plot & story interesting. I liked the characters, especially Nora, they were believable and not made into those unmitigated stupid caricatures of women that seem to be the popular trend with mystery authors.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    Libby has emerged as my favorite Blackbird sister, hands down. Nora, though being the main protagonist, is just a little too much of a Miss Goody Two Shoes. It was charming at first but it's starting to wear thin now...especially in relation to Mick. Sure, he's a reformed bad boy with a shady past, but he has a huge heart and the people who DON'T have sticks up their asses seem to think so too. Nora needs to decide once and for all if she trusts him or not, otherwise she needs to let him find so Libby has emerged as my favorite Blackbird sister, hands down. Nora, though being the main protagonist, is just a little too much of a Miss Goody Two Shoes. It was charming at first but it's starting to wear thin now...especially in relation to Mick. Sure, he's a reformed bad boy with a shady past, but he has a huge heart and the people who DON'T have sticks up their asses seem to think so too. Nora needs to decide once and for all if she trusts him or not, otherwise she needs to let him find someone who won't always jump to the worst conclusions about him. This was the longest book in the series so far and I don't think it needed the extra pages. There were some scenes that definitely felt superfluous. That said, there were some excellent humorous beats and I laughed aloud several times, mostly thanks to Libby.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dharia Scarab

    Another not as good as the beginning of the series book. I'll keep reading in hopes that it gets better. Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out Another not as good as the beginning of the series book. I'll keep reading in hopes that it gets better. Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books... 1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future. 2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author. 3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up. 4 stars... I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the look out to pick up more from the series/author. 5 stars... I loved this book! It has earned a permanent home in my collection and I'll be picking up the rest of the series and other books from the author ASAP.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    In this adventure, Nora stumbles upon a disembodied hand while at a Memorial Service / Polo match for Penny Devine. Is Penny dead? If not, who does the hand belong to? In a series of craziness, cats of all sizes compete with Abruzzo's bad luck, or is it clumsiness. Nora, Libby, and Emma team up once again to solve the mystery of Penny's disappearance. Nora, in addition to her sleuthing, learns there's a price on Abruzzo's head and she's a target too. Tension, investigating, and some serious disc In this adventure, Nora stumbles upon a disembodied hand while at a Memorial Service / Polo match for Penny Devine. Is Penny dead? If not, who does the hand belong to? In a series of craziness, cats of all sizes compete with Abruzzo's bad luck, or is it clumsiness. Nora, Libby, and Emma team up once again to solve the mystery of Penny's disappearance. Nora, in addition to her sleuthing, learns there's a price on Abruzzo's head and she's a target too. Tension, investigating, and some serious discussions of love and marriage are just some of the themes of this Blackbird Widow mystery. On to the next one!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    In this Blackbird sisters mystery, Nora decides that she is done with Michael, their lives and values just don't match up. Then, she changes her mind, again. As the book ends, Emma, Nota's wild, horse-loving sister announces she is expecting. There are no hints given as to the father. I am sure Nora will struggle with this as she just lost her baby, a child she very much wanted. And speaking of children, we learned in this book that in college Nora supplied eggs to fertilize sperm for a friend a In this Blackbird sisters mystery, Nora decides that she is done with Michael, their lives and values just don't match up. Then, she changes her mind, again. As the book ends, Emma, Nota's wild, horse-loving sister announces she is expecting. There are no hints given as to the father. I am sure Nora will struggle with this as she just lost her baby, a child she very much wanted. And speaking of children, we learned in this book that in college Nora supplied eggs to fertilize sperm for a friend and her husband. Now they are divorced, and Nora is wondering about her daughter...

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