I knew Lisa Scottoline was funny – I saw her at a writers’ conference years ago and she was a stitch. I also knew she was a talented writer of terrifically involving mysteries, many of which featured the lawyers of Rosato & Associates (Bennie Rosato, Mary DiNunzio, etc.). “Taut,” “intriguing,” “fast-paced,” are just some of the positive adjectives reviewers have bestowed upon her work.
So, of course, when I saw an ad for her new book, I put it on the reserve list at the library. (Sorry, I can’t possibly buy every book I read.) It showed up on the shelf, I checked it out along with five or six other books, threw it in my tote bag and went home. A cup of coffee and a Weight Watchers treat at my side, I curled up on the couch, started to read, and realized that instead of her latest mystery, I had a book of essays on contemporary life for the 50+ woman. I guess I should have had a clue – the title is Why My Third Husband will be a Dog.
There are millions of American women in my demographic, and we’re all the audience for this book. Lisa has a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer called ChickWit. This book is a compilation of columns (about which authors might say, ” You mean I’m going to get paid? Again? For something I already wrote? All right!!!!!!).
But I’m totally glad that Lisa’s views now available to a wider audience, because I would never think to pick up a Philadelphia newspaper unless I were actually in Philadelphia. A particularly funny entry was “Gym Dandy,” wherein she and her daughter Francesca join a health club together. Their goals were different – as Lisa writes, “She’s trying to look hot, and you’re trying not to die.” Evaluation by a personal trainer revealed Lisa to have 31% body fat… so it’s the mother of all workouts. Followed by more pain than humanly possible to experience in muscles heretofore unknown. For anyone who has ever huffed away a 3.8 mph on the treadmill, while on the next machine, a 20-something woman who is flying at 6.5 mph and nothing – not even her breasts in her sports bra – jiggles, this is familiar territory.
I’ve been dipping into the book out of order, so I’ll only run out of stories when I go back through sequentially and realize I’ve read them all. Fortunately, more recently published ChickWit columns are on her web site, so I can keep up! If only I could get them RSS fed to me (are you reading this, Lisa? Improve your site!).
More good news is that there is another thriller on its way, Look Again. The premise is a good one – is is possible that Ellen Gleeson’s adopted son is the boy on the missing child poster? As an investigative reporter, Ellen is equipped with the skills she needs to find out. Perhaps she should let well enough alone, but that’s not likely. It comes out in the spring.