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None of Your Business

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With a nod to Ed McBain and Fay Weldon, author Valerie Block creates a hilarious tale of a heist gone wrong that ranges from the living rooms of Park Avenue to the parking lot of the White Castle on Queens Boulevard.

Mitch Greiff, celebrity tax accountant and partner in a prestigious Manhattan firm, hates foreign food, strange hotel rooms, and unfamiliarity. He has nightmares about learning new computer software. So when he disappears after a series of sophisticated wire transfers that siphon millions of dollars from his clients’ accounts, Mitch’s partners and estranged wife, Patricia, are completely astonished and confused.

Detective Dennis Sprague of the NYPD Computer Crimes Squad doesn’t buy it. Why would a man who’s had all the breaks in life suddenly go on the lam? Who wakes up, looks around his spacious Upper East Side co-op, gazes at his former-model wife, and says, “The hell with this—I want to live in fear!”

As Sprague investigates, he becomes convinced that Mitch Greiff must have had an accomplice. Sprague works on the assumption that there’s always a girl in the picture. He looks into Patricia, but Mitch’s long-suffering wife never even called Missing Persons, because she didn’t miss him. So Sprague sniffs around the office eye-candy, Heather Perkins, whose signature is on all the wire transfer approvals, and who has a reputation for keeping company with the partners after hours.

And then there’s Erica King, Mitch’s “loophole rabbi.” Sharp, dry, and meticulous, she makes up in financial acumen what she lacks in social graces. The collective assumption around the office is that the acid tongue, floor-length skirts, and dingy white tennis shoes mean that Erica is a virgin and will die that way. But Detective Sprague suspects that there is something more to Erica King than the plainest Jane in Manhattan.

From elegant Park Avenue matrons to nasty asthmatic forgers in Queens, Valerie Block has created a unique cast of characters. She combines a hilarious comedy of manners with a police procedural and strikes fiction gold.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

16 June 2003 – As Block demonstrated in Was It Something I Said?, she has Richard Condon's manic energy and the here-and-now vocabulary of this week's Time Out New York. Oh, and she has the police procedural thing down pat. Best of all, she has a comic streak that's ruthless yet weirdly compassionate, because it's truly character-driven. Take Erica King, the mastermind behind a plot that involves the computerized theft of millions. To her self-absorbed colleagues at the accounting firm, she's a dowdy, bitchy workaholic spinster whose dull life can only be improved by hearing about their menstrual cramps and getting advice on updating her hairstyle. But in several separate incarnations—as Heidi, Maria and Marjorie—she has different wardrobes, addresses, computers and psyches, not to mention illicit megabucks stashed offshore. Although the old-fashioned hairdo turns out to be a wig covering baldness dating to childhood, it's somehow no surprise that she lures her boss, tycoon Mitch Greiff, away from his former model wife, Patricia, who was always bothering him to put on sunblock and make nice to their new best friends. Just to even the score, Patricia seduces Det. Anthony Ballestrino, in charge of figuring out what happened to a great deal of money supposedly being managed by Mitch Greiff's firm. With its cast of dozens, all fully realized, the novel is occasionally dizzying but always diverting.
None of Your Business
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  • 9,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: 03 June 2003
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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