Cover image for Hard evidence : a Cat Marsala mystery
Hard evidence : a Cat Marsala mystery
D'Amato, Barbara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [1999]

Physical Description:
255 pages : plan ; 23 cm
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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

Barbara D'Amato is a playwright, novelist, and crime researcher. She was born in Michigan.

D'Amato held jobs as a carpenter on magic shows, assistant surgical orderly, assistant to a wild animal act, stage manager, and legal researcher. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime International and serves on the board of the Mystery Writers of America.

D'Amato wrote a children's musical, The Magic of Young Houdini, and two musical comedies for adults. She was nominated for the Anthony award for her novel On My Honor and was the runner-up for the Nero Wolfe Award for the novel Hard Women. The Doctor, The Murder, The Mystery won the Anthony and Agatha Awards for Best True Crime and was used as the basis for a segment on the TV show, Unsolved Mysteries.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

A marvelously grisly premise kicks off D'Amato's (Hard Bargain, etc.) new mystery featuring Chicago food writer Cat Marsala: Cat finds that the soup bone she purchased earlier from Spencer and Angelotti, a pricey food emporium, is actually part of a human leg. Was someone butchered and disposed of in Chicago's most upscale meat department? Of course. But who? And why? In order to find out, Cat, with the blessing of her good friend Chief of Detectives Harold McCoo (a gourmet in his own right), goes undercover at Spencer and Angelotti as a catering consultant. She casually interviews some elite customers of the trendy catering department and finds that its manager was revered as a creative chef dedicated to meticulous service. But he has been missing for several days. Is he the victim? Is his wife's reputed lover, the store's head baker, guilty? Or is the killer a disgruntled customer, or one or more of the seemingly benign yet hostile vegetarians who are constantly picketing the store? A vivid supporting cast, sprightly yet controlled wit and some fine cooking advice (watch for too many red herrings) combine to make for another delightful mystery from the ever-reliable author. (May) FYI: D'Amato has just been elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Chicago freelance reporter Cat Marsala tosses her dog a bone bought from an expensive food store, but the bone turns out to be human. What a way to end a pleasant dinner and begin sleuthing. An appealing addition to the series. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/99.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Journalist Cat Marsala and her significant other, Dr. Sam Davidian, have settled down to a quiet evening at home when Sam observes that the bone a friend's dog is chewing on was recently a major part of some human's anatomy. Working with her longtime friend, Chief of Detectives Harold McCoo, Cat becomes a kind of undercover agent for the police by taking on a job at the grocery store where the bone was purchased. After subtly interviewing the store's staff and clients, she figures out how the victim was murdered, why he was dismembered, and the techniques used for disposal of his parts. Determining who the victim was proves to be a more difficult problem, but is ultimately solved. The straightforward plot offers lots of talk about food, humor in the form of comments and jokes, and a macabre touch. D'Amato flavors the story with interesting characters and a dash of romance. A light read, told by a skillful storyteller.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.