Cover image for He who dies ... : an Angela Matelli mystery
He who dies ... : an Angela Matelli mystery
Lee, W. W. (Wendi W.)
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000.
Physical Description:
247 pages ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Ex-Marine turned private investigator Angela Matelli comes from a large family that have moved away from their original East Boston home. While Angela and her siblings have all chosen different lifestyles and professions, there is one inviolable rule that remains in all their lives - everyone goes to their Mother's house for Sunday dinner. So when Angela's brother Albert missed twice in a row, Mrs. Matelli is certain that something bad has happened to her son.

Albert, widely believed by the family to be hooked up with the local mob, has always been scrupulous about Sunday dinner and now Mrs. Matelli wants to hire her daughter Angela to look into his disappearance. Against her better judgment, Angela - using her mother's key - breaks into Albert's apartment to find the dinner table set, an open bottle of wine, and a three-day old corpse in other room.

The corpse, luckily, isn't Albert but Angela suspects someone is using the body to try and set her brother up. As she digs further into her brother's life she quickly discovers that his boss in the mob claims to nothing about Albert's troubles, the police are after him to explain the corpse in his apartment, and his partners in the Itty-Bitty Kitty toy factory are desperate for his return. Now it's up to Angela to uncover what each of these things has to do with the others - and who is trying so desperately to get to her brother - before it is too late.

Author Notes

Wendi Lee is the author of three previous Angela Matelli mysteries - The Good Daughter, Missing Eden, and Deadbeat - as well as numerous other works of fiction. She lives with her family in Muscatine, Iowa.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Private investigator Angela Matelli and her family always knew that brother Albert worked as a front man for the Mafia in Providence, but they never discussed it. When Angela's mother, Rosetta, tells her daughter that Albert has disappeared, after claiming he was leaving the Mob, Angela agrees to investigate. What she finds is a dead body in her brother's apartment, a sure indication that Albert is in deep trouble. The arrival of her brother's dismembered finger and a warning to stop looking for him sends the desperate Angela to Boston, site of her brother's legitimate toy-manufacturing business. Lee delivers another fast-paced thriller in a solid, dependable series notable for its colorful characters, especially the appealingly scrappy Angela, and a vivid sense of place (realized here in the sharp depiction of Boston's Italian neighborhoods). This too-little-known series and its first-rank female sleuth deserve more recognition. --Stuart Miller

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite its bland title, Lee's latest offering in the Angela Matelli series (Deadbeat; Missing Eden; etc.) is a sharp, stylish mystery with a touch of humor. Boston PI Matelli is on a personal mission after her younger brother, Albert, who's a mob associate in Rhode Island, turns up missing. Encumbered by the insistent presence of their good Italian mama, Matelli begins a quest that turns ugly when a body is discovered in Albert's ritzy condo. Albert, a front man for the Providence Mafia, runs a legit company that manufactures the latest toy craze, the Itty Bitty Kitty. In the course of investigating the company's management, Angela meets Don Giovanni Testa, Providence mob boss, who just happens to be an old flame of her mother's. While poking fun at old-fashioned Mafia movies and nicknames, such as Johnny Smash and Nick the Knife, Lee turns dead serious when Angela begins to receive threatening messages, and someone leaves a human finger as a grisly warning in her car. Lee's prose is tight and flows at whirlwind speed, while the Italian family members, the Matellis as well as Don Testa, fill their roles admirably. The concluding confrontation, in which Angela puts her martial arts knowledge to good use, may come as no surprise, but getting there is one entertaining ride. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Angela Matelli, an ex-Marine turned Boston P.I., fears the worst when her brother disappears. Once his car is found with a body in the trunk, however, she really begins to worry. For all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.