They tell me my acknowledgments are too long and mushy, but I think a thank-you is supposed to be long and mushy. In fact, I avoid people whose thank-yous aren’t long or mushy enough. Life is short. Say thanks. And this is my chance.
Thank you very much to my editor, Carolyn Marino, to whom this book is dedicated. Her professionalism and her judgment are invaluable, and if I could handcuff her to my chair as I wrote, I would. Thanks as well to her assistant, Patricia Gatti, for all her hard work.
Thank you so much to my agent, Molly Friedrich, for her improvements to this manuscript and for her representation. Molly has nurtured me with the devotion of a mother grizzly, but is much prettier, and I am one lucky cub. Thanks, too, to Molly’s staff, The Amazing Paul Cirone and author-to-be Sheri Holman. Thank you also to Linda Hayes, for everything she has done for me and my books.
Thanks to everyone at HarperCollins, especially to Jack McKeown, Geoff Hannell, and Gene Mydlowski. As always, thanks to Laura Baker, publicist and bride extraordinaire. Thanks to the sales and marketing departments, and to the trade and paperback reps on the road. Stay safe, folks.
Special thanks to Robin Schatz of the Mayor’s Office in Philadelphia. Robin has answered all of my nitpicking questions for many books now, and for this book smuggled me into the Homicide Division at the Roundhouse, where I met the nicest and most professional group of detectives ever. They talked law and plot with equal ease, and helped me on more than one occasion. They know better than anybody else thatLegal Tender and its characters are fiction. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Thanks to Joseph LaBar of the District Attorney’s Office, a true pro, and to Susan Burt, another pro, but for the other side of the fence. For superb estates advice, thank you to Robert L. Freedman of Dechert, Price amp; Rhoads in Philadelphia, my alma mater.
For medical and psychiatric advice, thanks to Dr. Daniel Kushon and Dr. Ginny Galetta.
To the University of Pennsylvania Women’s Crew, thanks for letting me hang at the boathouse and act like I still belonged there. To Dana Quattrone of Benjamin Lovell Shoes, thanks for teaching me about Doc Martens.
For managing not to point and laugh as I crawled around their sub-basement, thanks to the building engineers at Commerce Square.
A big bear hug to one Frank Scottoline, an architect who proved very helpful. For research assistance in the clutch and eggplant parmigiana beyond the call of duty, a loving thank-you to Mary Scottoline. Whoever said you get what you pay for never knew my parents. Finally, thanks and love to Fayne and my friends, and especially to Kiki and Peter.
A final thanks to Chuck Jones, and a tear for Mel Blanc.