No Man Standing
By Barbara Seranella
A Munch Mancini Crime Novel
Scribner Books - May 2002
ISBN: 0743213866 - Hardcover
Amateur Sleuth Mystery

Reviewed by: Robyn Glazer, MyShelf.Com
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Despite years of hard living, Munch Mancini has managed to clean up her life. It's been an ongoing struggle to get past her prostitution and drug use, but she knew it had to be done, if not for herself, then definitely for her adopted daughter. Sometimes it is even easy, but not when people from her past show up and wreak havoc. Ellen Summers is the type of person that Munch knows is bad news, yet she also knows she cannot turn her back on her. Ellen has been out of jail for about twenty-four hours and already she is on the run from some very bad men. These men have killed her mother and now they want Ellen. They believe that she has money that belongs to them. Of course, since we are talking about Ellen, they are correct and she is in possession of this money. Ellen desperately needs help and Munch agrees to do whatever she can. Between gunshots and broken fingers, Munch somehow finds time to move into a new house, find a lover and spend time with her daughter.

No Man Standing is the newest book that takes a look into Munch Mancini's life. While I can say that I like many characters; it is not as often that I also respect them, as I do with Munch. Munch is a highly realistic character whom I love to read about. She takes care never to put her daughter in harm's way and is always sensible. She has had a very hard life but you will never hear her whine about it. She is also ever changing. In the beginning of the series, I could never picture Munch giving into tears but now in this fifth book, it only seems natural. Munch's character comes alive on the page. With a character this strong, author Seranella could get away with a lot but she doesn't need this leeway. Her writing is tight and the believable plots catapult Munch into greatly entertaining situations. Barbara Seranella has created a series that is a winner and I am sure will go far.

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