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Prizzi's Honor

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Prizzi's Honor is a satirical crime novel by Richard Condon published in 1982. It is the first of four novels featuring the Prizzis, a powerful family of Mafiosi in New York City. In all four novels the main protagonist is a top member of the family named Charlie Partanna. It was adapted into a successful film of the same name.

Plot summary

The opening lines of the New York Times review summarize the complexities of the novel:

CHARLEY PARTANNA, underboss of the Prizzi crime family, has a problem. He's just bumped off a traitor in Vegas who'd fleeced the organization to the tune of $720,000 - and now he's discovered that his new girlfriend, Irene, was the dead man's wife. As if that weren't enough of a headache, Charley's also learned that she's been augmenting her income as a tax consultant by working as a freelance hitter, and that she's now been offered a contract by a family rival to do the number on him. What a business for a woman! Charley grouses. This is a serious thing. We were going to get married. You think she decided what business? asks his father, Angelo, consigliere to the Prizzis. She's an American! She had a chance to win even more money so she grabbed it!

Complexity builds upon complexity, irony builds upon irony, murder follows murder, and tension mounts as the improbable story of the two killers races to its climax.

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