A Cloud of Fraud by Linda Ferreri

Perhaps the suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor. C. S. Forester


In early March, I mentioned that the story in A Cloud of Fraud opens in City Hall, in Philadelphia. It does. In th chambers of a judge about whom I will leave you to form your own opinion as the plot unfolds and the characters develop.

Philadelphia is a wonderful city, and it’s beautiful. I used to make my W. C. Fields joke about it, decades ago, by saying that nobody ever cared enough about it to tear it down. That was in the days of what was called “urban renewal.” In the city itself and all around the perimeter are gorgeous trees and buildings. And so much history! Wow!

There is no “Little Italy” in Philadelphia as there is in New York. Instead, there is a part of the city called South Philadelphia, famous for its Italian-American residents who built a community there in row houses with kitchens that were the scenes of all family events, as in the film “Moonstruck,” and were the locations of some of the best cooking in the United States. To say it’s colorful is an understatement.

The cultural institutions of Philadelphia are astounding, and so very numerous. Liberty Bell and Independence Hall aside, everyone should visit and spend days there. My favorite was always and may still be The Philadelphia Orchestra that now calls Verizon Hall its home.

When this book becomes a film, I trust the filmmakers to take full advantage of all that glorious scenery and character. Alas, the story does not feature the Philadelphia Eagles, but they, too, are just great!