by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win either a print or audiobook on CD copy of the book and a link to order it from Amazon.
Even though the Staton, Taylor, Evans and Wentworth law firm has created its own criminal law division based on the success of their new attorney Sandy Moss, the fallout of that case continues to give her nightmares. Not so much from the fear of failure when taking on another homicide case, but from attempting to balance her workload and an upcoming walk down a movie premiere red carpet. Her celebrity former client and current boyfriend Patrick McNabb hasn’t given up on proposing marriage even after seven rejections, but Sandy worries that the only thing keeping the budding movie star interested is the thrill of the pursuit. A welcome distraction comes in the form of a new client demanding her services, one who carries all of the imperialness and self-centeredness that an arrogant film director feels he deserves. Robert Reeves is being held responsible for a stunt gone fatally wrong on his movie set, an accident that could have been attributed to a number of reasons if not for the fact that everyone on set knew that the stuntman had been having an affair with Robert Reeves’ wife.
Having already learned how to manage the egos of Hollywood narcissists, native Jersey Girl Sandy does her best to sift out the truth from the lies embedded in Robert’s shallow exterior. She’s assisted by her bestie Angie, who since moving to Burbank to lend support has become Patrick’s assistant and in a pinch could sub in as his bodyguard. A kidnapping and car bomb threat has Patrick once again hiring an actual bodyguard for Sandy, though, one who is absolutely delightful as she shadows Sandy while managing Patrick’s enthusiasm. Sandy’s wry observations and savvy outmaneuvering power plays are as stellar as her legal skills in the courtroom, even as she battles against her own Moriarty prosecutor (whom she admits is actually a good guy just doing his job). Interviews with wives, ex-wives, and surly crew members give Sandy and her team as much ammo for the prosecution as for their defense, ensuring that it will be a challenge for her to keep her annoying client out of jail (and out of her office).
You have to love a book that starts with the author thanking Ted Lasso, Call My Agent, The Great British Bake Off, and Somebody Feed Phil for helping everyone to survive these past few years. This third book in the series should be right up there in providing readers with an escape into this hilarious, observant, and very entertaining legal mystery that includes sharp courtroom scenes and thrilling practical investigations. Sandy’s cynicism and wry commentary never overshadow her genuine good heart and compassion, even when she may have doubts concerning those who are not great people and may have possibly committed murder. What’s both fascinating and rather depressing is that the callousness and greed in this fictional world are actually overshadowed by the real-life events and figures that may have inspired them (especially when certain involved parties can’t seem to stop making public statements intended to avoid litigation).
The relationship between Sandy and Patrick is aspirational, even though she has very pragmatic and rational justifications for doubting its future success. I adore this series by the very prolific author whose very diverse novels should be slowly savored in order to appreciate their humor and clever observations. Homages to classical mysteries and movies are as prevalent as the references to pop culture, serving as a primer for those interested in exploring movie, TV, and literary courtroom dramas. Those who may have somehow missed the works of E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen will enjoy this latest mystery as much as his longtime fans, especially when it continues to provide tantalizing glimpses in the behind-the-scenes chaos of both the legal world and entertainment productions.
To enter to win either a print copy or an audiobook copy on CD, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “witness,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 23, 2022. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR AUDIOBOOK.
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