Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Five top crime novels for details of legal & illegal professions

Lia Matera is the author of twelve crime novels in two series, one featuring politically conflicted lawyer Willa Jansson and the other, high-profile litigator Laura Di Palma. Matera has also published eleven short stories and a novella.

She is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, where she was editor-in-chief of the Constitutional Law Quarterly. She is a member of the California Bar and was a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School before becoming a full-time writer.

Two of her novels were nominated for the mystery genre's top prize, the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Three were nominated for the Anthony Award, and two were nominated for the Macavity Award.

At Shepherd Matera tagged five of the "best crime novels for details of legal, intermittently legal, and definitely illegal professions," including:
Whip Hand by Dick Francis

What is it like to be a jockey? Dick Francis offers a master class in using workplace details to develop characters. Readers bond with his jockeys at a gallop (or sometimes when they’re under galloping hooves). Each book is a feast of information about a different related job. We see the power of stewards and bookies and the racing press, the schemes of fixers, the pride and agonies of owners and trainers, the grievances of lads mucking out stables. We learn about transporting horses, filming them, painting them, investing in them. In Whip Hand, Francis’s lean prose and fast pace establish his jockey-turned-detective's personality and backstory in a single page of prologue. The book holds a special place in my heart because it inspired me to try writing legal mysteries.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue