A verbal firefight between two colleagues at a literary conference escalates into burglary, theft, jury-tampering, forgery of an explosive papal document from World War II and murder in Shoot the Lawyer Twice, the fourth volume in Bowen's series starring Rep and Melissa Pennyworth.
When a frat boy finds himself on trial in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for piracy on the high seas, Lawyer Rep Pennyworth, suspects hes being used as an unwitting accomplice in a cheap publicity stunt. Meanwhile his wife Melissa, the professor-half of the couple, gets caught in the middle of a verbal firefight between two colleagues at a literary conference that soon escalates into burglary, theft, jury-tampering, forgery of an explosive papal document from World War II and murder.
"Bowens characters are amusing even when exasperating, and his leads are especially pleasant people to spend time with." - Publishers Weekly.
".... you'll need a scorecard to follow the cascading complications. But Bowen's powers of invention are so florid and his satirical touch so bright that most readers won't care who gets carted off to jail." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Rated of 5
Shoot the Lawyer, please
If I had known that this was the fourth book in a mystery series, I would never have read it. As a fan of mysteries, and even mystery series, I found the plot much too convoluted and requiring far too many "look backs" to previous sections to keep characters and events in mind. The only reason I didn't give it a lower rating is that I was determined to finish it to see how it was resolved.
Rated of 5
Shoot me Once!
At the end of the day, self interest drives the plot. But to get to this revelation, there are convoluted and abstract conversations - almost too mind numbing to follow. I have adopted the Nancy Pearl 50 page rule - if not for this review I would have put it down after 50 pages. And probably not come back.
Rated of 5
Shoot the Lawyer Twice
I had to start this book twice, I felt there were too many plots and characters all at once, and found it very confusing to keep track of who belonged to what group, and what plot that was going on. It never developed one plot to an understandable point, before going on to the next. Even after starting and reading the second time I felt it was too much work to keep track of everyone and everything.
Rated of 5
Shoot The LawyerTwice
I really had a hard time getting through "Shoot The Lawyer Twice". The plot was not particularly interesting and the primary characters are not very likable. After a while, the "witty" banter between the lawyers and/or the professors got very tiresome. It is not often that I can't wait to be done with a book, but, unfortunately, that was the case here. Probably the most interesting aspect was the origin of the book's title (an old lawyer joke). For husband/wife legal mysteries where the characters are entertaining and the plots good, try the Paul Levine "Solomon and Lord" paperback series.
Rated of 5
Why So Intricate?
This book is well-written, and I suppose if I re-read it, everything would be connected up and I would appreciate the author's ingenuity and inventiveness. However, I would rather not work that hard. There are way too many characters and blind alleys such that, by the end of the book, I found it difficult to care about any character or his or her motivation.
Rated of 5
Shoot the Lawyer Twice Provides Whimsy, But I Got Lost
Headless dialogue ruins a conversation for me every time, especially because I have no idea who's saying what. This book was clever - I love whodunits, but I had a hard time continuing.
Michael Bowen, a trial lawyer practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the author of numerous mystery novels, including Screenscam (2002), which introduced Rep and Melissa Pennyworth. He wrote the entry on The American Legal System for the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, and was a member of the panels that selected the winner of the 1995 Edgar Award for Best Mystery and the 1996 Edgar Award for Best Critical or Biographical Work.
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