MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Her Kind of Case

A Lee Isaacs, Esq. Novel

by Jeanne Winer

Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer X
Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer
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    Aug 2018, 320 pages

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"Thanks." Lee pocketed the card, then pulled a slim black book out of her briefcase and began scanning the day's appointments. She was booked solid until six that evening, not even an hour for lunch. She'd have to run over to Alfalfas and order a sandwich to go. "I'll get to the jail this evening and call you afterward. If it's a fit, we can discuss a retainer. It'll be expensive."

"Yes, I know. The other lawyers warned me. Jeremy's my only heir, so I guess it'll be an early inheritance." She picked her handbag off the floor and stood up. "Oh, one more thing. The police wouldn't tell me much, but one of the detectives I spoke with hinted that it was a pretty gruesome death. I'm not trying to dissuade you. To the contrary, but I think it's only fair—"

"Thank you," Lee said, trying to stifle a smile. "I've handled dozens of murders and every one of them was gruesome. It doesn't upset me." Except when I lose, she thought.

"Well, I don't know how you do it."

Lee didn't know how she couldn't do it. After her first homicide case, a routine stabbing outside a bar in Longmont, she was hooked. Handling it took everything she had: her wits, her skills, her experience all coming together in service of her client. As soon as it was over, she couldn't wait till the next one. In between, she got by through representing clients on the usual thefts, assaults, and burglaries. Nothing wrong with garden-variety felonies; they paid the bills and often challenged her. But not enough. She couldn't live on them. For as long as she could remember, Lee had always thrived on fierce competition. When she was twelve, she considered becoming a professional downhill ski racer, but then came the sixties, and the idea of her life's work consisting of getting down a mountain as fast as possible without killing herself seemed a bit shallow. Finally, during her third year of college, after watching a Perry Mason rerun where Perry trounced the DA for the millionth time and saved his client, Lee decided to become a criminal defense attorney.

"In any event," Peggy was saying, "it was a pleasure to meet you."

"Likewise." Lee stood up and reached out a hand.

"You're not a hugger, are you?"

"A hugger?" Lee took a small step backward.

"No, I didn't think so. Well then, I'll take a handshake and wait to hear from you."

As soon as Peggy left, Lee slumped back into her chair. A hugger? She shook her head and picked up the phone. Paul was a hugger; he hugged people he hardly knew, people he met in line at the movies, or at the bank. And he never minded that she wasn't. Superficially, they were very different, but deep down where it mattered, they were as close as identical twins. Sometimes when he read her mind, she pretended he was wrong, but he never was.

Lee frowned. Why all this reminiscing? Paul had died five years ago. She was fine now. Content. Except for this aging crap, which she would fight against and refuse to acknowledge for as long as possible. Jack Benny's older sister, forever fifty-nine.

Finally, she straightened up and dialed the public defender's office whose number, mirabile dictu, hadn't changed in the twenty-four years since she'd left.

"Boulder-public-defender's-office-can-you-hold?"

The greeting, as always, sounded like a long single word followed by a click. Lee simply waited. Carol, the receptionist, fielded over two hundred calls a day. After a few minutes, when the pain in her neck got bad enough, Lee remembered the loudspeaker button on the side of her phone, pressed it, and dropped the receiver onto her desk. Two or three minutes later, Carol's voice came on again.

"Can I help you?"

"Hey Carol, it's me, Lee Isaacs."

"Oh hi, Lee. How are you?" "I'm great. Listen, could you find out who represents a juvenile named Jeremy Mathews? He's charged with murder."

Excerpted from Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer. Copyright © 2018 by Jeanne Winer. Excerpted by permission of Bancroft Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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