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Reviews of Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer

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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  • Published:
    Aug 2018, 320 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Book Summary

A legal drama that centers on Lee Isaacs, a female defense attorney on the cusp of turning 60, who, out of curiosity, determination, and desire for a big, even impossible, professional challenge, chooses to take on a tough murder case in which a largely uncooperative young man is accused of helping kill a gay gang member.

This beautifully-written novel, which has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist, is built around not only a gradually resolving mystery, but by fully fleshed-out characters, particularly the strong-willed and sharp-witted Lee. It is a breath of fresh air to see someone of Lee's standing achieve career and personal success as an older single woman who grieves the recent loss of her husband, but continues her daily routine of law and karate, fighting tooth and nail to prove her client not guilty.

(Note: The author, Jeanne Winer, is herself a longtime defense attorney in Boulder, Colorado, and a black-belt karate expert.)


Someone was knocking on her office door, but Lee didn't move or call out. It was much too early to deal with other people's problems. Her first appointment wasn't scheduled until nine, an hour and a half away, so whoever was knocking so insistently wasn't one of her regular, semi-normal clients.

Her regular clients may have broken the law, perhaps even a very serious law, but they knew about etiquette. You called, made an appointment, and waited downstairs in the beautifully appointed lobby until the receptionist phoned the lawyer and she came down to meet you. So, more likely than not, it was her new court appointment, a client suffering from borderline personality disorder in the first phase of her relationship with Lee: I love you; you're my savior; I have to spend all my time at your feet. Later, in about a month, the second phase would begin: I hate you; you're about to fuck me over; I want a new lawyer.

The knocking stopped and Lee could hear footsteps retreating ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. How do you think Lee's age affected the way she dealt with Jeremy's case? Do you relate at all to her dread of growing old?
  2. Throughout the novel, Lee trusts her gut with multiple decisions she makes. Has there ever been a time in your life when you went with your gut rather than your head?
  3. Lee is very independent, and a bit of an introvert. She routinely turns down invitations to go out with friends, like Carla and Peggy. Would you consider yourself more of an introvert or an extrovert? If you were Lee, would you have gone to the bar with Carla, or gone home alone?
  4. Lee works incredibly hard to defend suspects in some pretty serious cases. She mentions one in which she won a lesser sentence for a mother who smothered her baby to ...
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Here are some of the comments posted about Her Kind of Case.
You can see the full discussion here.

Did you agree with Lee's decision to call Rab to the stand? Has there ever been a moment in your life when you took a great risk that ended up paying off?
I can't think of a risky decision I have made. I don't consider myself a risk taker. Lee is a risk taker but it's so much easier to take a risk when you're not the person who will suffer the consequences. Lee trusted her gut and in this case it ... - sharalynnep

Did you appreciate Jeremy's loyalty or resent it? Do you think that you would be as loyal as Jeremy, or turn on your friends to save yourself?
I feel that Jeremy's view of loyalty was skewed due to his bad family life and the replacement of the "gang" as his family. He was also very naive and young. It is easy to see this as an adult and as a reader, I neither appreciated it or resented ... - scgirl

Do you have a Dan of your own, someone who is an adversary at work, but whom you still greatly respect?
My job was a little bit different. As a classroom teacher, collaboration was essential for what we hoped to accomplish. Additionally, we shared many of the same values with regard to helping kids and wanting them to learn. While our individual ... - acstrine

Do you have any hobbies that help prevent one thing taking over your life?
Yes, I have hobbies. I love to sew and I love to read. Both of these things relax me. I also belong to things going on at our senior center. I go to a lunch ladies group and go to coffee and conversation once a week. I also go to a book group and... - nancyh

Do you have hope for Jeremy? What kind of future do you imagine for him?
I do have hope for Jeremy. He has found a group of like minded people who will support him in his recovery. He is a good person that will need extensive therapy to cope with grief. He had the strength to do the right thing in the case. He was ... - jant

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BookBrowse Review


Winer's writing is unrelentingly superb as the novel progresses, astutely capturing the intricacies of defending someone accused of murder ... Lee Isaacs is a complex figure, simultaneously confident in her abilities and afraid of failure; a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners type of woman that one can't help cheering for, with hidden vulnerabilities that make her more sympathetic. And Lee isn't the only stand-out character; Winer imbues nearly all her creations with huge personalities that make them feel real and keep readers hooked...continued

Full Review (590 words)

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(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
Winer has spent decades as a criminal defense lawyer, and it shows in every detail. Everything about the book feels just right. Lee is a terrific character, too, and we can only hope that this is the first of many novels about her.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Winer brings vivid, insider knowledge of all things legal, from lawyers' black humor to the importance of details to a jury. Unlike many dull legal novels, though, this is filled with witty dialogue, believable characters, and quick pacing (it's a sure bet that the author never bored a jury).

Library Journal (starred review)
Drawing on her own experience as a criminal defense attorney, Winer will keep readers riveted with a twisty plot and a realistic depiction of courtroom proceedings. Highly recommended for those who love emotion-filled legal dramas.

Reader Reviews

Sandi W.

Winer writes to her own experiences - wonderful!
There are not many books that get a 5 star rating from me. However this book rose right to the top. I had to often remind myself that this book is fiction. In story and character it ranked right up there with the true crime books that I often read. ...   Read More
Yana Gifford

A perfect legal mystery book!
This is an absolutely perfect legal mystery! I do love a good mystery book and a court case thriller, but this book was a page-turning masterpiece of legal mystery books. A wonderfully selected list of characters and scenes. Setting aside the legal ...   Read More
Peggy T

Courtroom Drama Deluxe
I really enjoyed this book and hated for it to end. I hope it is the beginning of a series. It reminded me of Kate Wilhelm’s legal series that began with the book entitled Death Qualified.
Sharalynne Pasztor

Her Kind of Case
This was a well written book about an aging attorney and a case she is working on. Felt like I've read this book many times before though...for me everything that happened I expected...including the ending. What I did enjoy about the book though was ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Gender Bias in the Field of Law

The protagonist of Jeanne Winer's Her Kind of Case is a criminal defense attorney who has been in the legal profession for over 30 years.

While female lawyers aren't rare, law is still an area where women are underrepresented (as are minorities of both genders). According to a 2016 New York Bar Association report, women make up just 25% of attorneys in lead counsel roles across every level of court throughout the state, in spite of the fact that they comprise about half of law school graduates (and have since the early 1990s). The Washington Post reports that women and men are equally represented at the associate level, but that women are twice as likely to leave the profession early, citing work-life balance concerns. The same article ...

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Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

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