Women Before the Bench

Where Has This Book Been?
by Carolyn Wheat | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0425183874 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/16/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, August 16, 2020
I got this softcover from Better World Books, in my attempt to collect all of the works of Sarah Caudwell (author of the "Hilary Tamar" novels and a few short stories, and who died all too soon). This anthology features tales about women who are attorneys (civil or criminal, defense or prosecution) - and one about a judge, some featuring characters from ongoing series and some that are one-offs. I enjoyed the collection quite a lot; my favorite stories include:

"Restitution" by Taffy Cannon, featuring her character Nan, a bar investigator (think Internal Affairs for lawyers) - this alone made it interesting, and the plot was nicely twisty.

"Strange Bedfellows" by Michael A. Kahn features his Rachel Gold, who's not happy about being tapped for a trial involving accusations of a male ostrich being ruined for breeding - because his new owners are a lesbian couple. Yeah, it's a wildly bizarre plot - which is not to say there aren't weirder ones on court TV all the time. Anyway, the story's sharp and fun, and justice is served.

"Blind" by Carroll Lachnit mixes the tragic outcome of a drive-by gang shooting and the disruption of a romance - with the attorney finding a way to mend as much of a broken life as possible.

"The Triumph of Eve" by Sarah Caudwell - yep, the story I came for! - is in the "Criminal Docket: Defenders" section, and seems to be in the "Hilary Tamar" 'verse: the narrator self-describes as "the habitual chronicler", and Selena, a character from the novels, also appears. But the story is centered on different characters, and unfolds as former barrister Eve tells the tale. Eve's a senior official now, but talks about her early days, when women weren't considered fit to become barristers in civil litigation where logic was required. [Collective groans from her audience!] She tells of a case where she managed to solve a very thorny problem - but while she did get credit for it, it was described as a triumph of feminine intuition! (The story made me regret Caudwell's loss all over again, as her writing style - and the banter of her characters - are delightful.)

"The Only Good Judge" by Carolyn Wheat has her protagonist Cass agreeing to a favor for the "Dragon Lady", a tough-on-crime judge with a long list of severe sentences to her record. After her death, it turns out she was murdered, but the most likely suspect has a solid alibi. But then another murder occurs, and Cass eventually works out the complex strangers-on-a-train plot.

Released 1 mo ago (10/30/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Granite Circle in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this snowy day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Tick Tock challenge. ***

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