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Where Lawyers Fear to Tread by Lia Matera
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Where Lawyers Fear to Tread (1987)

by Lia Matera

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PLOT OR PREMISE:
Willa Jansson is the senior articles editor for a law school review when her editor-in-chief gets killed. She wants to know who did it, but doesn't figure it out before a couple more get bopped.
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WHAT I LIKED:
The law school aspect is well-done, perhaps reflective of the fact the author actually attended a law school, a nice change from some of the authors today. The story zips along at a good pace, and is enjoyable, once you get past the five-too-many characters / suspects and the obligatory "oops, I've written 50 pages and haven't killed anybody else off in order to sustain the suspense" technique.
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WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
The problem with the book is that there are too many pieces, and they all get equal weight: Willa's relationships with the various men running through the story (she's the protagonist but all you do sometimes is feel sorry for her), all of the various suspects (pretty much everyone), and a host of motives ranging from being petty to outright greed to the green-eyed monster of justified jealousy. The character development is mediocre, including some peripheral characters that wind up being key ingredients, and some main characters that turn out to be a complete waste of paper. Ironic that the protag is an editor because that is what this book really needed.
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BOTTOM-LINE:
Zips along at a good pace
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DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Mar 21, 2016 |
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  mulliner | Oct 17, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345371259, Mass Market Paperback)

Overworked, overcaffeinated, and as cranky as a sequestered jury, Willa Jansson has a law review to get out. As second in command to the brilliant Susan Green, the ideal law student and perfect editor, Willa's rank jumps up a step when Susan's head is bashed in over a brief at the law review office.

Everyone at Malhousie, the small San Francisco law school, is stunned by the crime -- including professors and the staff at the review. And none of them are above suspicion. Willa, now in charge and none too happy about it, launches a private investigation that succeeds not only in compromising her honor, but getting her arrested, as she chases one blind lead after another and comes face-to-face with the banality of evil....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:12 -0400)

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