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Women Before The Bench [Mass Market Paperback]

Carolyn Wheat
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 5 2002
This ingenious anthology of legal drama and suspense features all-new tories by some of the top writers in the field, featuring:
Perri O'Shaughnessy
Margaret Maron
Margaret Coel
Jonnie Jacobs
Taffy Cannon
Michael A. Kahn
Claire Youmans
Rochelle Krich
Carroll Lachnit
Sarah Caudwell
Terry Devane
Nora DeLoach
Carolyn Wheat

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Womanhood is modeled for gentler and better things... than the profession of law," wrote Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Edward Ryan in 1875 so begins a collection of 13 short fictional narratives disproving him. New York Times bestselling authors such as Perri O'Shaughnessy, Margaret Maron and Margaret Coel each contribute. The stories feature female protagonists in various positions within the legal system and all are carefully crafted and plotted. In O'Shaughnessy's "Juggernaut," creepy Neal Meurer has hidden his gambling addiction from his trophy wife, Juliette, for years. A minor auto accident nets him enough money to live for the next several months, so he arranges another "accident" with the help of Juliette's brother, an insurance agent but things don't turn out as planned, especially when tenacious lawyer Nina Reilly gets involved. Readers will find familiar characters, such as bar investigator Nan Robinson, revived by Taffy Cannon in the simple yet likable "Restitution"; fans of Carroll Lachnit can accompany law student Hannah Barlow in "Blind" as she investigates the details of a drive-by shooting that kills one teenager and leaves the only witness blinded. Jonnie Jacobs contributes "Built Upon the Sand," in which a scheming, spoiled daughter attempts to gain control of her recently deceased father's estate by declaring her stepmother insane. Claire Youmans also thrills with "Mortmain" (literally, "dead hand"), in which the death of an Italian matriarch leaves two grown children finagling themselves into the good graces of the estate executor. Short enough to appeal to a reader on a timetable, but lacking the plot depth of full-length mysteries, these stories are perfect commuter-flight fare. (Mar. 6)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Carolyn Wheat is the award-winning author of the Cass Jameson mystery series, as well as the editor of several successful anthologies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Best from women legal authors Feb. 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All 13 stories feature women protagonists - be they lawyers or judges, & 11 are written by women. For most of this genre's history (even until the 50s) women lawyers were sidelined by their male counterparts, & "thought unfitted for trial work and suited only for matrimonial cases or backroom fields as estates and trusts" (Time Magazine, 1964 - quoted in the Introduction by Linda Fairstein.)
Same was the scenario in the legal thriller world. Save for a Sara Woods or a Sarah Caudwell, the presence of women writers in the genre was almost nil & there were none to challenge the supremacy of authors like Erle Stanley Gardner, Auchincloss or George Higgins. However, since the 90s when Grisham, Turow, Martini & Richard North Patterson began to rule the genre, there has also been a strong & effective representation by women authors like Lisa Scottoline, O'Shaughnessy, Lisa Mason, Lia Matera & many others who have carved their own niche.
Women Before the Bench is proof of the success these authors have achieved. Perri O'Shaughnessy's Juggernaut features her series protagonist, Nina Reilly who investigates a supposed car accident, & Michael A. Kahn's amusing Strange Bedfellows are the highlights of the first part titled The Civil Wars.
Rochelle Krich's Yow Win Some is the better of the two stories featured in the second part titled The Prosecutors, & is a good story centered on a drunk driving case. British author Sarah Caudwell's The Triumph of Eve & Margaret Maron's Mixed Blessings are the other better stories in the collection.
So how did I find the collection? For one thing, it offers variety & includes stories on civil law, family law as well as criminal law, & in that sense it is an anthology worth its name.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Collection! March 29 2001
Format:Hardcover
A great collection of legal tales by fine writers of the genre. I enjoyed each story and recommend this as a nice book to curl up for some delicious mysteries!
From R. Barri Flowers, the author of the legal thrillers, DAMNING EVIDENCE, POSITIVE I.D., and JUSTICE SERVED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning anthology Feb. 15 2001
Format:Hardcover
This collection of thirteen short stories centers on female attorneys as the stars of each tale working a wide variety of cases in diverse settings that run the sub-genre's gamut. The authors are a who's who of the legal procedural sub-genre and though mostly female, not totally. Each contributor insured that the tale was top quality (or perhaps the editor separated the chaff from the wheat) and fun to read regardless of the gender of the audience. Some of the lead characters are so good, readers will hope to see them reappear in a full-length novel. WOMEN BEFORE THE BENCH shows we've come a long way in the law and literature.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning anthology Feb. 15 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This collection of thirteen short stories centers on female attorneys as the stars of each tale working a wide variety of cases in diverse settings that run the sub-genre's gamut. The authors are a who's who of the legal procedural sub-genre and though mostly female, not totally. Each contributor insured that the tale was top quality (or perhaps the editor separated the chaff from the wheat) and fun to read regardless of the gender of the audience. Some of the lead characters are so good, readers will hope to see them reappear in a full-length novel. WOMEN BEFORE THE BENCH shows we've come a long way in the law and literature.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best from women legal authors Feb. 12 2002
By Narayan Radhakrishnan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All 13 stories feature women protagonists - be they lawyers or judges, & 11 are written by women. For most of this genre's history (even until the 50s) women lawyers were sidelined by their male counterparts, & "thought unfitted for trial work and suited only for matrimonial cases or backroom fields as estates and trusts" (Time Magazine, 1964 - quoted in the Introduction by Linda Fairstein.)
Same was the scenario in the legal thriller world. Save for a Sara Woods or a Sarah Caudwell, the presence of women writers in the genre was almost nil & there were none to challenge the supremacy of authors like Erle Stanley Gardner, Auchincloss or George Higgins. However, since the 90s when Grisham, Turow, Martini & Richard North Patterson began to rule the genre, there has also been a strong & effective representation by women authors like Lisa Scottoline, O'Shaughnessy, Lisa Mason, Lia Matera & many others who have carved their own niche.
Women Before the Bench is proof of the success these authors have achieved. Perri O'Shaughnessy's Juggernaut features her series protagonist, Nina Reilly who investigates a supposed car accident, & Michael A. Kahn's amusing Strange Bedfellows are the highlights of the first part titled The Civil Wars.
Rochelle Krich's Yow Win Some is the better of the two stories featured in the second part titled The Prosecutors, & is a good story centered on a drunk driving case. British author Sarah Caudwell's The Triumph of Eve & Margaret Maron's Mixed Blessings are the other better stories in the collection.
So how did I find the collection? For one thing, it offers variety & includes stories on civil law, family law as well as criminal law, & in that sense it is an anthology worth its name.
The Editor has done a great job in selecting stories told from different viewpoints, that of the Prosecutor, the Defender & the Judge. I had one major regret, however, no story from Lisa Scottoline, aka "the female Grisham" - the most popular of woman legal authors, & in that respect, this anthology is incomplete.
All in all, Women Before the Bench is proof of the success the women legalists have achieved, but it cannot be called a "testament" of their success.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Collection! March 29 2001
By R. Barri Flowers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A great collection of legal tales by fine writers of the genre. I enjoyed each story and recommend this as a nice book to curl up for some delicious mysteries! -- from R. Barri Flowers, bestselling author of JUSTICE SERVED.
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