Lilly Cleary is an attorney for a prestigious Sarasota law firm. But her killer cross-examination technique and take-no-prisoners courtroom attitude haven’t stopped the senior partners from dumping one stink bomb after another on her desk—like the kayak-whiplash case she’s currently saddled with. And problems at home, specifically with her ex–boyfriend, aren’t making her disposition any sunnier.
But it isn’t until she’s mugged outside her office that her troubles really begin. And when someone puts a bullet hole in her favorite suit, Lilly realizes things are getting a bit too personal. Perhaps it has something to do with a malpractice lawsuit she’s inherited, and her recently and suspiciously deceased doctor client. Lilly’s not going to take the insult lying down—even if tracking a killer leads her into dangerously deep water.
It’s hard being Lillian Belle Rosemary Cleary. And if I didn’t know that already, Bonita, my legal secretary supreme and secondary therapist, kept reminding me.
“Carita,” she said, shaking her head and handing me the pink highlighter at my hyperventilated request so that I could mark another obscure legal point I needed to memorize for my upcoming appellate argument. “You make this so much more difficult than it needs to be.”
So spank me, I’m a lawyer and complicating things at a high hourly rate is my specialty.
Sometimes being a lawyer sucks. That’s what Lilly Cleary thinks. Lilly is tough–as–nails attorney who works for a big firm in Sarasota, Florida, and an obsessive–compulsive health nut who has a bad habit of tripping over dead bodies. This time out she’s got her hands full with a psychic client and a Nazi–next–door neighbor, when an obnoxious partner in her firm is murdered. Somehow Lilly gets dragged into investigating and encounters a world–class assortment of weirdo suspects, all of whom have good reason to want to knock the guy off.
In her never-ending quest to log more billable hours, Sarasota lawyer Lilly Cleary agrees to defend Angus and Miguel, two fervent environmentalists who are being sued for libeling . . . an orange! In the Sunshine State, people take their citrus seriously—and there are powerful interests that refuse to sit idly by while a pair of whistle-blowing rabble rousers demean Florida’s main cash crop.
Though the orange affair isn’t quite the juicy case Lilly was looking for, it gets a lot stickier when one of the defendants is blown to bits right in front of her. Not one to take losing a case—or a client—lightly, whole-grain-loving, toxin-phobic Lilly will stop at nothing to get to the truth behind this and assorted other related murders. Which won’t be easy, since everyone is lying—including the surviving environmentalist, who just happens to have an advanced degree from the University of the Streets . . . in bomb-making.
Sarasota lawyer Lilly Cleary has had her share of odd cases. She’s defended everyone from a pet psychic to an orange libeler, and she’s done so with finesse. But it’s another situation entirely when she finds out that her phobic and dysfunctional mother has been accused of murder.
Although she’s been estranged from her family for years, Lilly drops everything to return to the little town of Bugfest, Georgia, and steps into more than she bargained for. For one thing, her mother’s house is beyond a mess. Important papers are missing, and on the back porch there’s a freezer whose contents are very odd. Bugfest itself is under attack by developers who want to turn it into a resort community, a plan that would displace many of the longtime residents.
And then someone tries to murder Lilly’s mother with red ants while she’s strangely oversedated in the hospital.
Lilly has come to the rescue, but can she get to the root of these mysterious doings in time to save her mother’s life?
THE LAW CAN’T PROTECT HER– Young attorney Abby Coleridge opens her home to a troubled law student after a fire destroys the woman’s apartment. When the student disappears, leaving behind a blood-splattered note and a stash of cryptic flash-drives, Abby sets out to find her. Soon, a murderous arsonist threatens them both.
Law student Victor Rutledge, a former Navy officer, knows more than he’s telling. So much so that his offers to help Abby seem suspicious. When police reveal his scandalous past, Abby doesn’t know who to trust.
Trouble, the black cat detective, lands in Tallahassee, Florida in the nick of time. Can he sniff out the salient clues and push Abby and Victor in the right direction and into each other’s arms? Can he save them—and himself—from a fiery end?