Perri O'Shaughnessy, Author . Delacorte $25 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-33646-8

In this 10th installment in O'Shaughnessy's series featuring spunky California lawyer Nina Reilly (Motion to Suppress ; Invasion of Privacy ), Nina has moved herself and 14-year-old son Bob from their usual Tahoe turf to the Monterey Peninsula to spend time with her lover, PI Paul van Wagoner. Paul has asked Nina to marry him, offering a big diamond to seal the deal. Nina puts him off while she prepares for a big trial: she's newly employed at Pohlmann, Cunningham, and Turk, and her first case, working with Klaus Pohlmann, is defending 28-year-old Stefan Wyatt, charged with murder and grave robbing. O'Shaughnessy has been accused of sloppy plotting in the past, but not so here. Russian émigré Constantin Zhukovsky, dead more than 20 years, used to tell friends and family of being a young page to Czar Nicholas II. Now the deadly ramifications of these stories have rippled down to the present. As for the damning evidence that Stefan's blood was found at the scene of the murder? O'Shaughnessy comes up with the neatest solution to that classic puzzle in recent thriller memory. Agent, Nancy Yost. (July 13)

Forecast: Readers of the legal ladies genre (some of whom thought O'Shaughnessy's last was not up to snuff) will judge this one a winner and buy appropriately.

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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Hardcover - 648 pages - 978-0-7862-6636-4
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Mass Market Paperbound - 464 pages - 978-0-440-24088-4
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