cover image Judgment at Santa Monica

Judgment at Santa Monica

E.J. Copperman. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9098-6

Copperman’s terrific sequel to Inherit the Shoes finds attorney Sandy Moss, formerly an assistant county prosecutor in New Jersey, working for a prestigious L.A. firm specializing in family law. When TV actor Patrick McNabb, a friend of Sandy’s and one of her firm’s biggest clients, asks her to help movie star Cynthia Sutton with her divorce settlement, Sandy agrees to do so. A short time later, the police discover Cynthia, in shock and clutching a bloodied TeeVee award, at the Santa Monica home of art gallery owner Wendy Bryan, her deeply unpleasant mother-in-law, who has been stabbed to death with, as the police later determine, the TeeVee award. When Patrick declares that he and Sandy must find the real killer and offers his assistance—after all, he’s playing a private detective in his new series—Sandy reminds him that’s not their job. As Sandy builds Cynthia’s defense, she becomes the target of a none-too-professional assassin. A truly witty narrator, Sandy peppers the text with sly, wry throwaway lines (“I reached into the fridge and pulled out a beer because wine wasn’t going to make me burp and, after the day I’d had, I really wanted to burp”). This breezy book is a pure pleasure to read. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Agency. (Oct.)