cover image And Justice for Mall

And Justice for Mall

E.J. Copperman. Severn, $29.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5077-5

At the start of Copperman’s sparkling fourth mystery wittily narrated by Sandy Moss, a former New Jersey prosecutor now working as head of the criminal justice division in a Los Angeles family law firm (after Witness for the Persecution), 11-year-old Riley Schoenberg, an heiress worth millions, walks into Sandy’s office. “My mom is dead and my dad is in jail for killing her,” Riley declares. “I want to hire you to get him out of prison because he didn’t do it. So what do you charge?” Despite Jack Schoenberg claiming that he’s guilty, Sandy’s research reveals discrepancies in the original proceedings, and she files a motion for a new trial. By doing so, she inadvertently makes Riley and herself targets for the real murderer. Meanwhile, Sandy’s romance with actor Patrick McNabb, who has played detectives on TV and therefore feels he can offer his sleuthing assistance, has reached the point where they’re house hunting together. Sprightly characters and smart dialogue drive the plot, which, while complicated, plays fair with readers. Those seeking pure escapist fare will be delighted. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Agency. (Nov.)