cover image Perfect Alibi: A Mike Daley Mystery

Perfect Alibi: A Mike Daley Mystery

Sheldon Siegel, MacAdam/Cage, $26 (365p) ISBN 978-1-59692-336-2

In Siegel's so-so seventh mystery featuring San Francisco defense counsel Mike Daley (after 2008's Judgment Day), Daley and his ex-wife and legal partner, Rosie Fernandez, are weighing a return to the Public Defender's Office when they get immersed in a murder case that's all too personal. Their 16-year-old daughter Grace's boyfriend, Bobby Fairchild, is arrested for the bludgeoning murder of his father, a judge. The police case appears to be open and shut: Fairchild was found, literally red-handed, holding the bloody hammer used in the crime. Daley and Fernandez believe his protestations of innocence, based on his alibi—Grace herself. Under orders from Fairchild's mother, the lawyers scramble to identify the real killer in the few days they have before the preliminary hearing. Even lay readers will spot errors in courtroom procedures. Lackluster prose ("Murder cases are hard enough without a stressed-out teenager and a four-year-old in your office") doesn't help. (Sept.)