cover image Fox Is Framed: A Leo Maxwell Mystery

Fox Is Framed: A Leo Maxwell Mystery

Lachlan Smith, read by R.C. Bray. HighBridge Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-62231-747-9

Smith’s third exploration of the noir life of San Francisco attorney Leo Maxwell (after Lion Plays Rough) is a tense courtroom drama that focuses on the family tragedy that has haunted Leo and his older brother, Teddy, for over two decades. Recently uncovered evidence has convinced a judge to order a new trial. Leo winds up assisting and falling for Nina Schuyler, a top lawyer as hard-boiled as she is beautiful. Leo’s pretty hard-boiled himself, especially as presented by reader Bray, whose voice sounds as if he’s recovering from a case of laryngitis. Surprisingly, he’s able to remove some of that sandpaper gruffness when no-nonsense Nina, the snippy prosecutor Angela Crowder, and other women have their say. As for the men, Teddy’s halting speech carries a touch of barely controlled frustration. But it’s when Leo is narrating his story, describing his mixed feelings about his father, interpreting the events that unfold in the courtroom, and trying to deal with bad calls he’s made (which hurt the defense and distance him from Nina) that Bray really makes his case. A Mysterious hardcover. (Apr.)