Perri O'Shaugnessy is the pen name for two sisters, Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy. Pamela graduated from Harvard Law School and was a trial lawyer for sixteen years. Mary is a former editor and writer for multimedia projects. Visit them at www.perio.com.
Crime knocks at lawyer Nina Reilly's door once again in this breathy legal drama, the sixth in a series, set in the resort community of Lake Tahoe, Nev. This time it is single mother Reilly's 13-year-old son, Bob, who steers her toward a new case, begging her to defend his friend, 16-year-old Nikki Zack. Nikki is accused of killing her rich uncle, plastic surgeon Bill Sykes, with a 16th-century samurai sword. She says she didn't do it, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Nikki was on the scene at the time of the killing and was known to hold a grudge against her selfish and stingy uncle. Even Reilly, a softie for the underdog, has to admit it doesn't look good for Nikki, until several other suspects pop upÄdisgruntled patients of Sykes, a lecherous business partner, other bitter family members. The case is confused by the death of Sykes's 19-year-old son the same day in a plane crash while returning to Lake Tahoe from L.A. Complicating matters further is a mining claim in northern Nevada that's yielding lots of high-grade opals. The claim used to belong to Nikki's family until Sykes convinced Nikki's ditzy mom, Daria, to sell it to him at a steep discount. O'Shaughnessy, the pseudonym for sisters Mary and Pamela O'Shaughnessy, splits the action between Reilly's courtroom maneuvering and the detective work of her longtime investigator, Paul van Wagoner, whose role is greatly expanded this time around. Van Wagoner lacks the requisite magnetism for co-star status, and the plot swivels in a few unlikely directions, leading up to a far-fetched finale. Nevertheless, Reilly fans should enjoy this latest entry in a thriving series. Agent, Nancy Yost. Major ad/promo; BOMC and Mystery Guild main selections; Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild alternates. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Prominent Lake Tahoe plastic surgeon Bill Sykes is slashed to death with an ancient sword on the same evening that his son Chris dies in the crash of a chartered plane. Are these events coincidental, or are the deaths connected? This is only one of the questions attorney Nina Reilly needs to answer as she develops a defense strategy on behalf of young Nicole Zack, charged with Bill Sykes's murder. O'Shaughnessy's (Acts of Malice) familiar cast of characters, which includes investigator Paul Von Wagoner and secretary Sandy Whitefeather as well as Nina and her teenaged son, Bob, returns for a sixth episode of this best-selling series of legal thrillers. True to form, the pace is fast, the character development is tight and sharply defined, and the legal issue (charging minors as adults in the face of violent crimes) is timely. Fans and newcomers alike will be easily drawn into this tale. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/00.]DNancy McNicol, Hagaman Memorial Lib., East Haven, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.