Thursday, July 23, 2009

Service Dress Blues-Michael Bowen

Service Dress Blues
Michael Bowen
Poisoned Pen, Sep 2009, $24.95
ISBN 9781590586679

In Milwaukee lawyer Rep Pennyworth and his wife, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee English professor Melissa, are working on separate items. Rep is working on trademark and copyright law for Democratic Party activist Ole Lindstrom; Melissa is looking into the apparent mugging by a woman of Ole’s nephew Harald Lindstrom from the U.S. Naval Academy found unconscious in an Annapolis motel the night before the “Game”.

The police arrests Ole’s septuagenarian wife Lena; who is accused of hammering him on his head with a frying pan. She is charged with attempted murder. She swears she did not bean her husband with a skillet; instead she swears that an intruder knocked him out. Ole is gleeful in spite of the headache as his candidate for Attorney General Veronica Gephardt is running on a domestic violence platform. Soon after that someone kills Ole; and Lena is arrested again this time for murder; Rep represents her.

With events going on in early 2009 playing in the background, the latest Pennyworth thriller (see SHOOT THE LAWYER TWICE) is an amusing lighthearted farcical mystery that is fun to read. The lead married couple is having fun though the stakes change for him with a murder defense and for her with a baseball trivia quiz. Although the prime suspects in the homicide are not just underdeveloped, they seem emaciated when compared with the Pennyworth pair. Still Michael Bowen provides an entertaining who’s on first tale.

Harriet Klausner