Berkley, Feb 1 2011, $6.99
Brianna “Bree” Winston-Beaufort is a lawyer with two practices; one pays the bills enabling her to conduct her other unlisted work at 666 Angelic St; as the celestial advocate pleading for the souls of her clients otherwise condemned to Hell. She seeks evidence in the celestial records to mitigate or acquit the sentence on appeal.
In Savannah a film based on the life and murder of Haydee Quinn, a stripper who caught a rich man, but his mother disinherited him. Actress Justine Coville hires Bree to get the Bulloch sisters to grant permission her to wear their mother’s brooch during the filming; one of the siblings agrees. Mr. Dent is working the client side of the film and he knows the writers believe the movie about the life and murder of Haydee will be a hit. Dent believes that too as he was there all those decades ago he was the detective on the case, but he a drunk too who ran a poor investigation. To make it back home, he had to do the 12 step program and find the real killer not the one who died in the electric chair. When Bree looks at the brooch, she sees the spirit of Consuela Bulloch who begs her to be her advocate at the Celestial Court hearing because she wants to get out of where she is.
The fourth Beaufort and Company legal thriller (see Angel’s Advocate and Defending Angels) is an exciting supernatural mystery. The woo-woo elements are a Mary Stanton trademark that adds mysticism to the mix and enable readers to believe that Bree defends condemned spirits in the highest court. Brave Bree tries to do what she believes is the right thing regardless of which court she defends her mortal and otherworldly clients in. The support cast (still breathing, angelic or otherwise) enhances an entertaining mystery.