Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: By Stone, by Blade, by Fire by Kate Wilhelm

I've now read all the Barbara Holloway Mysteries.  This latest is every bit as intriguing, convoluted and engaging as earlier ones in the series.  Barbara Holloway, maverick defense attorney reluctantly takes on client Travis Morgan  after

  ..two witnesses swear they saw Travis Morgan walk into his father's house and shoot the man at his desk. Although he admits to a passionate hatred and fear of his father, a fundamentalist preacher, Travis swears he is innocent. Barbara Holloway believes him, and as she investigates, the case explodes into a dangerous conspiracy, causing Frank, Barbara's father and part-time associate, to hire a bodyguard to protect her.  (So says the publishing blurb). 

Much of this episode is similar to earlier entries in the series: Barbara still gets obsessed with her clients and neglects not only her health but her relationships with partner Darren and her father. There are still enough red herrings thrown in to keep the reader guessing well into the story not only about the murder but all the clues and issues needed to be developed to resolve the story.  Barbara's ageless and charming father Frank, the irrascible PI Bailey, and bubbly perky brilliant associate Shelley are still here, and seamlessly woven into another great courtroom drama.  It is particularly intriguing with its focus on the veracity of eye witnesses. 

I especially enjoy these in audio format. Carrington MacDuffie's narration is perfect for the personalities portrayed.  Let's hope Wilhelm has some more adventures for this intrepid attorney tucked away.  I can't wait.

Title: By Stone, By Blade, By Fire
Author: Kate Wilhelm
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2012) 
Narrator: Carrington MacDuffie
Genre: Courtroom drama
Subject: Clearing an innocent man; veracity of eyewitnesses
Setting: Oregon
Series: Barbara Holloway novels #13
Source: public library download
Why did I read this book now? I needed a good mystery as a break from heavy literary fiction.


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