Fatal February (Mary Magruder Katz Series #1)

Fatal February (Mary Magruder Katz Series #1)

4.7 4
by Barbara Levenson
     
 

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For half Jewish, half Southern Baptist Miami criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz, life starts to spin completely out of control when a minor fender bender turns out to be an unlikely shot from Cupid's bow.The other car's driver, isn't just a distracted driver; he's distracting, not to mention charming, handsome, and mysterious. Hardly before she knows…  See more details below

Overview


For half Jewish, half Southern Baptist Miami criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz, life starts to spin completely out of control when a minor fender bender turns out to be an unlikely shot from Cupid's bow.The other car's driver, isn't just a distracted driver; he's distracting, not to mention charming, handsome, and mysterious. Hardly before she knows what hit her, Mary breaks off her engagement, jumps into a sizzling new romance, gets fired from her former fianc?'s highbrow law firm, starts her own practice, and lands her first client, Lillian Yarmouth.But Lillian isn't just any client; she's the prime suspect in what's become the Miami society murder of the year. While investigating Lillian's alleged crime of passion, Mary finds that this case, like all matters of the heart, is anything but black and white. And Mary has clearly stumbled onto something that has someone seeing red.February may be the shortest month of the year, but Mary's got some long days (and nights) ahead. This month could be a real killer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Fatal February is a charming mystery featuring the fantastically quirky Mary Magruder Katz.

Readers who like Janet Evanovich will love Barbara Levenson.

One part mystery, one part romance, a scoop of hilarious, and a dash of tension combine to create a winning recipe in this delightful debut.

A substantial promotional budget will allow extensive national advertising, including targeted print media ads and mainstream print outlets.

A multi-tiered publicity campaign to include wide distribution of Advanced Reading Copies, a national author tour and Book Sense Programs.

Publishers Weekly

In Levenson's lighthearted if somewhat thin debut, Miami lawyer Mary Magruder Katz agrees to defend Lillian Yarmouth, accused of stabbing her philandering husband to death in their ritzy Coconut Grove home. Meanwhile, Mary's personal life gets complicated after real estate developer Carlos Martin rear ends her car. In a wildly improbable twist, instead of just exchanging insurance information, Carlos asks her to close a $6-million property deal after discovering she's a lawyer. She accepts, though technically Carlos is selling property he doesn't actually own yet. After the deal's done, they make love in her firm's office to celebrate, but Mary's fiancé, who happens to be her boss, catches them in the act and fires Mary. Happily, Carlos helps her set up her own office, and she finds solace in defending Lillian. The surprises regarding the cosmic scales of justice that surface after the Yarmouth murder trial lend extra punch, though some foreshadowing would have made for a more satisfying resolution. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Miami lawyer Mary Magruder Katz's life changes when a minor fender bender introduces her to a sexy real estate developer and leads her to her first client, accused of a society murder. A fun debut, full of humor and joie de vivre.


—Jo Ann Vicarel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933515526
Publisher:
Oceanview Publishing
Publication date:
02/01/2009
Series:
Mary Magruder Katz Series, #1
Pages:
253
Sales rank:
1,028,887
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Barbara Levenson has lived in Miami for the past 32 years. Barbara has served as a prosecutor, and run her own law practice where she focused on criminal defense and civil rights litigation. Barbara was elected to a judgeship in the circuit court of Miami-Dade County where she still serves as a senior judge.

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Fatal February (Mary Magruder Katz Series #1) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
The word 'allegedly' is what gets a great deal of people into trouble. In fact, for a woman by the name of Lillian Yarmouth, the press has already made sure that everyone in the greater Miami area has declared her 100% guilty of stabbing her husband with an antique silver letter opener. The problem? She's not guilty. Mary Magruder Katz is Lillian's attorney. And when the story first begins, Mary is having one heck of a bad day. All she wanted to do was take her car to the car wash and get home through the ridiculous Miami afternoon traffic. What Mary doesn't count on is being rear-ended by a man in a Corvette whose a real obstinate - yet, handsome - jerk. As the hands of fate will do at times, that small accident escalates into a whole new life for Mary. You see, Mary is an attorney, and the driver of the Corvette - Carlos Martin - just happens to be on his way to a real estate closing. He hires Mary on the spot and throws money at her, as she drives this particular jerk to his closing and does the "attorney" deeds that she was paid for. What she doesn't know, is that this particular real estate closing is slightly against the law. Because of Carlos, and Mary's complete and utter attraction to the man, she suddenly finds herself without a job, a fiancé, and struggling to start her own private law firm. She is also suddenly sued by her old boss (A.K.A. the fiancé) for "sleeping" with a client, and is being investigated by the Bar. While going through all of this, Mary also has to deal with a new man in her life, some seriously difficult staffing issues in order to get an assistant with a brain, and trying like heck to defend Lillian Yarmouth and discover who, exactly, was the real "letter opener wielder." From the McMansions (which are now called 'Starter Castles') in Miami, to the "Concrete Canyon" where Lillian lives, this author does a fantastic job of showing Miami to the world. The affairs of the heart, as well as the underhanded business dealings, keep the book humorous as well as fast-paced for the reader. And unveiling the real criminal in all these twists and turns is a whole lot of fun! Quill Says: A wonderful new name in the mystery realm! Readers will love jumping on board for the passion, thrills, and suspense that Ms. Levenson provides!
AmyELignor1 More than 1 year ago
The word 'allegedly' is what gets a great deal of people into trouble. In fact, for a woman by the name of Lillian Yarmouth, the press has already made sure that everyone in the greater Miami area has declared her 100% guilty of stabbing her husband with an antique silver letter opener. The problem? She's not guilty. Mary Magruder Katz is Lillian's attorney. And when the story first begins, Mary is having one heck of a bad day. All she wanted to do was take her car to the car wash and get home through the ridiculous Miami afternoon traffic. What Mary doesn't count on is being rear-ended by a man in a Corvette whose a real obstinate - yet, handsome - jerk. As the hands of fate will do at times, that small accident escalates into a whole new life for Mary. You see, Mary is an attorney, and the driver of the Corvette - Carlos Martin - just happens to be on his way to a real estate closing. He hires Mary on the spot and throws money at her, as she drives this particular jerk to his closing and does the "attorney" deeds that she was paid for. What she doesn't know, is that this particular real estate closing is slightly against the law. Because of Carlos, and Mary's complete and utter attraction to the man, she suddenly finds herself without a job, a fiancé, and struggling to start her own private law firm. She is also suddenly sued by her old boss (A.K.A. the fiancé) for "sleeping" with a client, and is being investigated by the Bar. While going through all of this, Mary also has to deal with a new man in her life, some seriously difficult staffing issues in order to get an assistant with a brain, and trying like heck to defend Lillian Yarmouth and discover who, exactly, was the real "letter opener wielder." From the McMansions (which are now called 'Starter Castles') in Miami, to the "Concrete Canyon" where Lillian lives, this author does a fantastic job of showing Miami to the world. The affairs of the heart, as well as the underhanded business dealings, keep the book humorous as well as fast-paced for the reader. And unveiling the real criminal in all these twists and turns is a whole lot of fun! A wonderful new name in the mystery realm! Readers will love jumping on board for the passion, thrills, and suspense that Ms. Levenson provides!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Miami criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz agrees to defend Lillian Yarmouth, accused of stabbing to death her womanizing husband Gary in their affluent home in Coconut Grove; she was hired because her brother did the Yarmouth¿s will. The mixed breed Southern Baptist Jew finds a unique way to obtain a new client. Her car is hit from behind by obnoxious wealthy developer Carlos Martin at the car wash. When he learns she is a lawyer he hires her to help close a $6 million dollar deal.

Attracted to one another, Carlos and Mary make love in her office. However, her tryst is seen by her boss who is also her fiancé Franklin Fieldstone; he fires her as his future wife and from his firm, and files an ethics charge to the Florida State bar for having sex with a client so he can keep the firm from trouble. Feeling a bit of guilt but more euphoric, Carlos helps Mary set up her own practice even as she defends herself to the legal review board while also preparing Yarmouth¿s defense.

This is a fun legal thriller starring a feisty heroine who is not afraid to speak out when her rights even as simple as being pushed from her spot in the car wash due to extra money passing hands occur. The trial of Lillian is well written though some aspects of the defense are portrayed as discussions between Mary and Carlos, for instance obtaining Lillian¿s release. That technique is a bit passive, but also allows a relationship between the lawyer and the builder to develop. Fans will enjoy this engaging tale of a life ruined and rebuilt starting and ending with the car wash blues.

Harriet Klausner