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Readers who like Janet Evanovich will love Barbara Levenson.
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.
Author appearances at major conferences/literary events and will maintain an active website. Outreach to independent bookstores, book clubs, libraries and publisher/author professional networks.
Posted July 20, 2014
Justice In June is the second book in Barbara Levenson’s Mary Magruder Katz Mystery Series. The book opens with a dead informant and criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz getting a call from Judge Elizabeth Maxwell asking for a meeting ASAP.
Judge Maxwell asks Mary to defend her in a hush/hush case that could ruin her career or possibly send her to jail. Added to the extra stress of possibly losing the case, Mary might have to depend on her ex to retrieve some information that could point her in the direction of the real criminal instead of the judge. Unfortunately, this information may cost Mary more than an uncomfortable liaison with the guy that dumped her.
While fretting over the fate of her case with the judge she has more issues. Her hot Cuban boyfriend, Carlos, asks Mary to see why they are holding a friend of his family, Luis Corona, after an altercation on an international flight. Thinking this is just a case of mistaken identity or some other reasonable explanation, she agrees. Within a few hours, she finds herself knee deep in a federal case. The feds are accusing Corona of terrorism and are preparing to move him without benefit of a lawyer or a hearing. Kate sees him for a brief time before the Secret Service arrives. When she leaves the jailhouse, she walks into a barrage of TV and newspaper reporters asking her why she is defending a terrorist.
Meantime, Carlos has a group of people suing him for not having the condos that his company is building completed on time. Additionally, someone just might be trying to hurt Mary. She does not know if it is from one of her current cases, one of her past cases or just some random acts of violence. She is exhausted and understandably so. Mary has more defendants than she has time for and more troubles then there are gators in the Everglades.
As you can imagine, this novel goes from zero to 60 as soon as you turn the first page. To say it is fast paced is an understatement. Levenson does not sacrifice great writing for speed, she keeps up no matter how fast the plot is moving and no matter how many twists and turns it takes.
Her characters are believable and easy to care about. I want Mary to come out the winner, and feel awful when she has so much on her plate she starts forgetting things like court dates. Who hasn’t had that kind of week? At least mine don’t include death threats and my mom not talking to me because she thinks I am defending a terrorist.
This is the second novel I have read by Barbara Levenson. I read her third Mary Magruder Katz novel, Outrageous October last year and loved it. I have not read the first in the series, Fatal February, but still plan to do so. The fourth in the Mystery Series, Neurotic November will be available in September 2014. Each book of this series can easily be a stand-alone novel. As you have probably noticed, I read Levenson’s third, then second, then will probably read the fourth, then first book of this series. I don’t feel as though I’ve been confused or missed anything by not reading them in order. Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy eating dessert before dinner sometimes, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy dinner also because I ate in a different order.
In my review of Outrageous October, I urged mystery fans looking for a new series to try Ms. Levenson’s books, and still stand by that recommendation. Both of the books I have read in this series are well written, keep me guessing and have characters I care about. Mary, Carlos and Sam the dog can entertain mystery lovers for as many books as Levenson is willing to write for us.
Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.
Posted June 12, 2014
Justice in June Barbara Levenson
This is the 2nd book in the Mary Magruder mystery series, We find Mary preparing to defend Judge Liz Maxwell, who is being investigated by the State's Attorney. She has been accused of dismissing or closing drug cases, without a hearing. At the same time Mary is asked, by her boy friend Carlos, to defend his "almost cousin" Luis who has been arrested and accused of terrorism.
In Liz's case how far will our judicial system go to either accuse or defend one of their own. And what about Homeland Security? Are they sure that they always get the right guy, or is it possible, this time that they went after the wrong guy?
Barbara is a new author to me and I really enjoyed this book. Her first book was Fatal February, published in 2009, she has a third book Outrageous October, which was published in 2013.
FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Posted December 22, 2010
Starting right off with the death of an informer, we meet Mary Magruder Katz, a criminal defense attorney in Miami, immediately thrown into heavyweight cases building up to overload. Her friend Judge Liz Maxwell is about to up the ante with a serious criminal investigation aimed at her, and needs Mary's legal assistance. It doesn't help that the dead informer was the main witness in a case that Judge Maxwell is trying. If that were not enough, Mary's hunk of a boyfriend, Carlos, desperately needs help for his "cousin", actually the son of friends of the family, Luis. Luis was taken into custody as a terrorist on a business flight for his parents from his home in Argentina. He has completely disappeared into the Federal system with no information, no paper trail, no formal charges, and one partial phone call. Mary takes on all these cases with only one assistant. She knows she has serious and short deadlines to accomplish all this, and spends almost all her time on her work, until the threats begin. It is June in Miami, and living up to its steamy hot weather. Not only is the weather stifling, but the caseload is threatening to stifle Mary for good. Are the threats related to the case for Luis? Possibly, but no one can find out where the Feds have him, he might even be out of the country. Are the threats related to her investigation of why Liz is in danger of being removed as a judge? Again, possibly, but who would be going after Liz? She appears to be honest and fair in her judgments. Certainly they can't have anything to do with a suit against Carlos, which has just been added to her caseload ... or can they? Mary, though frightened having already been assaulted, is only more determined to carry on with all her cases regardless of the threats. When she gets a threatening call on her brand new Blackberry that she hasn't used, nor given out the number, and her home is broken into, she hightails it over to Carlos' with Sam, her dog, and moves in temporarily. Barbara Levenson's writing is interesting, well researched, and filled with unique characters. The story is a blend of judicial, legal, and federal investigation and performance. It outlines the chaos and paranoia in the ongoing search for possible terrorists. It addresses greed and corruption as it can happen from within the judicial and the policing arenas, particularly with drug money involved. It also highlights the qualities of the honest in these same arenas. Bringing some light humor into play is the interaction between the parents of both Mary and Carlos, who have their own plans in play. Mary Magruder Katz is an interesting character, one I would like to see grow. I enjoyed reading this book, and I appreciated Ms. Levenson's chapter breaks with subtitle whenever the storyline backtracks so the reader knows when there is a time shift. This is the second in a series and I will be looking for Fatal February, first in the series, and look forward to the third.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 10, 2010
Who knew that two phone calls could change Mary's life forever? When she receives a phone call from Judge Maxwell asking Mary, a defense attorney, to represent her in court, Mary is mystified. A drug information was murdered and now Judge Maxwell is being investigated.
Then, Carlos, Mary's boyfriend asks Mary if she will help his friend, Luis, get out of jail. The details of his arrest become clear and Mary is devastated to learn that he is charged with Terrorism. To make matters worse, she and Carlos and both of their parents are getting together for dinner. What else could possibly go wrong?
This is an intense read that holds the readers attention. Barbara is a great writer and I'm a fan for life now.
Posted July 9, 2010
Mary Magruder Katz is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami whose life is suddenly very busy, as she gets involved in three high profile cases in June. So much for the lazy hazy days of summer.
Respected Judge Elizabeth Maxwell finds herself being investigated by the district attorney's office due to a drug informant being killed. There is a desperate call from her boyfriend Carlos who wants Mary to go help a "relative" who has been picked up by the police, though he does not know what the charge is. Then there is Carlo's own legal troubles concerning the condominium he is building.
Thankfully, Mary has a reliable assistant, Catherine who keeps the office moving but even with her Mary begins to wonder will she be able to handle it all. Things became more complicated when Mary sees some inconsistencies in the cases that Liz has ruled over, but then again did she really rule over all these cases?
Homeland Security is holding Carlos' cousin, Luis and Mary cannot find out what the charges are or where he is being held. She is given quite a run around until she holds a press conference and begins to get some answers.
In addition to Carlos' legal troubles, his parents have arrived in the US and want to meet Mary. It goes well but Mary does not really have time to socialize.
She has some help as she tried to trap the real culprit in the judge's case, but will it backfire and cause her to lose her license? Will Carlos' cousin be released? In addition, what about Carlos' own case or for that matter Mary and his relationship?
Levenson has created an interesting cast of characters and a lighthearted mystery/legal story. I want to read more about Mary Magruder Katz and her legal cases.
Posted June 5, 2010
Justice in June brings Mary Macgruder Katz back and her hands are definitely full!!! When she left off in Fatal February she was just starting her own business. Now business is picking up and she has a few more things to tackle. Not only does she get three new cases to tackle but there appears to be some fallout from them as well. It is interesting to see how she handles these. On top of this she has to deal with more family issues - both from her own family and her part Latin lover's family as well. The book is definitely an interesting read - Check it out!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2010
It's no ordinary Monday at the office. In the course of two phone calls, Miami criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz's life is turned upside down.
First off, Judge Elizabeth Maxwell calls to request Mary's help. The judge is being investigated by the state attorney's office in relation to the assassination of a drug informant in a case over which the judge is presiding. Can Mary represent her?
Next Mary's boyfriend, developer Carlos Martin, calls her because a family friend, Luis Corona from Argentina, has been arrested. Can Mary get him out of jail? Carlos doesn't know why Luis has been arrested, but when Mary rushes to the Dade County Jail, she discovers Luis has been arrested for terrorism.
As if these two cases aren't enough, Mary's parents have set up a dinner with Mary and Carlos and Carlos' parents, and Mary is a little freaked out about this initial meeting of the parents. Will her worries be for naught?
Added to Mary's plate is a lawsuit against Carlos concerning his latest development, which also brings Carlos' ex-wife into the picture. Oh, and did I mention someone has attacked Mary and trashed her house? Who knew being a lawyer was such a hazardous occupation?
Mary is a strong, capable criminal defense attorney and a genuinely likable protagonist. Her personal life definitely has some interesting moments. Readers will find "Justice in June" to be a fast, sassy and fun read. I loved it!
This is author Levenson's second Mary Magruder Katz book. "Fatal February" was the first in the series. Fans of Stephanie Plum and Kinsey Millhone will find a new author to love in Barbara Levenson.
I highly recommend "Justice in June" and can't wait to find out what's next on Mary's caseload.
Posted May 19, 2010
Mary Magruder Katz's solo practice is booming.Not only does she have two high profile cases to win, she also has a case to litigate for her boyfriend Carlos. Judge Liz Maxwell presides over the criminal cases in Miami. But now she's the one finding herself needing an attorney when she learns she is the subject of an intense investigation by the DA's office. It appears that she is giving leaner sentences than she should be, and in some instances outright dismissing drug cases. The DA's office firmly believes that Liz is working for the drug lords and is set on removing her from the bench. Liz hires Mary to not only save her job, but more importantly to prove her innocence. When Mary starts investigating the cases the DA feels Liz handed down inappropriate sentences or dismissals, something just does not add up. When she starts piecing the pieces together, she does not like what she's seeing. Along with Liz's help and that of another old fiance, Mary sets a plan in motion that could not only get her disbarred, but also killed.
Luis Corona is the Argentine son of good friends of Carlo's parents. He has come to America to buy a boutique for his family. Carlos calls Mary and asks her to go down to the Miami-Dade jail. It appears that Luis has been arrested, but that he has NO idea what for, which leaves Mary with no clue as to what she's about to get involved in. At first, Mary is not allowed to see her client, but after sweet talking one of the guards, she is allowed to see Luis for just a few short minutes before the Feds (FBI? CIA? Homeland Security?) come in and whisk him away to an undisclosed location because he is considered to be a terrorist (he's arrested during the flight from Argentina to Miami). Now Mary is faced with losing clients (who wants a lawyer to represent them who also represents terrorists) while trying to find out just where Luis is. She begins to use Carlos's family connections and through a tip locates Luis. Mary begins her fight against the government to have Luis brought to court to find out exactly what the charges are. Can Mary get this done before Luis is permanently removed from the States to parts unknown? Not only does Mary have these two high profile cases to deal with, she's also handling a lawsuit for Carlos. It seems as if there are some unhappy buyers for one of his new developments and they have filed a class action lawsuit against him to recoup their deposits and get out of the sale. Can Mary get him out of this jam or will he lose everything that he has worked so hard for? Including Mary? The fate of all three people lies in Mary's hands. Can she do this on her own or as a one woman shop is she spreading herself too thin? Can she "save" them all, or will one of them suffer because she has focused too much of her time an energy on the others? And can Mary get over her fear of commitment and finally settle down with Carlos? Justice in June has it all - murder, courtroom drama, and just enough romance to keep it sizzling, yet not to sappy that it takes away from what's really going on. Full of twists and turns, Justice in June will keep you reading well past your bedtime. The action is fast paced and will have you turning the pages almost before you've finished the one you are on. Mary is a tough, dedicated, highly experienced lawyer. If I should ever get in trouble, I would want her sitting next to me at the defense table. I can't wait for the next installment in Mary's fight for justice.
Posted May 8, 2010
In Miami Carlos Martin asks his girlfriend defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz to defend a family friend Argentinean Luis Corona, accused by the Feds of being a terrorist. Apparently an incident on a flight from Buenos Aires places the now very frightened Corona on what increasingly looks like a one way ticket to Guantomino.
While trying to keep Corona in Florida rather than deportation to the American prison on Cuba, Mary also represents Judge Elizabeth Maxwell, who swears she is innocent as the Florida Office of the State Attorney investigates her for supposedly accepting under the bench payments for fixing drug cases. If those two cases were not enough, Carlos needs her to defend him on a legal matter too.
The second Katz case load (seer Fatal February) is an enjoyable legal thriller that will have readers needing oxygen breaks to keep up with the frantic pace of marvelous Mary Magruder Katz. Starting with being fired by her client Ramon for representing Luis the suspected terrorist, Justice in June is a torrent of activity for Mary on the legal and personal fronts. Barbara Levenson provides an entertaining South Florida tale starring a wonderful juggler.