Saturday, March 30, 2013

Books, Crooks And Counselors by Leslie Budewitz

Books, Crooks And Counselors is a book written as an aid for writers whose books are about crimes.  It explains the various topics that such writers encounter, and gives enough background and answers that the reader will not be put off while reading due to items or plot devices that are implausible. 

The book is organized into twelve chapters, each of which covers various legal topics in an area of law.  The chapters are Trial and Error, Legal Issues In Criminal Investigation, Crime, ...And Punishment, Civil Matters, Some Terms of the Art, Wills, Probate and Adoption, Legal Miscellany, Thinking Like a Lawyer, Thinking Like A Judge, Legal Ethics and Research And References.  Within each chapter, the format is that of question and answer.  Often, relevant cases demonstrating the legal principle are cited.  Even more interesting to the layman, novels and movies that demonstrate the issue being discussed are mentioned.  There are areas that explain a case or concept in greater detail, and Tip sections that inform the author how a concept could be used to liven up a book's action or introduce controversy.

Leslie Budewitz is an attorney herself who also writes mysteries and crime columns.  She graduated from Notre Dame Law School, and clerked for the Washington State Court Of Appeals.  She is a member of the bar in both state and federals courts in Washington and Montana, and also several Native American courts.  Budewitz has represented both civil and criminal clients.  She is conversant with the law in many ways.

This is an excellent resource for authors and an intriguing read for anyone interested in the law.  The book covers a wide range of topics.  It is organized well, and the information is given in short bites that inform without overwhelming the reader.  There are many hints on where additional information can be found.  This book is recommended for authors and readers interested in crime and the courts.

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