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    Review of THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI by Paul Levine (see his website)


    Bantam Books, February 2006

    Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord are partners--both in the law office and in bed, but Victoria feels restive. She doesn't want to spend her life playing second fiddle, sitting second seat. Nobody remembers the other lawyers--just the star and Victoria wants to be a star. When 'Uncle Grif,' her late father's ex-partner comes back into her life with a major legal problem--he's accused of murder--Victoria thinks she has the answer to her problem. Grif wants her--and she can call the plays or even exclude Solomon. Then there's super-hunky 'Junior,' Grif's son--when he starts making his play for Victoria, Solomon starts to wonder whether he's losing both his law partner and his bed partner.

    Grif's problem is serious--there were two men on a boat and one of them is found killed. That and a hundred thousand dollars worth of hundred dollar bills make the cops certain Grif did the job. The more Victoria and Solomon dig, though, the more it looks like either their client, or his son, was responsible. And neither is acceptable--especially not if Victoria is going to start recalling magic moments with the man who taught her to french kiss. Still, when someone starts trying to kill Solomon and Lord, they have to believe there is something else going on. With all of the money involved in Grif's proposed coral reef-based cassino, some pretty big players had reason to involve themselves.

    While working on Grif's case, Victoria and Steve have their own issues to deal with. Victoria is still getting over her father's suicide--a death that took place years before. When her mother turns on the charm with Grif, she has to wonder whether that relationship might be only a restart--might be what drove her father to his death. And Steve is trying to get his father re-instated in the bar--and running into nothing but resistance from the ex-judge and from his former cronies.

    Somehow author Paul Levine (see more reviews of novels by Levine) pulls all this together in a convincing mystery/legal drama. THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI isn't quite as laugh-out-loud funny as SOLOMON VS. LORD (see our review) but it contains plenty of humor, solid adventure, a continuation of the war of the sexes/opposites attract, and plenty of Solomon's rules--little insights into the world of law and of life that so often zing true.

    If you read the first book in the series, you'll definitely want to grab this one. If you didn't, I think you'll still find THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI to be one of the better mysteries you'll pick up this year.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 12/29/05

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