A Mystery-Writing Lawyer Answers Writers’ Questions.

Books, Crooks, and CounselorsLeslie Budewitz

With her new book, BOOKS, CROOKS, AND COUNSELORS, lawyer Leslie Ann Budewitz helps fiction writers better incorporate the law into fiction.

Winner of the prestigious 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction! 2012 Anthony and Macavity nominee!

A legal thread runs through the fictional world. From Bleak House to John Grisham, great fiction has been created from the inherent drama of a legal proceeding. Legal issues may be central to the plot, play a part in the backstory, or illuminate an aspect of a character's personal history. But that doesn’t mean fiction writers always know the law as well as they should. Writers often misunderstand, misuse, and even misrepresent legal concepts, terminology and procedure.

Books, Crooks, and Counselors is a comprehensive guide to law to help writers create more realistic characters and storylines. It addresses criminal and civil law, criminal investigation and procedure, how trials are conducted, civil and criminal penalties, legal terminology, adoption, probate, and malpractice, as well as the daily work lives of lawyers, judges, and their staff. Books, Crooks, and Counselors helps writers understand some of the differences in state and federal law, to avoid the mistakes that annoy readers.

Written by a practicing lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience who is also a mystery writer, Books, Crooks and Counselors is an easy-to-use, practical and reliable writers’ reference to legal terminology, procedure and  concepts: how to use credible legal situations to create fiction that is crackling with real-world tension and conflict. Books, Crooks, and Counselors uses examples from actual cases, as well as fiction, movies and television, to answer writers’ questions on more than 160 topics.

"VERDICT: Budewitz's material is straightforward and user-friendly. Her content will help shave off hours of research time and enable writers to focus more energy on craft, plot, and character development. Highly recommended for aspiring writers of crime fiction."

--Library Journal, starred review