Review by Booklist Review
Former New Jersey prosecutor Sandy Moss, now a family-law attorney in Southern California, also handles the occasional criminal case. She meets her match in 11-year-old Riley Schoenberg, who refuses to leave the lawyer's office until Sandy agrees to get Riley's father, Jack--convicted of murdering her mother, Helene Nestor--out of prison. Sandy quickly finds grounds for a new trial, but then she and Riley are threatened, and a sting operation ends up with Riley being kidnapped. Feeling responsible, Sandy doubles down on her efforts to find Helene's killer and locate Riley before it's too late. With the help of investigator Nate Garrigan, friend Angie, boyfriend Patrick, and police detectives Trench and Valdez, Sandy plows forward, charging in without the police when she discovers where Riley is being held. The legal frame is well constructed, and the plot has plenty of curves. Sandy's asides to the reader add a welcome humorous touch.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
At the start of Copperman's sparkling fourth mystery wittily narrated by Sandy Moss, a former New Jersey prosecutor now working as head of the criminal justice division in a Los Angeles family law firm (after Witness for the Persecution), 11-year-old Riley Schoenberg, an heiress worth millions, walks into Sandy's office. "My mom is dead and my dad is in jail for killing her," Riley declares. "I want to hire you to get him out of prison because he didn't do it. So what do you charge?" Despite Jack Schoenberg claiming that he's guilty, Sandy's research reveals discrepancies in the original proceedings, and she files a motion for a new trial. By doing so, she inadvertently makes Riley and herself targets for the real murderer. Meanwhile, Sandy's romance with actor Patrick McNabb, who has played detectives on TV and therefore feels he can offer his sleuthing assistance, has reached the point where they're house hunting together. Sprightly characters and smart dialogue drive the plot, which, while complicated, plays fair with readers. Those seeking pure escapist fare will be delighted. Agent: Josh Getzler, HG Agency. (Nov.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Copperman's fourth "Jersey Girl Legal Mystery" (after Witness for the Persecution) is another outrageous, unconventional mystery. When 11-year-old Riley Schoenberg begs attorney Sandy Moss to get her father, Jack, out of prison, and arrange a new trial, Sandy is unable to say no. As a hardened New Jersey prosecutor, she should have a better sense of a snow job, but maybe she's gone soft in Los Angeles. Sandy agrees to take the case pro bono, only later learning that Riley inherited 4.5 million dollars when her mother died, and Riley's father confessed to killing his wife. But Sandy feels protective of her young client. When Riley gets a phone call, supposedly from her dead mother, asking to meet at the mall, Sandy disapproves of the police plan. She drops Riley at the mall, but the police aren't able to stop a kidnapper with a grenade from taking Riley. Sandy can't even ask Jack about his daughter: he broke out of prison on the same day Riley was abducted. Sandy runs all over town before making a bold move to save her client. VERDICT Fans of bizarre characters and spirited sleuths will appreciate this offbeat, humorous story.--Lesa Holstine
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A family lawyer gets schooled by her 11-year-old multimillionaire client. Despite a string of successful forays into criminal defense, New Jersey transplant Sandy Moss intends to spend the rest of her career negotiating divorce decrees and custody settlements at the Southern California firm of Seaton, Taylor, Evans, and Wentworth. But Riley Schoenberg isn't looking for better parental support because she accepts the fact that neither parent supports her. Her mother is dead, and her father is currently a guest of the state prison in Lancaster, just north of Los Angeles, convicted of her mother's murder. Instead, Riley is convinced that Sandy can exonerate him based on what to an 11-year-old is an unassailable legal argument: He didn't do it. Although unimpressed with Riley's understanding of American jurisprudence, Sandy is swayed by the child's determination, and on reviewing the case, she finds errors on the part of the court that would seem to warrant a new trial. While she's waiting to file her motion, her boyfriend, television actor Patrick McNabb, urges her to look at properties that could accommodate their soon-to-be-merged households. With a combination of egocentric logic and raw persistence that rivals Riley's, he hires Emily Webster, a realtor he knows is competent because she's his former fiancee, someone he's willing to trust even though she tried to hire a hit man to kill Sandy. Text-messaged threats against Sandy and her pint-sized client, a kidnapping, and a grenade-wielding abductor in a Covid-protective mask are only some of the zaniness Copperman has on tap for his latest dose of legal mayhem. Can a Jersey girl become a Valley girl? Wait and see. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.