Sunday, December 28, 2014

In and Out of Love With two New Law-writing Crime Writers

I'm a pushover for crime novels… written about THE LAW… by real, solid gold honest-to-god LAWYERS!

I gravitate toward them like you wouldn't believe! Hail! Allah! Oh, glory be…

Well, let me tell you, folks, did I ever get burned this month. Or is it burnt? Help me out, you intellectual ones!

Madame Blog Administrator? Which is more correct? Burned or burnt?

In 2014 I discovered two gorgeous writers. Steve Martini, author of umpteen crime novels, with that top editor, David Highfill and one of the queens of agenting, Esther Newberg, called by our friend Don Imus, Lobster… well, you get my drift… under the auspices of almighty publishers like Harper Collins and other biggies of our print world… and then Shelby Yastrow, of whom the Chicago Sun-Times said, "Move over, Scott Turow!" Hey, it doesn't get any better than that!

Steve has practiced law in California State and federal courts and served as an administrative law judge in the Pacific Northwest. Shelby was the head of the legal department and a senior vice-president of McDonald's. You can't find more Tiffany-like creds, can you?

Steve has written a ton of novels of law fiction and Shelby made tracks… to die for… with two delicious books, Undue Influence and Under Oath. I have literally scoured the globe to find more books by Attorney Yastrow, but to date have not found another law story by this talented guy, alas.

So, you are asking by now, well, TJS, what is your beef? What made you fall out of love?

Lawyer Yastrow's fatal flaw, in my eyes, is THIS: Only two books? Only a total of 298 plus 340 nail-biting pages, Mr. Law? I have walked the earth to find more of his scintillating novels. Talk about disappointment! Letdown! Dismay! Black cloud this holiday ho-ho season…

Then, if that did not make me want to jump in the Atlantic, the guy I thought would lead me… til the end of the world… Martini… changed his MO from first-rate who-done-its, first rate legal bite-your-nails-to-the-quick suspense… to a new series that only skirts the legal world. The more I read of THEM the more I want to toss them in the trash can under my desk and yell, Hell, no, I won't go!

Did YOU ever get a humongous disappointment from a writer you adored? If yes, you know how I feel.

So, my friends, here I sit, at the cusp of 2014-2015, bereft, bothered and bewildered! What am I to do? Can I survive New year's Eve? A whole new 365 days?

Sans any more Shelby Yastrow? Sans the real Steve Martini—the guy I fell head over feet for?

These guys betrayed moi.

They changed the rules.

If a true-blue-blooded-nice-American gal can't trust a lawyer—whom can she trust? Look up to? Find solace and joy in the writings of?

Can you help? I'm at the end of my rope. What shall I fill up the days of 2015 with—without any hope of more Shelby Yastrow? Or the old, the real, the solid goodness of the Steve Martini I fell in love with!

Please help, my dear friends…

T.J. Straw


  1. I hear your pain, but, alas I am not the one to help you through this difficult time. I will keep returning to this post to see what kind of help you will get.

  2. Thank you, Margaret. Even the thought is a great help with this world-shattering problem... I also believe in using one's own boot straps, so I'm delving into some legal crime writers I haven't sampled yet. Nothing like a long string of men on one's reading list. Ah, sweet mystery of love... tjs

  3. Thelma, I love this post and it revealed to me the notion that we do hope for certain entertainment from our favorite writers. If only book after book of favorites were a sure thing! Something to think about.

    Barbara Bent

  4. Great to have you drop by CWC, Barbara. Yes, but is anything in life a sure thing??? tjs

  5. So, Thelma, Martini and Yastrow should thank you. I just bought a book by each. I can't feel your pain if I don't know what's causing it. Are you into the Brits at all?
    Sarah Caudwell (Thus Was Adonis Murdered) and Cyril Hare (Tragedy at Law) are both very good. (Alas, they're both dead)

  6. Thanks, Steph, I will take a look at your Brit friends. tjs

  7. And I didn't mention that there sleuths are barristers and so you'll get your legal thrillers.

  8. I love this post and it is revealed to me the notion that we hope for entertainment from our favorite writers.

    1. Thank you for coming by CWC today. Are you Professor Leonard Birdsong - law professor? tjs

  9. Thanks for all your interest, my friends, on and off list... I'm sure you know I meant it all in jest... but I am moving on... today with a lot of Scott Turow and an old one of Richard Patterson...sometimes old is better than brand new... tjs