The Only Good Lawyer: A John Francis Cuddy Mystery by Jeremiah Healy

Jeremiah Healy is the creator of the John Francis Cuddy private-investigator series and (under the pseudonym "Terry Devane") the Mairead O'Clare legal-thriller series, both set primarily in Boston.

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The Only Good Lawyer: A John Francis Cuddy Mystery by Jeremiah Healy


  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.08 x 6.82 x 4.22
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; (August 1999)
  • ISBN: 0671009540

    From Publishers Weekly
    In the 12th John Francis Cuddy mystery (after 1996's Invasion of Privacy), Healy again pungently conjures the people and geography of working-class Boston while delivering a portrait of the hero as a man of principle and a meticulously detailed description of the work?warts, boredom and all?of being a PI. But the overall impact of this tale is seriously compromised by an unconvincing resolution. Asked by an attorney friend to take on a particularly repellent client, a loutish racist charged with killing his wife's African American divorce lawyer, the reluctant Cuddy finds himself gradually believing that Alan Spaeth is being framed. Searching for other suspects in the fatal roadside shooting of Woodrow Wilson Gant, Cuddy comes up with a debt-ridden brother, a dangerous pair of Amerasian gangsters and various partners in Gant's firm with devious private agendas. Along the way, Cuddy is badly beaten and seriously shot. His involvement in the case brings about a rupture in his love life with a female prosecutor, and he manages to find time for a trademark graveside chat with his late wife. But the plot doesn't do the ambience justice, marking Healy's latest as a rare disappointment.
    Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
    --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Book Description

    Shamus Award-winning author Jeremiah Healy never fails to deliver scintillating, perfectly pitched mystery masterpieces in what The New York Times Book Review calls "a superior series." Now he "looks ready to join the honors class of private-eye writers that includes Robert B. Parker" (USA Today), as he introduces us to The Only Good Lawer

    As a favor to a friend, Boston P.I. John Francis Cuddy is looking into the case of Alan Spaeth -- a racist, a misogynist, and a suspected cold-blooded killer. But as much as he's repulsed by the accused, Cuddy's convinced of Spaeth's innocence; he's also intrigued by the victim, Woodrow Wilson Gant, the African-American lawyer who had been representing Spaeth's wife in a very nasty divorce. Three quick bullets on a deserted roadside knocked Gant's rising star out of the Boston skyline for good, and now Cuddy's discovered the attorney was a man of strange desires -- and deadly secrets.

    Ricocheting from Gant's law offices, Cuddy picks up the trail of a woman who fled the scene of the murder and stumbles on a more personal question. The mere mention of Gant's name puts a cold, hard kink in his relationship with Assistant D.A. Nancy Meagher, and Cuddy's losing sleep wondering why. With greed, revenge, and jealousy just a few of the motives in Gant's high-profile homicide, it's up to Cuddy to explore the raw passion -- and touch every nerve -- of a city on the edge.

    Reader Reviews
    Solid, workmanlike detective story, March 30, 2002 Reviewer: Andrew Griffiths from California Boston has been suffering a spate of divorce-attorney killings and Woodrow Wilson Gant, a womanizing former assistant D.A., joins their ranks in a brutal roadside, execution-style killing by someone he knows. Hard - fingerprint - evidence points directly to Alan Spaeth - the husband of one of Gant's clients. Spaeth's motive is clear - Gant, acting for Spaeth's wife, has crippled him financially and demeaned him socially. Spaeth, a racist, bigoted and obnoxious jerk, threatens the African-American Gant during a deposition in front of many witnesses. As John Cuddy embarks on his investigation some gut twinges and troubling anomalies tell him that Spaeth just might have been framed. As his investigation continues - more evidence against Spaeth emerges - but threats against Cuddy indicate that he's probing into areas that at least some people feel are uncomfortable. Cuddy weaves his way through a series of red herrings and violent deaths to eventually uncover what appears to be the surprising truth, although a retrospective reading shows that the clues were there all along! This is not a courtroom thriller. Put it on your list if you like solid, workmanlike detective stories.

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