LIA MATERA – The Smart Money. Laura Di Palma #1, Bantam, paperback original, July 1988. Ballantine, paperback, 1993.

   Lia Matera, who has previously created one radical female attorney in the Willa Janssen books, produces another in Laura DiPalma, the successful defender of Wallace Bean, the assassin of two Republican pro-war Senators, and in this book, the first victim.

   The second is the current wife of Laura’s ex-husband, and it all begins with some related plans for revenge. The plot is complicated, but it’s fairly clued. Even more important to the story is the strong vitality of the characters, almost disconcerting.

–Reprinted from Mystery*File #14, July 1989.

Bibliographic Notes:   Lia Matera was the author of seven Willa Janssen between 1987 and 1998, plus five with Laura DiPalma in the years 1988 to 1995. That’s 12 in nine years. No wonder back then there it felt like there was another one just out from her. Her most recent work of fiction was a non-series short story in the January-February issue of EQMM.