Books by Michael A. Kahn

PLAYED! by Michael A. Kahn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 4, 2017

"The creator of Rachel Gold (The Dead Hand, 2016, etc.) provides precious little mystery here. But the spectacle of these ornaments of the Missouri bar attacking, undermining, and double-crossing each other provides brisk, sprightly entertainment, and the hapless defendant's baseball background comes into play just when it's most needed."
A bulldog St. Louis attorney interrupts his lawsuit against a swindling colleague long enough to defend his own kid brother, who's accused of killing the scamster's wife. Read full book review >
THE DEAD HAND by Michael A. Kahn
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A high-water mark in this inventive, ebullient series."
St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold lands not one but two cases that feature trouble arising from beyond the grave. Read full book review >
THE FLINCH FACTOR by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 4, 2013

"The tale sags as it lumbers toward its foreordained conclusion, but it's all worth it to hear Judge Flinch tell a witness who's taking the Fifth: 'You're plenty incriminated already.'"
Back from a 10-year sabbatical, ebullient St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold (Trophy Widow, 2002, etc.) is faced with a Frankenstein civil suit that just won't be settled. Read full book review >
TROPHY WIDOW by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 2002

"It's a treat to see Rachel back from her extended leave of absence since Sheer Gall (1996), and working such a meaty, satisfying case as this one, even if the darkest complications wind up with a tidiness improbable even for genre fiction."
Even in Missouri convicted murderers aren't supposed to hog the profits from publicity about their crimes, so when Angela Green signs a contract to write a book after serving ten years in prison since killing her husband, Samantha Cummings, the gallery owner Michael Green had dumped her for, has other ideas: She files suit claiming that her son Trent, whom Michael intended to adopt, should get half of Angela's royalties. It's clearly a case for St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold—and just as clearly, Rachel will soon graduate from defending Angela in the civil case to unearthing evidence that maybe she didn't kill her lawyer husband after all: the Rohypnol in her bloodstream that would explain her blackout on the murder night better than post-traumatic stress, the mysterious success Samantha's had getting top dollar for the work of a mediocre painter, the X-rated videotapes linking certain City Hall insiders to an audacious money-laundering scheme. It's a lucky thing for Rachel that the case unreels so smoothly, because she's got troubles on the side. The wonderfully overripe redevelopment commissioner is about to lower the boom on her pet women's shelter; she's defending a couple of ostrich ranchers on a charge more outrageous than their profession; and she's struggling to embrace the stringent Orthodox lifestyle of her true love. Not to worry: Everything, everything, works out fine. Read full book review >
BEARING WITNESS by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Everybody will agree, however, that Rachel's sixth case is a lot less antically amusing than her first five. Counsel is deadly serious this time, and no wonder."
What looks at first like another of St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold's variously wacky criminal cases spreads its wings into crossover territory. Read full book review >
SHEER GALL by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 14, 1996

Sally Wade, Esq. (Sally Wade Associates), is already in the process of divorcing Neville McBride, Esq. (Tully, Crane & Leonard), when an unusual evening leads her to the office of Rachel Gold, Esq., to file a separate suit for assault and battery. She alleges that McBride, a longtime bondage enthusiast, used his old key to get into her place, beat her, and attempt rape; he maintains that he never had much interest in bondage, and, anyway, he was at his place that evening watching Monday Night Football. Sally's story gets a lot more convincing when the police find her spread-eagled, gagged, suffocated body decorated with a puddle of fluid that sure looks to the lab boys like McBride's. But McBride and his sleek defender, Jonathan Wolf, Esq., haven't given up. They offer to prove an alibi; they point out that Sally had never taken her injuries to the doctor, as Rachel had demanded; they ask (what gall!) whether Rachel's sure it was really Sally who came to her office in the first place. And this is only the beginning of an uproariously complex swindle involving every lawyer in St. Louis, a scam that will addle your brain in all the satisfying ways the killer's obvious identity won't. More sheer gall than you ever expected lifts Rachel's fifth case way above Due Diligence (1995) and up near the comic heights of Firm Ambitions (1994). Read full book review >
DUE DILIGENCE by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 7, 1995

St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold is puzzled when she learns that Bruce Rosenthal, an accountant her brand-new lover Rabbi David Marcus recommended her to, is crushed to death in his office building's basement compactor before she can meet with him. But she's devastated when David himself is executed, apparently by anti-Semitic extremists. The police are happy to close the books on David after a raid leaves all the suspects satisfyingly dead; but Rachel's instincts are screaming coverupa silent scream that just gets louder when the only person at Bruce's firm who's interested in what he'd found out about the takeover-ripe pharmaceuticals firm Chemitex gets killed as well. Armed with two documentsa memorandum of Bruce's cryptic questions to himself, and a 20-year-old list of names nobody can identifyRachel and her buddies, teddy-bear vulgarian Prof. Benny Goldberg and newshound Florence Shenker, search high and low (there's an extended climax in the caves beneath St. Louis) for the evidence that will inevitably implicate Rachel's patron saint, liberal Missouri Senator Dr. Douglas Armstrong. An unmysterious suspenser that's by far the weakest of Rachel's five adventures (Firm Ambitions, 1994, etc.), though you do learn a lot about the legal side of medical research and developmentand, through Rachel's new secretary, about the daily problems of aspiring transsexuals. Read full book review >
FIRM AMBITIONS by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 11, 1994

In what she vows will be her last divorce case, feisty St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold (Death Benefits, 1992) agrees to represent her sister Ann's friend, Eileen Landau, against her rutting developer husband, Tommy. But it's one divorce too many for Rachel. Eileen admits she's been carrying on herself with Andros, the dishy instructor whose aerobics clients at Firm Ambitions wiggle their bottoms for nobody but him; Rachel visits Firm Ambitions and has to fight off Andros's sales pitch for private sessions; and minutes after one last high-impact workout with Eileen, Andros pops some poisoned vitamins—after which the police arrest not Eileen, not Tommy, but Ann, another tearful victim of Andros's wiles, who'd written him a seriously nasty letter after she'd found he was 22-timing her. A cache of indiscreet photos of Andros's clientele makes Rachel realize that winning Ann's acquittal won't be enough; the only way to keep the lid on a scandal damaging to both Eileen and Ann will be to prevent the case from ever coming to trial. How? By enlisting her mother and her raffish sidekick, Benny Goldberg, to penetrate the ingenious scam Andros was really running on all those socialite twits. Like baseball's ever-deserving Cardinals, Rachel would be a lot better known if she played in a major media market. Her latest case—starting with sex, drugs, and gambling, and then getting really dirty—is a beaut. (Author tour) Read full book review >
DEATH BENEFITS by Michael A. Kahn
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 10, 1992

Chicago attorney Rachel Gold (The Canaan Legacy, 1988—not reviewed) is sent to St. Louis, her old hometown, to see whether she can prove that Stoddard Anderson, managing partner of the local office of pedigreed law firm Abbott & Windsor, was insane when he killed himself—thus providing a bigger payoff for his widow Dottie, who needs every penny. The background questions about Anderson—for instance, why did he quadruple his accident insurance only a few months before he died, and what was he doing for the three days between disappearing from home and slitting his wrists in an airport hotel?—fade when Rachel learns from gallery owner Remy Panzer that Anderson had promised to help smuggle a jewelled golden cast of Montezuma's penis into the country. Aided by the likes of funky law prof Benny Goldberg and promising romantic entry Rafe Salazar, Rachel gets on the trail of Montezuma's Executor—a trail that winds through US Customs, an over-the-top religious entrepreneur, and the St. Louis sewer system for a nifty finale. A fresh-voiced heroine, down-and-dirty legal detail, and more honest detection than you'd expect make this a winner. Read full book review >