Stuck-in-small-town lawyer makes the best of her time by investigating a murder.
Cynthia Jakubec, known as Jake to her colleagues, is living the life she never dreamed of, but not in a good way. A graduate of Harvard Law (like first-time author Locke, who will not let you forget it), Cynthia is packed and ready to start her plum placement at New York’s larger-than-life firm Calder & Bull. More specifically, she’s ready to be paid, especially because she’s frequently a financial support to fiancé Paul, a writer who’s in Philly working through “his process.” With the collapse of the financial market, Calder & Bull postpones all new hires, leaving Cynthia stuck at her father Vince’s house in Pittsburgh. Clearly things are not going according to plan. Cynthia spends her days volunteering with the local Law Offices of Luis Mendoza filing predictable briefs and waiting for time to pass, until Caitlin Bradshaw walks through her door. Upper-crust Caitlin has been referred to the office by “Sam the Really Jewish Lawyer,” whose shingle identifies him as Sam Schwartzchild, because her father seems to be mixed up in a bad scene. Days later, when her father’s body is discovered, Cynthia feels an obligation to investigate for her young client. The investigation leads her to the enigmatic Walter Learned, who she’s convinced has more of a story to tell than he lets on. Aided by Paul, Cynthia goes forth in an eager search for the truth, never realizing that her own life may be changed in the process.
Though she unleashes a few zingers, Locke’s highbrow attitude puts a damper on a mystery that readers will solve long before her overeducated heroine.