February 2004 Issue
A conservative female candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court has a deep, dark secret that could derail her nomination.
An attorney who helps a client die must fend off the mob and the FBI, both of which want to know the client’s final instructions.
Those are examples of premises--the pithy, central ideas behind great legal novels, says Lisa Scottoline. She ought to know. Scottoline, a fast-talking former practitioner from Philadelphia, is the author of 10 legal thrillers, including several New York Times best sellers.
“When people ask where I learned to write, I say law school,” she says. Writing a novel, says Scottoline, is like prepping for a trial: Discovery is the research, and from there the lawyer develops the story that she is going to tell the jury--or the reader.
Sizzle and sweat. That’s what summer is all about in the Florida Panhandle city of Pensacola, where older homes were built without air conditioning.
But if it weren’t for the Gulf Coast community’s sweltering climate, Valerie Erwin Prevatte might well be doing something else today. She credits the annual summer sauna with helping to chart her career path at an early age.
Owning a home is one of the sweetest joys of the American Dream. But the dream can sour quickly when the roof starts leaking. Or when water finds its way into the basement, mold sprouts in the ventilation system, the plumbing backs up or termites start eating their way through the beams that keep the rest of the house out of the basement. Or even when misdirected golf balls punch holes in the side of the house.