It struck me that recommending two books every week puts an unnatural strain on those who actually take my recommendations to heart and try reading the books.
Not that it's too much effort for me, no, not at all. After all, as a writer there's nothing I'd rather do that read.
Except maybe write.
In these days of economic hardship and holiday excess it seems only appropriate that I should cut back. After all, you don't want me repeating last week's fiasco of recommending a book I have not yet read (although, to be fair, one kind commenter, Texas Maverick, supported my choice of book wholeheartedly).
I am going with a non-fiction work with special relevance. First it's by an author I know. Or knew. Briefly. But I did try to help her in my former incarnation as a civil lawyer, when I worked on matters of free speech and media law. If you look closely (and I instruct you to do so) you will even see my name in the acknowledgments section of the book.
So, my choice this week is a non-fiction work: SHE WANTED IT ALL: A TRUE STORY OF SEX, MURDER, AND A TEXAS MILLIONAIRE by Kathryn Casey. This case was tried by one of my colleagues right here in the DA's office, and the book has earned high praise from readers and no complaints from prosecutors, a remarkable feat!
Plot summary, from Ms. Casey's website:
October 2, 1999: Gunfire in an Austin, Texas, mansion. Multimillionaire media executive Steven Beard, 74, is found in bed, critically injured, a shotgun blast to his belly. Suspicion centers on Beard’s young wife, Celeste, a former Austin Country Club waitress, and her friend, Tracey Tarlton. Beard lingers for months, then dies of his injuries in January 2000.
Six days after the shooting, Tarlton, an Austin bookstore manager, is arrested. A shell found at the foot of Beard's bed matches her .20-gauge shotgun. Nearly two years later, in March 2002, in a deal with prosecutors, Tarlton escapes the death penalty when she agrees to plead guilty. She receives a 20-year sentence, in exchange for testifying against Celeste. Tarlton's claims: That she and Celeste Beard were lovers; that Celeste asked her to murder Steven and planned the killing.
Ms. Casey is an unusual talent, not only has she written six non-fiction books, her true crime, she is now writing mystery fiction. Check out her website. And if you are wondering why she gets such a plug, it's because she's a great writer, a nice lady and a Texan to boot.
And she said something nice about me. See what that gets you?!