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Jacobs's latest legal thriller Motion to Dismiss, etc. Following the collapse of her brief love affair with a married man, crackerjack attorney Kali O'Brien returns to San Francisco to single life and a languishing law practice. When psychologist Steven Cross, a grief-stricken widower from Kali's past, refers Terri and Ted Harper to her for what seems like a simple adoption case, Kali accepts. But she is wary because Ted and Terri's previous adoption attempt ended with the birth mother reclaiming her infant.

This time Ted, a former quarterback, and his beautiful wife take the extra precaution of moving the pregnant girl, Melissa Burke, into their home until the birth of the baby. Melissa and the birth father both sign the requisite papers, to the Harpers' relief. But their joy is short-lived: when the baby arrives, brash, reactionary radio talk-show host Bram Weaver announces he is the father and sues for custody. Kali prepares to fight an uphill legal battle until Bram is murdered and police arrest Terri based on evidence found at the crime scene. As Kali gathers information about Bram, uncovering his many enemies, her relationship with Cross becomes more personal.


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And when an eyewitness with a shady past surfaces, she must convince him to testify. Though the deus ex machina ending disappoints, swift pacing, multiple motives and twisting plot lines will satisfy and keep readers guessing.

Forecast: The Kali O'Brien series is gaining in popularity Motion to Dismiss was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and while sales won't rival those of Lisa Scottoline, Jacobs has picked a hot topic that should pique the interest of readers outside the usual legal-thriller crowd. Visit Seller's Storefront. If interested in a book, feel free to call, email or fax the above address. Please make checks payable to Donald C Longmuir or money orders. I will send out the book s as soon as I receive payment. In Jacobs's first novel, Murder among Neighbors, the author introduces Kate Austen, an unemployed suburban mother whose next-door neighbor is found dead under suspicious circumstances.

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While Kate's husband takes off for Europe to "find himself," Kate and her best friend begin to gather clues about the suspected murder that call into question the police's theory. In the process, Kate begins to fall for Michael Stone, the officer in charge of the case. A Kirkus Reviews critic found the heroine's unflappably domestic nature to be a bit overdone, noting that despite her adventures, "Kate still chooses dresses and makeup as carefully as ever, and she manages to spot the murderer without seriously disrupting her day care arrangements.

Murder among Friends finds Austen again disputing her lover Stone's theory about the death of one of her friends. When Kate finds client Mona Sterling—for whom she works as an art consultant—dead from an apparent suicide, she immediately begins casting about for potential murder suspects.

Jacobs's heroine finds plenty of suspects, however, ranging from Sterling's ex-husband to her most recent lover to the husband of one of her students. A contributor to Library Journal stated that Murder among Friends has qualities that make it "an appealing choice for many readers," singling out the book's "minimal violence" as one such trait. In Murder among Us, Kate handles a mind-boggling array of difficult personal situations, and one of her high school art students mysteriously disappears. When the police are slow to respond and her police officer boyfriend has temporarily moved out to make room for Kate's soon to be ex-mother-in-law, who is visiting , Kate begins an investigation of her own.

In addition to her usually plausible suburban backdrop and likeable but realistic characters, Jacobs was praised by Booklist reviewer John Rowen for "intriguing insights on cybersex and computers in school" and for "effectively [using] Halloween to inject suspense into suburbia.

In Murder among Strangers, Kate herself is put in danger in the opening gambit. On her Web site, Jacobs relayed the true-life story that inspired the fiction: "A friend and I were driving along a lonely country road late at night. A young woman flagged us down.

When we stopped to help, several men emerged from the woods behind her and began rushing toward our car. In addition, "Jacobs provides more than a few breathtaking surprises before wrapping up this heart-pounding story. When Kali returns to her home town for the funeral of her father, she finds her former best friend accused of murdering her husband. The attorney decides to stay on to help.

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Kali's inner turmoil, as her assumptions about herself and her life in San Francisco are thrown into doubt in the context of her home town, provides a strong subplot to an otherwise light mystery, some critics noted. Kali returns in Evidence of Guilt. She has opened a solo law practice in her home town and finds herself reluctantly agreeing to defend a local man whom everyone believes guilty of murdering a waitress and her daughter. Again, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly found Jacobs's plot to be one of the weaker aspects of this mystery, though her protagonist "is likeable enough.

But, as is quickly clear in this busy and intriguing tale, the well-mannered, compassionate high-school art teacher This entertaining debut introduces Kate Austen, a resilient young northern California mom.

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Then her next-door neighbor is The everyday life of a prosperous California suburb takes on livelier aspects when Kate Austen visits a neighbor, wealthy divorcee Mona Sterling, and finds the woman dead, apparently a suicide. The almost-divorced Kate, last seen in Murder Among Jacobs's sixth Kali O'Brien thriller after Cold Justice starts with a bang—San Francisco attorney O'Brien is shot and nearly killed in a remote park near Lake Tahoe—but rapidly loses momentum as a mountain of red herrings.

Jacobs's latest legal thriller Motion to Dismiss, etc. Following the collapse of her brief love affair with a married man, When Kale aka Kali. When Kate stops in a downpour to help a frightened young woman alone in a car missing a rear wheel, she More from pw. PW's Best Books of