About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 Winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction - Gone Again

A few days ago Gone Again by James Grippando was chosen as the winner of the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The other books on the shortlist were Last Days of Night by Graham Moore and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

Grippando told Award Co-Sponsor, The American Bar Association Journal, after being chosen:

“I don’t know who’s happier, James Grippando the writer or James Grippando the lawyer,” he said. “Winning the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction is easily the proudest moment of my dual career.”

Molly McDonough, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal said:

Grippando’s book does a masterful, entertaining job exploring the important topic of the death penalty and actual innocence.

Gone Again was not the winner of the ABA Journal’s annual poll of readers with regard to the shortlist:

          1.) Small Great Things – 83.24%
          2.) Gone Again - 13.42%
          3.) Last Days of Night - 4.22%

Small Great Things drew a higher percentage of votes than any other book in the polls of the past few years with regard to the Prize.

It is a disappointment that the University of Alabama Law School, co-sponsor of the Award, has yet to put up a post about the winner on the section of its website devoted to the Prize.

Grippando will receive the Award on September 14 at the University.

On the website of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, Grippando’s biography states:

His recent litigation and appellate experience includes trademark and copyright infringement arbitration, trade secret disputes, and a major victory at the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a class action lawsuit involving Madoff investors. He regularly provides antitrust, intellectual property, and other advice to a wide range of clients, from Tony Award-winning Broadway producers to the world's largest sanctioning body for stock car racing.  He has lectured at various conferences for the American Bar Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association, published editorials on timely legal issues in the National Law Journal and other major newspapers, and provided legal insights on national TV programs, such as MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

In my latest posts I have reviewed all of the finalists for the Award. 

My next post will set out which book I thought deserved to win the Prize.


  1. Congratulations to Grippando. And I agree with you, Bill, that it would be good if the university had a section about the winning author/book on its Harper Lee prize page. I hope they'll decide to do that. In the meantime, I look forward to your thoughts on which book deserved to win.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Grippando has written a fine book.

  2. I haven't read any of the books so I should not have an opinion.

    I'd like to read a book by Grippando as I like legal mysteries, but I don't want to read about the death penalty and more injustice. I see enough of it right here on the news since some states refuse to stop this barbaric practice. And recently some men were executed.

    So I'll look at his themes in other books.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I share your objection to the death penalty. I do not see how America is safer with the death penalty.

  3. And not just the death penalty, but they execute people with developmental disabilities and mental illness, people who had poor legal representation (Texas, happens), etc. Even though the Supreme Court ruled against executions of people developmentally disabled, states do it anyway. It's horrific.

    But can you recommend other books by Grippando? He wrote several and I like legal mysteries, but have no knowledge of his.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I have not read any other books by Grippando. I am thinking I should try more of his books.