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.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Georgia Griffin and Ken Madigan in Escape Velocity

In my last post I reviewed Escape Velocity by Susan Wolfe. It is an excellent book. In that book  I loved Georgia Griffin. She was the best character I have read in legal mystery fiction since Sebastian Rudd in Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham.

Her determination is humbling. She is living in her car when she arrives in California. Until she receives her first pay cheque Georgia is stretching every dollar:

She’d found a second outfit at Goodwill, and another shirt for her pantsuit, so she would never have to wear anything more than twice a week. Hard to keep her clothes decent with her car for a closet, … Did they have an iron at the homeless center? Lousy having no refridgerator, but she was pretty sure they had one here (work) in the kitchen she could use, and four nights a week they served a hot dinner at church on First Street if she could get there on time.

Even when she starts being paid she plans to stay living in car until she has enough money to bring her teenage sister, Katie-Ann, from Arkansas to California and rent an apartment for the two of them.

The enthusiasm Georgia and Katie-Ann have for a simple apartment in a shabby building is powerful. They are grateful for the chance at a new life.

Almost as striking and certainly as impressive is the head of the legal department, Ken Madigan. He is the type of lawyer real life lawyers aspire to be in their lives. Ken does his work with integrity and determination. He treats his staff well and inspires confidence.

At the same time Ken and his wife are friendly to Georgia and want her to do well. Finding out she desperately needs a few hundred dollars for Katie-Ann’s bus fare they loan her the money. It is a pleasant fictional surprise that people can simply help someone in need with no ulterior motive.

Ken is strong willed but not aggressive and certainly not as ruthless as Georgia.

Georgia’s background has left her a driven personality. She is not driven to seek promotions. She is striving to be indispensable to ensure she can keep her position as a paralegal. The security of a job is more important than advancement in the company. She does not want to keep living in her car.

Equally wanting to keep the company successful so they need paralegals she decides to use family skills for the betterment of Lumina Software.

She is a master manipulator having been thoroughly trained in conning people. Her father is a skilled con artist though not skilled enough to avoid being in jail.

Georgia puts in a word with the possessive wife of the supervisor of the Always Pigheaded (Accounts Payable) obstructionist lady. She somewhat subtly suggests the AP lady is interested in her supervisor. Within days AP lady is gone from the company.

At the same time Georgia is risking dismissal if her manipulations should be detected.

She is not a saint. Some of her schemes have more serious consequences than losing a job. Georgia has a limited moral compass. There is more than a touch of the vigilante in her personality.

What a concept for a legal team – a clever woman and a principled man – working together to solve challenging legal issues while maintaining a genuine personal friendship. I would look forward to reading more books featuring Georgia and Ken.
Wolfe, Susan – (2014) - The Last Billable Hour; (2014) Who is Susan Wolfe?; (2017) - This is Susan Wolfe; (2018) - Escape Velocity 


  1. Georgia sounds like a fascinating character, Bill. It sounds as though she complements the other characters effectively, too. And I have to respect a character who's that strong and that well-developed. Little wonder you liked her.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Georgia is going to do very well in the world.

  2. Sounds good to me. A good legal mystery is always like a dessert for me. I will see if the library has this book.

    I think I like more fictional lawyers than you do. I tend to like the defense attorneys, and have read about many whose cases I followed through several books.

    Sebastian Rudd is an interesting choice. I liked some of his case strategies, not everything. The prisoner who disappeared through the jail's ceiling fascinated me. That was original.

    I'll try to find Escape Velocity.

  3. The library has one copy. It's not on my reserve list.

  4. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comments. I like fictional lawyers who deal with the law rather than being detectives or action heroes. Escape Velocity deserves a wider audience.

  5. Those sound like great details - and clothes too! Definitely one for me.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I regret to say that, until I read your comment, I had not appreciated the importance and challenge of clothes for Georgia trying to create a good impression in business with but a few dollars to spend on clothes. Georgia has a good sense of style and colour which aids her but it is so hard. The issue of caring for clothes while living in her car shows her ingenuity and determination.