The Finalists for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction were recently announced by the ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law. Each year, the prize is awarded to a book in the legal fiction genre published during the previous year that best exemplifies the role that lawyers play in society to effect change. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, with the voting public serving as the fifth judge.
Go here to vote, and read about the three nominees below!
This year’s nominees:
The Secret of Magic:
“Opening the mail for her mentor and employer, Thurgood Marshall, at the NAACP office in New York, Regina Robichard is captivated by a letter from famous southern author M. P. Calhoun, asking for an investigation of the murder of a young black man, Joe Howard Wilson. Robichard is a fan of Calhoun, having read her book about a magical forest and an unsolved murder. As a stand-in for Marshall, Robichard travels to Revere, Mississippi, to find out the truth behind the murder of Wilson, who was among scores of black men returning from the war, unwilling to put up with the humiliations of racism. What she discovers are parallels between life in Revere and Calhoun’s book. How much of the book is real, and how does it connect to the murder? Inspired by her grandfather, who fought in WWII and was a huge admirer of Thurgood Marshall, and her own admiration of Marshall colleague Constance Baker Motley, Johnson (The Air between Us, 2008) offers a completely engaging southern gothic with unforgettable characters in this fictionalized account of a pivotal NAACP case from the 1940s”–description from Booklist
My Sister’s Grave:
“Dugoni’s latest novel . . . combines the best of a police procedural with a legal thriller, and the end result is outstanding. Seattle police officer Tracy Crosswhite lost her sister Sarah over 20 years ago, and she has never forgiven herself. With no corpse discovered, there was still enough evidence to convict the man thought responsible for Sarah’s disappearance. Now a body has been found and Tracy learns the remains are of her sister. Tracy has had her doubts about the guilt of the man behind bars, and she’s absolutely sure there is a murderer still loose. Can she get a new trial to free an innocent man and also find out the truth? “–description from Library Journal
“Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace are called to investigate when the naked body of a young woman is found in the tower suite of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria. Within days, a second body turns up bearing the same bloody symbol—train tracks carved into the skin. The focus shifts to Grand Central Terminal, where the president is scheduled to arrive for a UN meeting later in the week and where they suspect the killer is hiding out. Coop and her sidekicks struggle to get a grip on the layout of the vast terminal, from its aqua-colored celestial ceiling to the levels far beneath the ground, which are home to some 600 people, some of whom have carved apartments out of the concrete walls.”–description from Booklist