Laura Di Palma Mysteries
A Hard Bargain
A Hard Bargain is the third novel in the Laura Di Palma series. Kirkus Reviews called it "a welcome respite from the mystery-by-formula crowd," and the Chicago Tribune said, "The nerves of everyone involved are strung so tight that you wait tensely for the breaking twang."
Karen McGuin survived her first grisly suicide attempt. Then her husband started putting a loaded gun in front of her every day—to urge her to choose life, he said. But Karen pulled the trigger instead, and now her family wants him arrested for murder. When they hire a San Francisco law firm to make the case to their small-town D.A., detective Sandy Arkelett treks north to investigate. But what he really wants to do is to lure his one-time partner, lawyer Laura Di Palma, back to the city.
Months ago, Laura was fired from the law firm she helped make famous. She's been holed up in a backwoods cabin ever since, sticking by her reclusive lover while he copes with old and recent physical injuries. But his psychic wounds are a bigger challenge. And the more Laura learns about the McGuins, the more she fears she's made the same hard bargain that killed Karen. With families clashing and relationships crumbling, Laura and Sandy are on an emotional powder keg.
Publishers Weekly says A Hard Bargain "skillfully weaves Laura's dissatisfaction with her own circumstances into the investigation of Karen's death, taking a thought-provoking look at the dangers in relationships that grow too close."
"With plenty of action and mystery, this is sensitive, thought-provoking writing."
"One of the more interesting new voices in detective fiction... a welcome respite from the mystery-by-formula crowd."