Laura Di Palma Mysteries
Designer Crimes is available in Kindle, Nook, and iTunes ebookstores. It is the fifth and (for now) final adventure of San Francisco litigator, Laura Di Palma.
Laura's new solo practice is collapsing around her, thanks to her detested former boss. He's been slandering her to potential clients and scaring off those she already has. On the brink of ruin, she decides to sue him. But when she consults a labor lawyer, a masked man with a gun bursts into the meeting. Mere chance keeps Laura from catching a bullet, but the other lawyer is not so lucky. As she lays dying, she whispers to Laura, "Designer crimes."
With the help of her private investigator and former lover, Laura finds a possible meaning for those words. The labor firm's other partner may be sabotaging her clients' workplaces, each crime designed to ruin a bad employer in a way that highlights the employee-client's grievance. Did this secret sideline lead to the gunman's attack? Or was the bullet meant for Laura?
This question makes Laura take a hard look at her one remaining case. An old friend in her home town is accused of murdering his girlfriend, who packed up and disappeared… except for a bucket filled with her blood. Unfortunately for the client, the bucket is from his fishing boat. When Laura's defense forces her to impugn the district attorney, the strategy erupts into a public feud.
When Laura is almost killed again, it becomes a matter of life or death to discover whose enemies are out to get her—her own, her client's, or the dead labor lawyer's.
Praise for Designer Crimes
"Complex and satisfying for Ms. Matera's faithful readers, who have come to expect such brain-burners from her."
New York Times Book Review
"[Matera's] skill and literary flair are everywhere on display. Every word counts, and the pieces of the puzzle fit together with exhilarating precision."
"Matera once again demonstrates her mastery of characterization, plotting, and pacing."
"Resonant with dark and cynical undertones, this novel also shines with a fresh plot premise, strong action scenes and entirely credible characters."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Lia Matera comes out slugging in... this slender, sizzling book. Designer crimes--now there's an idea that could power a series on its own."
"Di Palma is a smart, self-reliant first-person narrator. She has a dark side, too… qualities that make her seem to be a real person."