Lia Matera. The Smart Money (1988) 185 pp. [pbo]
San Francisco attorney Laura Di Palma made a name for herself by successfully defending Wallace Bean, a man who had gunned down two conservative senators. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and served a minimal sentence in a state mental facility. Now she has taken a leave of absence from her career at one of the city’s most prestigious law firms to return to her northern California hometown. She is still bitter over her failed marriage and, with the help of her cousin Hal and San Francisco PI Sander (Sandy) Arkelett, is determined to exact revenge on her ex-husband by ruining his career. Before she can set her plan in motion, Bean shows up at Laura’s door. When he turns up dead later that night—shot in the back of the head execution-style—Laura is forced to shift her energy toward catching a killer before he catches her.