Dylan Schaffer. Misdemeanor Man (2004) 304 pp.
Publisher’s description: “Gordon Seegerman is a reluctant Northern California public defender by day, and the wildly enthusiastic lead singer in a Barry Manilow cover band by night. Perfectly content to handle petty cases for the rest of his career, he dreams that Manilow—the real Barry Manilow—will show up at his band’s next gig. Things are looking good when his boss assigns him to a misdemeanor flasher case. No problem, Seegerman thinks. He’ll plead the case in a jiffy, caution his client to keep his trousers zipped, and get back to the music. No such luck. The flasher is rotting in a maximum-security unit and the judge won’t grant bail. And although it’s just a misdemeanor case, opposing counsel is the district attorney’s hottest trial lawyer. She is also the woman who stole, broke, and refuses to return Seegerman’s heart. When his client vanishes and a key witness winds up dead, Seegerman finds himself stuck with a real case. With his band mates in tow, he uncovers a level of corruption that reaches the city’s most prominent citizens. Like it or not, Gordon suddenly finds himself acting like a real lawyer. And, confounding even his own expectations, he’s good at it.” Note: The story is set in the fictional Bay Area city of “Santa Rita,” a thinly disguised Oakland.