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Friday, June 5, 2009

Review and Tour: Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton

Title: Angel's Advocate (A Beaufort & Company Mystery, Book 2)
Author: Mary Stanton
Pages: 304
Publisher: Berkley (June 2, 2009)
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Paranormal Legal Thriller
Edition: Advanced Reader's Copy - Many thanks to the publisher/author/Omnimystery for sending me a copy to review for this blog tour!

Perfect for : Personal reading, book club read, anyone who enjoys a fun mystery

In a nutshell: Angel's Advocate is the second book in the Beaufort & Company Mystery series, following Defending Angels. . . but don't worry - you don't need to read the books in order, although after reading this one, you will probably want to go back and read the first if you haven't already! This book is not simply for mystery-lovers. The tone and characters could easily bridge the gap for non-mystery readers as well. This was a delightful book, in which Mary Stanton was able to create a captivating legal-thriller, while weaving in a hint of home, some good-old-fashioned detective work, and some angelic help with a nice amount of humor to create a book that is very hard to put down.

Extended Review: Nothing seems to be normal for Bree! She inherited her late uncle's law firm in Defending Angels, which is located at an address that only spirits can find, and she employs two angelic legal experts, and has an angelic guard dog. Bree generally spends her time working with the Celestial Courts defending those spirits who are appealing their sentences, but the book starts off when her aunt asks her to defend the 17 year-old daughter of a friend, who was video-taped stealing money from a Girl Scout selling cookies! While working on the case, the spirit of the girl's father asks for help, simply telling Bree that he was murdered and that there is some connection to his business. Bree is determined that the cases must be connected in some way, and as she is working on both cases, she finds out that two evil spirits have crossed over "The Bridge" to the mortal world and they are determined to bring harm to Bree. As if that is not enough, Bree is offered additional help in the form of two additional angelic guard dogs. The story is a wonderful and amusing mystery, full of characters that will make you want to cozy up with a cup of something hot and read all through the night!

Characters: Bree and her sister Antonia seem to be very close and get along nicely. Her parents are enjoyable, and there is a hint of what-might-have-been in the form of Able. Bree's celestial employees Petru and Ron (angels) add some off-beat humor and provide help as Bree learns about the legalities of the Celestial Courts.

Story-Line: I loved the combination of legal thriller / celestial paranormal that filled this book!

Readability: A very fun and enjoyable read.

Overall: I can't wait to read what happens next in Winged Justice, Mary Stanton's current project, and book 3 in the series!

From The Book Tour Page:
Savannah attorney Brianna "Bree" Winston-Beaufort is back to business unusual at Beaufort & Company. With her most peculiar (a.k.a. “dead”) clientele and her anything-but-angelic staff, Bree finds that money’s a bit tight at Beaufort & Company. After all, while the dead certainly need Bree’s help in appealing to a higher court, they’re not exactly paying clients.

Bree finally lands a case to help pay the bills when she is hired to represent Lindsey Chandler, a spoiled teenager accused of stealing a Girl Scout’s cookie money. But this isn’t exactly a case of petty theft, since Lindsey allegedly tried to run over said Girl Scout with her Hummer. And if that weren’t bad enough, Lindsey is anything but remorseful, making this case – and Bree, by association – the talk of Savannah.

To her dismay, Bree soon finds that Lindsay’s deceased father, millionaire Probert Chandler, also needs her help to prove that his death was no accident.

Caught between defending the living and the dead, Bree finds herself in extraordinary circumstances. But this time, Bree finds some extraordinary danger along the way.

Will Bree finally learn how to make a living off the living? Or will the cases of this unsavory father/daughter duo lead Bree – and Beaufort & Company – to a dead end?

About the Author: (from the blog tour)
Mary Stanton has been writing professionally most of her adult life. Born in Florida, Mary grew up in Japan and Hawaii, and came to the continental U.S. to attend undergraduate school. She attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and received a B.A. in philosophy and literature from the University of Minnesota. She dropped out of law school and a master’s program in rehab therapies.

Before starting to write full-time, Mary held a number of jobs, including a nightclub singer as part of Sheik’s Singing Sextette, a medical examiner for Social Security, an insurance claims adjuster, and a copy writer. In 1985, Mary founded a marketing communications firm which was sold to Hutchins, Young & Rubicam. She left the business in 1994 to write full time.

Mary’s career as a fiction writer began with the publication of her first novel, The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West, in 1984. A beast fable similar in tone and theme to Watership Down, The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West was published in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The sequel to that novel, Piper at the Gates, appeared in 1989.

Mary sold her first mystery to The Berkley Publishing Group in 1994, and has since published three series with them under the nom de plume Claudia Bishop. In all, Mary has written twenty mystery novels, two adult fantasy novels, eleven novels for middle-grade readers, including the successful series, The Unicorns of Balinor. In addition, Mary has written three scripts for a television cartoon series, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, and edited three short story anthologies.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the International Association of Crime Writers, Mary is married to Robert J. Stanton, and has three stepchildren: John Robert Stanton, Harry Cole Stanton, and Julie Stanton Schwartz.

Mary Stanton divides her time between an 850-head goat farm in upstate New York and West Palm Beach, Florida. Her website is MaryStanton.com.

Giveaway Details:
Mary Stanton is giving away a signed copy of her book, Angel’s Advocate, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Mary’s book tour page, http://mary-stanton.omnimystery.com/, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 3825, for your chance to win. Entries from Wendi's Book Corner will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Mary’s book tour page next week.

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!


itsamystery said...

Thanks for sharing your concise review. I'll have to pick up Angel's Advocate for a good summer read.

avisannschild said...

Stop by my blog for an award!

M. L. Kiner said...

"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

Jenny Girl said...

nice review. Definietly a different storyline than usual. THanks for the tip!

Beth F said...

Sounds like a good one,

misterreereeder said...

It was definitely a different kind of book for me but I really enjoyed it. There was one unsolved mystery I suspect will be addressed in a later book. That is the mystery about Bree's birth mom. She is mentioned when Bree visits the Celestial Court. I know it got Bree's interest - mine too!!!

kalea_kane said...

It is nice to know you don't HAVE to read the first one. Of course I end up figuring out a way to do just that. I love a good legal thriller.

Thanks for the review!

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