John Grisham –25 stand alones – First Book: A Time to Kill (1989); Latest Book: The Racketeer (2012)
***Michael Nava — Henry Rios, a gay criminal defense attorney in LA – First: The Little Death (1986); Latest: Rag and Bone (2001)
***David Ellis – Midwest attorney Jason Kolarich – First: The Hidden Man (2009); Latest: The Wrong Man (2012)
Steve Martini –Paul Madriani, California defense attorney — First: Compelling Evidence (1992); Latest: Trader of Secrets (2011)
Margaret Maron — Deborah Knott, North Carolina judge – First: The Bootlegger’s Daughter (1992); Latest: The Buzzard Table (2112)
James Lee Burke — Billy Bob Holland, attorney & former Texas Ranger –First: Cimarron Rose (1997); Latest: In the Moon of Red Ponies (2004)
Margaret Coel — Vicky Holden, Arapahoe attorney – First: The Eagle Catcher (1995); Latest: Killing Custer (2013)
Linda Fairstein — Alex Cooper, Assistant DA in New York City — First: Final Jeopardy (1994); Latest: Night Watch (2012)
Ed Gorman — Sam McCain, attorney in Black River Falls, Iowa — First: The Day the Music Died (1998); Latest: Ticket to Ride (2009)
Barbara Parker –Gail Connor & Anthony Quintana, lawyers in Miami, Florida – First: Suspicion of Innocence (1994); Latest: Suspicion of Rage (2005)
Julie Smith — Rebecca Schwartz, Jewish feminist lawyer in San Francisco – First: Death Turns a Trick (1982); Latest: Other People’s Skeletons (1993)
***David Rosenfelt — Andy Carpenter, NJ lawyer with dog sidekick — Open and Shut (2002)
Best Medical Mysteries — Recommended by critics:
The Eleventh Plague by John S. Marr M.D. and John Baldwin (1999). Epidemiology, toxicology and the deadly effects of biota gone wild.
** Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs (1997). Reichs is forensic anthropologist for the Offices of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratorie de Sciences Judiciaires et de M-decine L-gale in Quebec.
Blood Memory by Greg Iles (2005). Forensic detail with penetrating insight into the heart of a killer in a southern town.
***Postmortem (1990) to Unnatural Exposure (1996) by Patricia Cornwell. Forensic-science sleuthing—first 8 books great. After Unnatural Exposure quality drops.