Saturday, December 27, 2008

RES JUDICATA by Vicki Grant

Cyril MacIntyre is furious at this mother, Andy. That's not unusual. She is always doing things the infuriate Cyril. She is careless, competitive, cheap, and she's a constant worrywart, and she is forever involving Cyril in her crazy legal cases. Andy is an overzealous attorney who gets wrapped up with some of the most bizarre cases and weird clients, and somehow Cyril ends up helping her fight her courtroom battles.

Andy's most recent case has her defending a local college custodian. Newspaper stories first heralded Chuck Dunkirk as a hero, but his attempt to save the life of a famous scientist was quickly turned into an accusation of murder. It seems that Chuck was present when a small laboratory fire ignited, and when he came to the scientist's rescue by throwing a substance known as Power Powder in an attempt to put out the blaze, the opposite happened resulting in an explosion that killed the poor man. Now the scientist's widow is pressing murder charges. Cyril's mother has taken the case.

Having helped with so many previous cases has given Cyril a certain knack for recognizing when things don't look quite right. That combined with the fact he has decided to use this case as the subject for a school project, causes Cyril to examine the details of the case even closer, and he soon begins to question the true identity of Chuck Dunkirk. There are certain facts that don't quite add up.

RES JUDICATA, which in legal terminology means "the thing has been decided" is filled with quirky characters and great detective work. Cyril's off-beat life provides a colorful backdrop for the action, and readers will be kept on their toes right up until the end. Cyril's adventures can also be enjoyed in another novel by Vicki Grant called QUID PRO QUO.

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