Review

Trial & Error: A Solomon Vs. Lord Mystery

by Paul Levine

Paul
Levine --- a masterful writer no matter what the topic --- infuses
his Solomon vs. Lord mysteries with a laugh a minute, without
sacrificing characters or plot. These novels feature dueling
lawyers Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, who, in spite of their
opposing styles, ethics and general worldviews, are in love with
each other. Supported by a fine secondary cast, of whom Solomon's
nephew Bobby and father Herbert (an ex-judge who left the practice
of law one step ahead of the Disciplinary Committee) are but two
among equals, the series has been a joy from the beginning. TRIAL
& ERROR is no exception.

This latest installment begins with Solomon being awakened in the
middle of the night to retrieve Bobby, who has been visiting a pair
of dolphins in a local nature preserve. By the time the dust
settles and the smoke clears, Solomon is running down and capturing
an ecoterrorist even as another is shot dead. By morning, the
caught ecoterrorist (who happens to be related to the local DA) is
now Solomon's client, and Lord is in charge of prosecuting
him.

Unlikely? Sure, but this scenario is a lot of fun and actually
gives Levine a chance to set up what we have seen only briefly up
until now --- Solomon and Lord as legal adversaries, in which
brains, talent, legal acumen and fashion sense square off
against…Solomon.

Meanwhile, Bobby is experiencing a significant moment of adolescent
angst, piled atop an already groaning board of emotional problems.
And there's a very subtle race that takes place in TRIAL &
ERROR to see what happens first: Will Bobby surrender to his inner
bad, or will Steve, only half aware of what is going on, lead him
down the correct path? As often happens, Solomon and Lord are at
their best when working together, even when they are on different
sides. They slowly solve a seemingly impenetrable mystery in an
effort to save Solomon's misguided but kinda-sorta innocent
client.

TRIAL & ERROR keeps Levine's string of hits intact. It would be
a just and wonderful thing if this fine series could continue for a
long time to come.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

Trial & Error: A Solomon Vs. Lord Mystery
by Paul Levine

  • Publication Date: May 29, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0440242762
  • ISBN-13: 9780440242765