Review

The Deep Blue Alibi

by Paul Levine



SOLOMON VS. LORD was one of the best, and funniest, novels
published in 2005. The only downside to the introduction of Steve
Solomon and Victoria Lord, Miami's hilariously star-crossed,
mismatched legal duo, was that we had to wait until September to
meet them. Fortunately, Paul Levine's second installment in this
sweet apple and bitter orange pairing (and I'll leave it to you to
decide who is who) has been published but a few months after its
predecessor. Those who expected any sort of sophomore slump in the
series from the veteran Levine should know better. THE DEEP BLUE
ALIBI, if anything, eclipses the opening volume.


It is, in a word, hilarious. Steve Solomon is the consummate
wisecracker, but his façade hides a canny street sense that
serves him well in the courtroom trenches. Equal parts class clown
and National Merit finalist, Solomon is of course attracted to his
opposite, Victoria Lord, who is all right angles, a litigator who
plays by the rules and follows the book. Naturally, they both learn
something from each other, even as they're both dragged kicking and
screaming toward it and (at least from Lord's viewpoint) each
other.


Things come to a proverbial head between the erstwhile law and bed
partners when Hal Griffin, a former business partner of Lord's
father, retains them to represent him when he is charged with
murdering Ben Stubbs, an EPA official who had the yea or nay over
Griffin's most ambitious project. Solomon sees the case as a cash
cow for a farm in dire need of a herd; Lord sees the case as an
opportunity to go solo, professionally and possibly personally.
Griffin's son, the extremely studly Junior Griffin, is along to
muddy the waters. He and Lord shared a puppy love in their
childhood, and they are experiencing a physical attraction so hot
that someone is going to get burned. Solomon is well aware of this
and is at his envious best. Is Solomon's suspicion that Junior
murdered Stubbs colored at all by his jealousy? Of course
not.


Solomon is further distracted by a side project whereby he hope to
get his father's license to practice law reinstated, even as his
dad vehemently resists. Solomon's precocious nephew Bobby is along
to provide some worthy and funny commentary and, interestingly
enough, to assist in solving the mystery of who killed Stubbs. As
hilarious as THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI is, it is almost possible between
the cleverly molded characters and sharp dialogue to overlook that
the novel contains a terrific mystery, one that will keep you
guessing throughout most of it.


For those who were afraid that Levine would run out of ideas, and
jokes, with SOLOMON VS. LORD, THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI should put those
fears to rest. Levine is just getting warmed up. And if you want to
see what's coming later this year, THE DEEP BLUE ALIBI also
contains an excerpt from the forthcoming KILL ALL THE LAWYERS, the
next Solomon vs. Lord novel. Both will give your laugh, and
your mind, a great workout.


   










Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 29, 2010

The Deep Blue Alibi
by Paul Levine

  • Publication Date: January 31, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0440242746
  • ISBN-13: 9780440242741