Friday, January 23, 2009

book review: final jeopardy by linda fairstein (reread)

I'm ridiculously excited for Linda Fairstein's new book, Lethal Legacy, to come out February 10. I've had it on request at the library since it was cataloged in July. I first discovered Fairstein in January of 2003, when The Bone Vault. I read so many great reviews of it, I was eager to start the series from the beginning. I was spoiled then, to have so many of her mysteries to devour in such a short time. After reading her second novel, I even wrote Ms. Fairstein a letter, something I rarely do, and a few weeks later I got back a handwritten note from her and a copy of her third book, Cold Hit. This thoughtful interaction only increased my esteem of Linda Fairstein. Clearly, I'm a fan, but Lethal Legacy is set at the New York Public Library! For me, it's kismet.

My impatience for February 10 led me to start rereading all of the Alexandra Cooper novels. I won't finish them all before Lethal Legacy, but it's so much fun to reread favorite books. Final Jeopardy is a delight. It's a good mystery; it's so good I didn't even remember the twist until I was in the revealing scene. Many writers create good mysteries, but Linda Fairstein manages to combine a good mystery with an education about New York City, history, literature and the arts. I always learn things in her books, and the treasure trove of knowledge led me to reread her novels more than the mysteries themselves. Final Jeopardy is intense, thrilling and smart. Alexandra Cooper remains one of my favorite fictional characters. I appreciate Fairstein's insight into the actual caseload of an ADA; it's not Law & Order, where the lawyers try one case at a time. Cooper's days and nights are filled with many intriguing cases. Still, at the end of the day, Alexandra Cooper is someone I want to meet for dinner and a bottle of wine. I care about what books she's read. Perhaps what surprised me most in this rereading of an old favorite was how familiar Alexandra was from the beginning. Now, eleven books in, she's been a companion through the years, but she was relatable instantly.

Everytime I finsh a Linda Fairstein novel, I encourage others to start from the beginning of the series. It's refreshing to reaffirm my own advice. I'm still counting the days until February 10, and I imagine I'll read Likely to Die this weekend in preparation.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge


  1. There is nothing a writer appreciates more than a good reader. I was so very pleased to get your note about your anticipation of LETHAL LEGACY. Thanks for taking such good care of my characters, and all the rereads! Best to you,
    Linda Fairstein

  2. I have got to read one of Linda Fairstein's books!


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