Winner of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction!
Quill Driver Books: 2011
A Mystery-Writing Lawyer Answers Writers’ Questions
Books, Crooks, and Counselors is a comprehensive guide to law written by a writer and lawyer to help writers create more realistic characters and storylines. It addresses a wide range of legal issues that can arise in fiction, including criminal and civil law, criminal investigation and procedure, how trials are conducted, civil and criminal penalties, legal terminology, adoption, probate, and malpractice, and the daily work lives of lawyers, judges, and their staff. Books, Crooks, and Counselors helps writers understand some of the differences in state and federal law, and avoid the mistakes that annoy readers.
Written by a practicing lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience who is also an award-winning mystery writer, BOOKS, CROOKS, AND COUNSELORS is a book writers will want to keep close at hand.
Using examples from actual cases, as well as fiction, movies and television, BOOKS, CROOKS, AND COUNSELORS answers real writers’ questions on more than 160 topics, such as:
- After my character was convicted and sent to prison, someone else confessed. Now what?
- What is probable cause to search or arrest?
- Can a character buy a life insurance policy on someone else, without that person’s knowledge?
- When can a missing person be declared dead–and what if he comes back to life?
- What public records can my character find legally? What’s online?
- What courthouse and courtroom security measures should a writer be aware of?
— Brenda Novak, New York Times and USA Today bestselling romantic suspense author
Leslie Budewitz’s new book BOOKS, CROOKS AND COUNSELORS is destined to become the Bible of legal research for writers. A copy of it on your desk would be like having your very own legal Dream Team at your beck and call. — Lee Lofland, The Graveyard Shift blog, founder of The Writers’ Policy Academy, and author of Police Procedure and Investigation, Writers Digest (2007)
If you only have one book in your reference library, it should be this one. Well written and comprehensive with terrific examples. Warning — it may lead to a twist in your plot. – Krista Davis, Agatha-nominated author of the Domestic Diva mysteries
RESOURCES: A list of resources including links to the US Copyright office and writers groups
Like all good lawyers, I must make a disclaimer. Don’t be worried; it’s not too scary.
- All clients of Law & Fiction will be asked to sign an agreement to use the research and other information obtained solely in connection with your fiction, and acknowledging that use of Law & Fiction’s services does not create an attorney-client relationship or attorney-client privilege.
- I do not provide advice in dealing with personal legal problems of any kind. If you need assistance with a legal issue that relates to a nonfiction writing project, or that does not relate to writing fiction, you must consult an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.
- While I have attempted to make the information presented on this site as accurate as possible, nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice between an attorney and client.
- You should not rely on the information on this site as a substitute for legal counsel and advice if you or someone you know is personally involved in a legal matter. Law & Fiction assumes no liability for errors or omissions, and is not liable for any damages you suffer when you use this website, including but not limited to direct, indirect or incidental damages.
- Without limiting any of the above, the information on LawandFiction.com is provided without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Your use of this site binds you to its terms and conditions, which can be changed at any times.
- If you have questions about this site or this disclaimer, please contact me.