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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Florida Mystery Authors Guest Blog: Paul Levine by Pam Stack

Today we turn the blog over to Florida native and voracious mystery reader Pam Stack, for the first of what we hope will be a series of posts on Florida mystery authors.

I’m a Florida gal, born and raised in Miami and only recently transplanted to Florida’s Gulf Coast. I love to read.  Books are expensive and I didn’t yet have my Kindle so I went in search for a good book exchange.  I happened upon one that had a section entitled “Florida Writers”.  Intriguing.  I have read all the books in that section since I discovered that store.  When MUST READ MYSTERIES, my favorite book site on Facebook, asked me to blog about some of Florida’s more famous writers, I agreed immediately.
I’ve always loved reading Paul Levine’s books.  I met him years and years ago at one of his readings where her spoke about his Jake Lassiter and “To Speak for the Dead”.  I bought it that day.  Since then, Levine, of dry wit and warped humor, has authored 15 more books that have been translated into 21 languages and have topped best seller lists.   

Most people who talk about Paul’s books refer to them by their character’s names:  Jake Lassiter, Solomon and Lord….you get my drift.   Perhaps one of the reasons I like his books are the references to the places that I have lived, places I have visited.  I can picture in my mind’s eye the landscapes created in the books. 
I’m particularly fond of the Solomon/Lord series.  Bickering law partners and significant others, Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord come from diverse backgrounds but somehow make it work, winning their cases by the skin of their teeth.  Steve’s Laws are laugh out loud funny: “When the law doesn’t work, work the law.”  

Jake Lassiter, former Miami Dolphin and defense attorney (night school classes) is reminiscent of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee (another Florida favorite of mine). Lassiter is a good guy; he may not have the pricey education but the man works hard to help his clients.  He’s even got a group of courthouse groupies who often help him with his cases.  I have a brother who is lawyer and I can attest to the fact that there are indeed, courthouse groupies in Miami!

Paul Levine is a dedicated Penn State alumnus but we Miamians like him because he’s more than a famous author to us. He got his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, worked on several of the local television stations and at the Miami Herald.  Nowadays, he boasts about living on the left coast and life in Hollywood, which took him under its wing and he became a regular writer on the JAG series.  Another favorite.  

If you’re interested in a bird’s eye view of Miami, the Keys, local politics, crazy crimes and weird criminals, check out Paul Levine’s books.  You can also find him at www.paul-levine.com and on Facebook.  Good Florida authors, while there are many, may not be any better than Paul Levine.

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