Standby Counsel

Lesfic Bard Award

The Monica Spade Trilogy, Book 2

By Alexi Venice

Winner of the 2020 Lesfic Bard Award in Mystery

Monica Spade insists she isn’t a trial lawyer, much less one who represents dangerous criminals. Despite her protests, Judge O’Brien orders Monica to serve as standby counsel for a young woman accused of repeatedly stabbing her boyfriend.

Setting aside her abject fear, Monica drags herself to the jail to meet her new client, Stela Reiter. A demure Romanian, Stela looks more like a meek librarian than a person capable of overpowering and stabbing a young man to death. Unlike Monica’s other clients, Stela is coy and secretive during their interview.

Meanwhile, Monica’s girlfriend, Shelby St. Claire, is keeping secrets of her own, forcing Monica to question the foundation of their relationship. Cursed with intrepid curiosity, Monica digs into the backgrounds of both women.

Monica uncovers sexual innuendo and layers of international intrigue. Stuck between an unrelenting judge and a killer in a pink cardigan, Monica pursues the truth in court while fighting to keep Shelby and herself out of harm’s way.

Set in the dead of winter in surprisingly progressive Apple Grove, Wisconsin, Standby Counsel will keep readers’ hearts racing.

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