Hi. Today, I’m reviewing Dead Man’s Thoughts.
It’s hard to see. I can’t take that off. I’m not allowed to take that off, so I can’t show you the whole cover, but as you can see, it’s a legal mystery thriller. And you did see the woman with the scales of justice, right? I think that was on there. Yeah, it was written by Carolyn Wheat. It’s called Dead Man’s Thoughts. It’s written by Carolyn Wheat. And I picked this book to read because many years ago I read her book How to Write Killer Fiction, and I have always thought of it as kind of my bible for how to write, how to write mysteries.
So when I realized, when I found out that she had written fiction also, I did not know this. I didn’t even stop to think about it. And then I realized, of course, a fiction writer who writes about writing fiction would’ve written fiction.
Yeah. And then I found out she was a lawyer. So I was like, oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. So I had to read this. So just to give you an idea, I mean, I got into this and right away she’s in court and I’m like, wow, this is the best written court scene I’ve seen in so long. I mean, she’s not doing the weird Perry Mason theatrics. She’s doing real actual legal work, and it works. It actually works.
I’m like drawn in because of course she’s at odds with the prosecutor, and then the judge is an asshole, of course. And then I think it’s really interesting because this was released, I think in the eighties. It was ’83, I think that this came out. And I couldn’t help noticing that, as the mystery goes, she becomes more and more, she talks more and more about her relationship with the man who was murdered. And it seems very, very focused on romance. And except it’s not romantic, I shouldn’t say that in a sense.
They’re more like fuck buddies, basically. So, okay, so her fuck buddy dies, but it’s like she keeps coming back to him in this way that was making me think that she wanted something more. Maybe she’s very new woman-ish for that time. So I just thought it was interesting, an interesting choice, because when you read about female lawyers now, they’re not nearly as obsessed with men as they used to be. Am I right? Am I right about that or am I wrong?
I mean, they like men. It’s not that they don’t like men, it’s that they don’t build their whole lives around them. And to a certain extent, I wondered if that was a little bit of what was going on here, but that’s kind of like the difference between an eighties perspective on women in law and a new millennium perspective on it, let’s say. I mean, now it’s like a female lawyer. Yeah, okay.
It’s not a big, real big deal. Although I’m sure that there are stories out there of sexism in the workplace. I’m positive of it. I keep reading that it’s still a problem to some extent. I don’t know. I’m not there. I’m not doing that stuff anymore. Fortunately.
In any case, I did enjoy the book. I will tell you that some of it felt slightly dated. That’s all I’ll say about that. Some of it felt a little bit dated. But other than that, I thought it was a solid read and one that will definitely keep you interested in terms of plot complexity, because toward the end, lots of stuff starts coming out that really makes you go well, okay, I wasn’t expecting quite that. Interesting, interesting twist.
So anything that keeps you engaged and interested, I say go for it, especially if it’s a realistically depicted legal thriller mystery. So that’s it then. Thanks. And if you want to check out my own legal mysteries, check out my short story, I have a link to it in the notes below. Take care and I’ll talk to you later.
You can buy the books by clicking on any of the above links.
For early access to my book reviews, become a patron!
Or subscribe to Paperback Writer on Substack.