A Certain Truth
James Scott Bell
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Buy *A Certain Truth: The Trials of Kit Shannon* by James Scott Bell online

A Certain Truth: The Trials of Kit Shannon
James Scott Bell
Bethany House
304 pages
May 2006
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Kit Shannon is back in this turn-of-the-twentieth-century legal thriller, this time as Kit Shannon Fox. Kit is returning from her honeymoon in Hawaii with her new husband, Ted Fox. Trouble follows Kit like a dog on a leash, and before the ship reaches its San Leandro port, fellow passenger Chilton Boswell turns up dead. Before anyone else even knows Boswell is dead, his wife, Wanda, is knocking on Kitís door, asking for her help, and Kit is immediately up to her eyebrows in a murder investigation. As Ted puts it, ďI never thought your work could catch up to us on the open sea.Ē Kitís job is made difficult by the prejudice of the men in the justice system, and by her own client, who is both a disreputable dancer, and a brick shy of a full load.

Kit is one of the few female lawyers in the United States and has a reputation for defending her clients vigorously. Much like Perry Mason, she is a thorough investigator and has been known to use courtroom drama to prove her clientís innocence. Kitís investigation keeps her in San Leandro while Tedís returns to their home in the more modern Los Angeles. Kit digs up dirt, tries the courtís patience and scandalizes the social elite as she presses forward to prove Wandaís innocence. Kit is pregnant, and for a woman to continue working in her delicate conditionÖwell, itís scandalous.

James Scott Bell gives us a well-researched glimpse into life a hundred years ago, at the end of the Enlightenment and the beginning of the technological boom. There are new products and inventions everywhere, including the new motion picture films, which Kit cleverly uses to prove Wandaís innocence.MacAlister provides more of the history and creation of Moravians through Paenís hunt for the Simia Gestor Coda. The Coda is rumored to contain the details about the origins of Dark Ones, including a way to unmake the curse binding them to their soulless state, without involving a Beloved.

I am usually suspicious of female characters created by male authors. They donít usually get it right. Bell does, though, creating a believable heroine who is both feminine and strong. She and Ted both struggle with her non-traditional role and how that affects marriage and family. Ted is not always happy with what Kit does. She travels without him and is not always home when he gets there. Kit is a woman at the cutting edge of a new world. She and her husband must learn to negotiate this new world together, because this isnít Kit Shannon Foxís last legal battle.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Penny Watkins, 2006

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