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Legally Dead: Peter Sharp Legal Mystery #12

Legally Dead: Peter Sharp Legal Mystery #12

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Legally Dead: Peter Sharp Legal Mystery #12

130 pagine
1 ora
Oct 15, 2009


Peter is appointed to represent a defendant who wants to plead guilty. A plea bargain has already been agreed to.

When it’s time for the plea to be made in court, the surprises start, and don’t stop until surprise ending

Oct 15, 2009

Informazioni sull'autore

GENE GROSSMAN was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in the North side neighborhood of Albany Park, where he attended Hibbard Elementary and Von Steuben High School.He pursued majors in psychology, chemistry and mathematics at Wright Junior College, Roosevelt University and Illinois Institute of Technology - all the while working his way through high school and college by playing piano in clubs on Chicago's then-famous "Rush Street."After moving to Southern California, he worked his way through law school playing piano in night clubs and appeared as a musician in seven major motion pictures.While slowly building his law practice, Gene purchased a truckload of movie equipment he rented out to film production companies and then started his own production company which over the years produced more than 50 educational programs on subjects ranting from Boating and Celestial Navigation, to legal subjects (Depositions, Bankruptcy, etc.) Sign Language Instruction and many more.Always having been interested in boating, getting divorced prompted him to buy and move onto a 45-foot Chris Craft motor yacht in Marina del Rey California,.Years later, while serving as navigator on a yacht delivery from the U.S. to Tortola, Gene wrote his first book, "Celestial Navigation for Dummies" (before the popular series of 'Dummies' books was created). He used his own production equipment to shoot a video on the subject Celestial Navigation - "Sextant Use and the Sun Noon Shot" and unintentionally started the nautical video industry in this country.Over the next few years he followed that first title up with more than 50 other educational DVD titles, all displayed on his production company's website at moved on from doing scripts for his video productions, Gene turned to writing fiction, and now spends most of his time in the marina on his new boat, where he created the 15-book series of 'Peter Sharp Legal Mysteries,' all now available both in print and as eBooks at Smashwords via www.LegalMystery.comIn addition to the 15 Peter Sharp novels, Gene compiled a group of fiction and non-fiction titles that he has either written or edited for others, plus some classic stories: the publishing company he formed ( now has more than 60 books in print.The Peter Sharp Legal Mystery Series#1: Single Jeopardy#2: ...By Reason of Sanity#3: A Class Action#4: Conspiracy of Innocence#5: ...Until Proven Innocent#6: The Common Law#7: The Magician's Legacy#8: The Reluctant Jurist#9: The Final Case#10: An Element of Peril#11: A Good Alibi#12: Legally Dead#13: How to Rob a Bank#14: Murder Under Way#15: The Sherlock Holmes CaperThe Suzi B. Mystery Series (a spin-off)#1: ...Sorry, Wrong Number#2: Movie Magic#3: Two Perfect Crimes#4: He's the Guy#5: The Magic BulletsAll 20 of Gene's mysteries are described in detail in a free eBook: The Mystery Books of Gene Grossman: Summaries with the Author's Comments.

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Legally Dead - Gene Grossman


Peter Sharp Legal Mystery #12

By Gene Grossman

From Magic Lamp Press

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously or with permission.

All rights reserved

©MMIX Gene Grossman/Magic Lamp Press

Smashwords Edition 1.1 December, 2009

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo-copying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from Magic Lamp Press, P.O. Box 9547, Marina del Rey, CA 90295.


Peter Sharp Legal Mysteries: the Complete Series, all now available in both print and as eBooks. More details at:

Single Jeopardy

by Reason of Sanity

A Class Action

Conspiracy of Innocence

Until Proven Innocent

The Common Law

The Magician’s Legacy

The Reluctant Jurist

The Final Case

An Element of Peril

A Good Alibi

Legally Dead

How to Rob a Bank



If this is the first Peter Sharp Legal Mystery that you’re reading, it might help you to have a little background information about the main characters involved in all of the books.

Attorney Peter Sharp’s wife decided to ‘downsize’ their household, so she threw him out of their home. This parting of the ways may partly have been due to a conflict in their respective philosophies about legal representation: Peter is a private practitioner who specializes in taking cases defending the poor, unfortunate people ‘wrongfully’ accused of crimes that are being prosecuted by his wife Myra, the do-gooder District Attorney.

Peter ultimately wound up living on a dilapidated old boat in Marina del Rey, and when his former classmate/employer Melvin Braunstein died in a plane crash, Peter inherited a failing law practice, an office manager (Melvin’s twelve-year old step-daughter Suzi, a Chinese computer genius) and her huge St. Bernard.

In accordance with Melvin’s wishes, the court appointed Peter as Suzi’s legal guardian, and through a series of misfortunes that miraculously worked out, he winds up living with the kid and her dog on a big, beautiful 50-foot Grand Banks trawler-yacht from which they operate their law firm and entertain a constant stream of colorful visiting characters that include cops and robbers.

Peter’s close friend and client is Stuart Schwartzman, the most entrepreneurial person in town, who starts up a new business as often as some people change their bed sheets.

Jack Bibberman is a private investigator who saved Peter’s rear end a while ago, by truthfully testifying in a State Bar hearing that endangered Peter’s license to practice law.

Victor Herrera is a ‘diener,’ which is the old European term to describe a person who works with dead bodies in a morgue. After working for the county as a forensic pathologist and doing autopsies, Victor went into business for himself, starting a firm called (800)AUTOPSY – which is also his telephone number. Along with some other former forensic experts on his staff, Victor’s company does private autopsies (mostly for wrongful death insurance cases) and also performs a commercial CSI service that has provided Suzi with assistance that has helped solve quite a few of Peter’s cases.

Laverne is an alcoholic floozy who Peter spends an occasional evening with. She lives on a small houseboat docked a few slips down from Peter and Suzi’s boat.

When Peter isn’t swilling Patrón margaritas at one of the marina’s local watering holes, he’s usually involved in some losing legal case that little Suzi will inevitably solve, leaving Peter with the impression that he’s as good as he thinks he is.

Along the way in each legal adventure, Peter usually winds up butting heads with his ex-wife, who Suzi adores and is constantly scheming to get back into the Sharp household.

Now that you have the cast of characters, please read on and enjoy yourself.

All thirteen of the Peter Sharp Legal Mysteries are summarized at the end of this book and also fully detailed on the webpage where they are also available in either print form or as eBooks for Kindle, Nook, Sony and most other eReaders.

Magic Lamp Press - Venice, California


Chapter 1

Local news sucks. I hate the way they always make it look like a crime report, with the worst things that people do to each other always being the lead stories.

Strangely enough though, today they’ve finally opened with an item that doesn’t depress me. It’s about a killer who killed another killer... and got caught in the act.

The news producers realize that nothing’s as boring as a talking head in a studio, so they always try to include some stock footage or make their reporter stand outside of an empty building where something in the story took place. They also like to do interviews of anyone who they feel can add some irrelevant information to the story, like neighbors of a serial killer who are shocked to learn about their living in such close proximity to the lunatic, but thought that he was always a ‘nice, quiet person, who always kept to himself.’ Sometimes I get the feeling that the news programs have a secret stock of ‘neighbor’ interviews that they pull out and insert whenever a ‘neighbor interview’ is called for.

Today’s news about the killer also gives the reporter a chance to pose on the steps of the downtown Criminal Courts Building, and whenever there’s a news camera crew there, the District Attorney (my ex-wife Myra), usually makes sure to appear on the scene just in time to be interviewed, and today is no different. This popular event brings her two biggest fans out of the foreward stateroom to watch the big screen in our boat’s main salon.

The dog barks hello as Myra is introduced while Suzi sits on the floor watching. Myra is in her usual good public form as she saves the reporter any inconvenience caused by actually being required to ask questions. Our years of marriage have taught me that Myra likes to maintain control of any relationship she’s in, even if it’s only a brief one with a reporter. She gets right to the point:

"Earlier today, or office filed charges against John ‘the bat’ Zellini, for one count of violating section 187 of the California Penal Code... murder in the first degree.

The defendant was not aware of the fact that at the time of the crime, his victim was under surveillance by a special police unit in our organized crime task force, and the entire event was captured on videotape.

The reporters start shouting out questions to Myra. She pretends to listen to a few of them and then continues, feeling confident that whatever she says will surely answer any questions they might have – even if they’re not smart enough to ask them.

"In answer to your questions, the victim was a reputed member of a criminal organization that was trying to establish itself locally in the garbage collection business. We have information that leads us to believe that there seems to have been a ‘turf’ war starting up, concerning certain apartment-building areas of the city that require commercial trash vehicles to empty their dumpsters daily.

"These garbage disposal contracts are quite profitable, and it appears that less-than legitimate groups fight over them like the crack dealers fight over which street corner to deal from.

"Another issue to be considered is if this was a murder-for-hire and if so, would we be seeking the death penalty for the special circumstances involved in a crime of this nature. We are still investigating that aspect of the incident and the punishment sought will depend a great deal on whether or not we get any cooperation from the defendant.

He has been taken to a special location for his own protection, and will be brought to court for arraignment next week. At that time, we will make a further statement to update you.

That being said, the interview ends, the reporter wraps up her piece with the courthouse appearing in the background, and the dynamic duo exits my salon – and I’ve learned that Myra actually put into place that special top-secret police unit she always told me they should have. The way she used to talk about it, the unit would keep their eye on the most suspicious criminals in the jurisdiction – the ones with extensive criminal records who could be depended upon to continue their criminal enterprises.

Myra has combined her crime-fighting instincts with her business skills, because by using utilizing the RICO laws that apply only to those Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations, her department is allowed to legally seize assets of criminals that were purchased with funds illegally gained, and I believe that in most cases the seizing departments are permitted to keep a large percentage of the take, to be used in furtherance of fighting crime. I’m sure any matter that can be a RICO case takes a high priority in her office, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why her special surveillance unit was concentrating on this particular victim.

Now that I’ve seen what will probably be the only non-depressing local news item of this year, I switch the channel over to cable, where I can alternately surf between Keith Olbermann on MSNBC and Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. In our neighborhood both of those

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