Photo by Joanna B. Pinneo; book jacket courtesy Bancroft Press

Former Boulder criminal defense lawyer pens fast-paced legal who-un-dunit

Almost everyone loves a good whodunit story, and Boulder author Jeanne Winer delivers with her newest novel, “Her Kind of Case.” Set in Boulder, the book follows lawyer Lee Isaacs as she unravels the threads threatening to send her unlikable client—a 16-year-old skinhead—to jail for a murderous hate crime to which he confessed.

But Winer’s fast-paced plot—peopled with believable characters and peppered with local scenes (the mall, Mustard’s Last Stand) and cultural nuances (mountain climbers, Buddhists)—is more of a who-un-dunit. Her sullen, uncooperative client doesn’t want her help, yet Isaacs becomes increasingly convinced he wasn’t involved in the murder as her investigation unfolds.

Winer’s second novel rides the coattails of her first, “The Furthest City Light.” Also set in Boulder with a savvy female public defender as the protagonist, that book won the Golden Crown Literary Award for Debut Author in 2013. “Her Kind of Case” has garnered starred reviews from Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist.

Winer was a Boulder criminal defense lawyer for 35 years, and her newest novel examines the good, bad and ugly of criminal defense, and truthfully portrays the stamina, intelligence and emotional compassion required to make it your life’s work. Luckily for readers, she brings that same grit to her writing.

“When the writing gods are looking favorably upon me, I write five days a week for about five or six hours,” Winer said. “It’s a long, tedious process, but I’m unwilling to consider a different way.”

—Carol Brock