Unforced Error by Michael Bowen M.A
A Rep and Melissa Pennyworth Mystery

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Intellectual property attorneys, romance publishers, and librarians—the very last people you’d expect to be mixed up in murder! Add a pinch of authentic Civil War re-enactors and a sparkling tour of Kansas City, and voilà, a classic yet up-to-the-minute crime.

Rep and Melissa Pennyworth head west from Indiana to a re-enactment of a Civil War battle in Kansas City, Missouri. Rep is really in quest of a cutting-edge copyright case connected with romance publishing house Jackrabbit Press. He finds a corpse instead.

Linda Damon, Melissa’s best girlhood friend, worked for the victim, an editor (and womanizer) before his death. Linda’s husband, librarian Peter, an enthusiastic Civil War hobbyist, had motive (it must be said that on one recent occasion Linda became a bit too involved in her job), means (a Civil War saber that upon examination proves to be drenched in the victim’s blood), and opportunity (a publishing party).

Logically, Rep’s knowledge of trademark and copyright law, Melissa’s Ph.D. in Literature, and the passionate enthusiasm for all things English embraced by Peter’s boss at the KC library, Diane Klimchock, should be no help in what is clearly a case for the police. However, when Rep and Melissa are involved in crime, logic is seldom a reliable guide, as we saw in their earlier investigation, Screenscam.

While Unforced Error is great good fun as a mystery, as forecast in its witty (and startling) opening scene, it reminds us about the relevance of language, of words, to everything we do.

About Michael Bowen M.A

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Mike Bowen, a trial lawyer practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the author of numerous mystery novels, including Screenscam (2002), which introduced Rep and Melissa Pennyworth. Bowen has been a member and moderator of panels at several Bouchercons and has made presentations at numerous other mystery-related events. He wrote the entry on The American Legal System for the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, and was a member of the panels that selected the winner of the 1995 Edgar Award for Best Mystery and the 1996 Edgar Award for Best Critical or Biographical Work. Bowen graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1976. While at Harvard, he served on the Board of Editors of the Harvard Law Review, and was a member of the winning team and was named the best oralist in the Ames Competition (moot court). Bowen lives with his wife, Sara Armbruster Bowen and their younger children, John, Marguerite and James, in Fox Point, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Published May 25, 2011 by Poisoned Pen Press. 217 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Unforced Error

Publishers Weekly

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In Bowen's well-crafted, well-researched second Rep and Melissa Pennyworth misadventure (after 2001's Screenscam ), the couple hook up with their good friends librarian Peter Damon and his wife Linda in Kansas City, Mo., for a reenactment of an obscure Civil War battle.

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Somebody set Peter up for the murder and Melissa, Rep and Linda intend to find the culprit or die trying.

Apr 01 2004 | Read Full Review of Unforced Error: A Rep and Mel...

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