The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
How many of you think you’d be terrific detectives because of the investigative skills you use every day as paralegals? Do you ever fantasize about living a more exciting life away from your desk and your bag lunches?
Author Sue Ann Jaffarian, a corporate paralegal herself, gives us a heroine that we can identify with in the first novel of the Odelia Grey Mystery Series, Too Big To Miss. Odelia Patience Grey, corporate paralegal extraordinaire and a self-described “inmate” at Wallace, Boer, Brown and Yates (“Woobie” for short), is middle-aged and single, shares her townhome with a greenish cat, and feels stuck in a rut. She has problems that any legal support staffer can identify with, including working for a terrific partner who’s too close to retirement age, while worrying about being left in the employ of his much younger associate, an insensitive jerk. When she says she imagines walloping the associate with an expanding file and would rather quit than work for him full-time, we can definitely say, “Been there and done that.”
Odelia’s no lightweight, not in size or brain power. She’s a size 20 in a world where weight is “the last acceptable prejudice” and lives in Southern California where most men “place overweight women in the same category as serial killers.” But she’s funny, intelligent and a fiercely loyal friend. When her beloved mentor dies of an apparent suicide, leaving behind evidence of a shocking past, Odelia digs beneath the surface and starts her own investigation, all the while facing the kind of challenges we’d face in the same situation – meeting work deadlines and getting approval for personal days with short notice.
And Odelia has the best answer ever when asked if she passed on law school because she couldn’t “make the grade.”
“No, I chose to be a paralegal…less bullshit,” says Odelia.
Too Big To Miss offers likable characters and a plot that moves quickly, although readers will be most charmed by Odelia and her journey of self-discovery, as she deals with her own prejudices and learns to see the world – and herself – in a different light. The novel is the perfect summer escape, and will leave you wanting more Odelia, just as she is, funny, flawed and more beautiful than she knows.