PRIOR CONVICTIONS was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was nominated for the mystery genre's top prizes, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Anthony Award. Publishers Weekly said of it, "Readers will be shaken by Matera's rapier-sharp dissection of personal relationships and radical ideologies. Matera again demonstrates that she is one of today's best mystery writers."
Attorney Willa Jansson spent the last year picking up the pieces after an epic hit to her résumé. In the L.A. office of a Wall Street firm, she battled boredom and mourned a love life lying back home with a stake in its heart. Now it's finally time to return to San Francisco.
But Willa finds no warm welcome there. Her mother is still furious Willa that "sold out." Her despised ex demands an outrageous favor. And her new boss, a federal court judge, is already getting hate mail about her radical past.
It soon appears that her nearest and dearest are all conspiring to sabotage her. And if Willa can't figure out why, she may end up dying for a cause she doesn't believe in anymore.
The Wall Street Journal said, "With sharp descriptions and crisp dialogue, Prior Convictions admirably delivers the complex situations and memorable characters of a 'real novel' while still managing to let the detective story have its day in court."
In this intricate tale of duplicity with overtones of '60s politics, a San Francisco woman fears she betrayed a member of the witness relocation program. Simon & Schuster will publish Matera's latest mystery, A Hard Bargain , in May also.