As a lawyer, Leslie Budewitz was well-qualified to write Books, Crooks, and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure, winner of the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. She also writes cozy mystery novels; the latest one Assault and Pepper is set in Seattle as will be the rest of that series of books. Why Seattle? She answers at Wicked Cozy Authors:
I fell in love with the [Pike Place] Market as a student at Seattle University. Later, as a young lawyer working downtown, I tried to eat my way through the Market once or twice a week. I’d start at the front entrance with a slice of pizza from DeLaurenti’s walk-up window, browsing the covers of the magazines at the First & Pike Newsstand— eyes only until my hands were clean! I’d sip a sample cup of tea at Market Spice while watching the fishmongers throw salmon and amuse the crowd with their comedy routine, pick my produce and cheese for the week, and end with dessert—a hazelnut sablé from Le Panier, the French bakery, or a Nanaimo bar from a now-departed shop in the warren off Post Alley.
The heart of a cozy is the community. The amateur sleuth investigates because she has a personal stake in the crime and in making sure the right people are brought to justice. She may think law enforcement officers are on the wrong track, or her role in village life may give her insight and information they lack. The professionals’ job is to restore the external order by making an arrest and prosecuting. Hers is to restore internal order within the community. And that holds just as true in the urban cozy, where the community is a subset of the city, as in the more common rural setting.
Click to read the rest of that interview. And go here to follow Leslie on Facebook.
Note: According to the bio at her Web site, Leslie still practices law part-time so I guess she's a partial life-after-law story?