By Barbara Levenson, $24.95, 312 pages

10It’s such fun to read a story in which the lead character knows what he or she is doing and why. Not to mention, how! Justice In June, Barbara Levenson’s second Miami-based legal mystery thriller, lives up to her previous novel (Fatal in February), promising even more happy reading in the future.

Her protagonist Mary Magruder Katz is a busy attorney in Miami, having just established her own legal office with a whizbang paralegal/assistant, Catherine Aynsworth. Now that Mary has broken off with her former fiancé and moved out of his law firm, she can devote more attention to her sexy boyfriend, Carlos Martin. Or so she thinks.

Instead, she finds herself enmeshed in three difficult and totally dissimilar cases: the first one is a sitting judge accused of being soft on drug cases in her courtroom; the second involves a young Argentinian suspected of terrorism; and Carlos runs afoul of a few buyers in his new condo development.

Strangely enough, there is a degree of overlap in the three cases, and it will take all of Mary’s intelligence, ingenuity and intuition plus Catherine’s assistance, to wade through all the obstacles thrown up by their opponents. And the Federal government, which of course has zero tolerance for anyone suspected of terrorism, even a thoughtless teenager. The ending is happy for nearly everyone, but especially for Mary and Carlos.

Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz