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Martin Clark Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Plain Heathen Mischief (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Legal Limit (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Jezebel Remedy (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Substitution Order (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Martin Clark, Jr. is a retired judge in the Virginia Circuit court and an author known for writing mystery thrillers. He has often been compared to John Grisham and is often referred to as the “thinking man’s John Grisham” or the “drinking man’s John Grisham.” He has received a lot of acclaim from reviewers, fellow writers and literary journals over the years, though he is a relatively new author. David Baldacci called him a truly original author and The Winston-Salem Journal said that he had set the new standard for judging legal fiction. Martin who was a Phi Beta Kappa graduated cum laude from Davidson College and went to the University of Virginia for law school. He became one of the youngest judges ever in the Commonwealth when in 1992 at the age of thirty-two he was appointed to the bench. He was serving as a circuit court judge in Patrick County, Virginia when he finally retired. His novels have made several bestselling lists and his fourth novel “The Jezebel Remedy” has been a number one hit on several charts on Amazon. Other accolades for Clark include Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2009, Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, a Book of the Month Club Selection, a Book of the Year Award from the Boston Globe, Best Book of the Year from Bookmarks Magazine, Best Book of the Year from Washington Post Book World and Notable Book Award from the New York Times. In 2016 he was the recipient of the Outstanding Community Service Award by Patrick County and in 2018 the Harry L Carrico Professionalism Award. He lives with his photographer wife Deana on a farm full of guinea fowl, chickens, cats, dogs, and three donkeys.

Martin Clark writes deeply satisfying legal thrillers, which is what has made him one of the most popular legal fiction authors since John Grisham. He is a veteran of the Virginia Circuit court and hence he has a very good understanding of how the legal system works. The novels typically draw from his legal knowledge as a foundation instead of relying on courtroom pyrotechnics or action to tell the story. Clark loves to cast his characters from the rural south which is where most of his novels are also set. His writing comes with hilarious insights into a variety of subjects ranging from the medical and legal professions and trucks with typical southern bumper stickers such as “Rebel by the Grace of God,” “Southern by birth” among many others. He also writes about the notion of presumption of innocence and how hard it is to hold it up when a person is arrested. Over the years, his writing has become more profound though it has retained the humorous and witty tone even as it expanded its unique style of dirty grace. He writes novels that will have readers laughing out loud from one page only to find a perfectly told sad truth that is so heartbreaking that it will cause you to put down the book. He goes beyond the narrative storytelling thriller to tug at the heartstrings as no one else can.

“The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living” is Martin Clark’s masterful debut novel that proved him as the heir of the best Southern storytellers, and a worthy competitor to some of the most seasoned legal fiction novelists. Judge Evers Wheeler is in the doldrums and has to deal with a hungover, a days’ worth of petty criminal cases, bitterness at his estranged wife, and an unforgiving hot sun when he is confronted by Ruth Esther English. She tells him a strange story which has him thinking and suddenly he is in uncharted waters. Reluctantly, he agrees to help the woman retrieve her stolen money and seeks the help of his pot-addled brother and motley crew of hangers-on for the quest. What ensues is a combination of murder mystery and legal thriller as they embark on an adventure that includes philosophical rants, winning lotto tickets, suspected killers, infidelity, raucous road trips and a woman tied to a tread sign buck naked. It makes for one wild ride.

“The Legal Limit” the second novel by Martin Clark is a remarkable novel with a complex and gripping murder mystery. It is a murder that results in extensive havoc while redefining the concept of justice in a relentlessly entertaining story that goes deep into the essential yet ambiguous matters of the law. Gates Hunt had decided to take on his abusive father, even as Mason his younger brother ultimately escaped their impoverished circumstances to go to college and finally to law school. While Gates was becoming a compulsive and intransigent felon, his brother Mason married the love of his life and got himself a feisty daughter. He had then returned back home as the attorney to the commonwealth. But then Mason’s idyllic life is interrupted by a grisly tragedy which soon has his life unraveling. His brother Gates who is now in prison wants him to use his legal influence to get him released from prison. He is blackmailing him using a secret that both of them had agreed to keep hidden under pain of death. Mason is facing complete ruin threatened by his own secrets and having to defend and fight for everyone and everything he holds dear. The novel is intricately shot and plotted with realism providing a roller coaster of moral significance. It asks questions of what can we do when fate is dicing with our most loved ones, when the spirit of the law is different from the letter, and when personal integrity comes head to head with family loyalty.

“The Jezebel Remedy” the third novel is one of Clark’s finest yet. Lisa and Joe Stone have been married for two decades and run a small law firm in Henry County, Virginia as partners. For the most part, they take on the less glamorous cases that include personal injury settlements, domestic disputes and the never-ending stream of suits from Lettie VanSandt, an eccentric and cantankerous client. But then Lettie dies in a freak fire accident and the report says that she died from cooking meth in her trailer. At first, her lawyers go with the report but then reports emerge that make them rethink the fire accident. Her accident seems to be weird though settling the matter of her peculiar estate is even more complex. It is not long before the Stones are deep in an intricate corporate conspiracy that will need all their legal skills and the making of some difficult moral choices if they are to make it through. In the meantime, Lisa is desperate to protect Joe from a dreadful error, a secret she would give anything to see blotted, even as her own career and his are threatened. The novel is a stunning tour of the legal system and an intricate look into marriage. However, it is also an entertaining story full of shocks, inventions, and understanding.

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