The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

Fox Is Framed

by Lachlan Smith

In the thrilling third novel in the series, Oakland attorney Leo Maxwell returns to the dark place where the Maxwell family saga began.

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 272
  • Publication Date April 12, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2504-0
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $15.00

About The Book

Lachlan Smith won great critical acclaim for his first novel in the Leo Maxwell series, Bear Is Broken, a Shamus Award finalist and a Kirkus Reviews best book of the year that William Bernhardt called “one of the best debuts I’ve read in years.” The second Leo Maxwell mystery, Lion Plays Rough, continued the story, and now, in the utterly suspenseful Fox Is Framed, Smith confronts anew the drama that has haunted Leo—and his recently brain-damaged elder brother, Teddy—since childhood.

Faced with evidence of stunning prosecutorial misconduct, a San Francisco judge has ordered a new trial for the Maxwell brothers’ father, Lawrence, who was convicted of killing their mother twenty-one years before. A prison snitch soon turns up dead, with Lawrence the only suspect, and Leo teams up with hotshot attorney Nina Schuyler to defend Lawrence against murder charges both old and new. Working the streets while Nina handles the action in the courtroom, Leo is forced to confront the darkness at the center of his life as he follows a trail of corruption and danger that leads to the very steps of City Hall.


“Engaging . . . Smith elegantly blends courtroom suspense and family misfortune without ever slipping into melodrama; the line Maxwell family members walk between innocence and guilt becomes more blurred with every step and turn of the page.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Lachlan Smith does a masterful turn in Fox Is Framed. A sharp-edged legal thriller with the deep emotional undertones of family drama and tragedy.” —Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot

“Some of the sharpest courtroom cut-and-thrust since Presumed Innocent.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The complex family dynamics that Smith explored in his earlier books only become more intriguing in his superlative third Leo Maxwell mystery . . . Smith is masterly in creating realistic courtroom scenes, including the subtleties of witness examination, and, even more impressively, enhances the trial with the human drama of the Smith family.” —Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)

“Lachlan Smith really has something going on here, consisting of a plot that has held up well over the course of three books and has been sustained by interesting, if occasionally quirky, characters. Whatever he does after Fox Is Framed will almost certainly be worth a look.” —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter

“In the hands of a lesser writer, there would be a gooey father and son reunion, a realization on the son’s part that his father was never guilty, and all would be forgiven as the reunited family walked out of prison into the happy sunshine. That’s not what happens here. This book never took me where I expected it would. The story is smart, complex, and original . . . The characters got me hooked, the legal story got me to stay, and the originality of the telling stuck with me when I was finished.” —Robin Agnew, Mystery Scene