Drink and Be Buried: Legal Mysteries

Mystery type:

Legal mysteries typically feature a lawyer or court official as the main character. The protagonist works against a faulty or corrupt justice system to learn the truth about the crime at the center of a court case.

Drink pairing:

Pour over coffee

Why they go together:

Legal mysteries have an art to them. Each step of the story must satisfy a specific step in the courtroom. From arraignment and preliminary hearing to jury trial and verdict, each step must be taken with care. Similarly, pour over coffee takes deliberate and delicate steps to complete correctly.

Where to start:

Cover Her Face

The headstrong and beautiful housemaid Sally Jupp is put rudely in her place—strangled in her bed behind a bolted door. Coolly brilliant policeman Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard must find her killer among a houseful of suspects, most of whom had very good reason to wish her ill.


In need of an associate, big-time Manhattan corporate lawyer Harvey Specter hires the only guy who impresses him—college dropout Mike Ross. The fact that Ross isn't actually a lawyer isn't lost on Specter, who believes his new right-hand man is a legal prodigy with the book smarts of a Harvard law grad and the street smarts of a hustler. However, in order to keep their jobs, the charade must remain strictly between these two unconventional thinkers.

Presumed Innocent

Rusty Sabich is chief deputy prosecuting attorney in a large midwestern city. His boss is in the midst of a bitter campaign for reelection. A fellow prosecuting attorney, Carolyn Polhemus, has been brutally murdered. Rusty is handling the investigation—and he needs results.

The Last Juror

To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership of the bankrupt Mississippi newspaper The Ford County Times is assumed by a 23-year-old college dropout named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looks grim until a young mother is brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reports all the gruesome details, and his newspaper begins to prosper. The murder trial of Danny Padgitt comes to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatens revenge against the jurors if they convict him. Nevertheless, they find him guilty, and he is sentenced to life in prison. But in Mississippi in 1970, life doesn't necessarily mean life, and nine years later Danny Padgitt manages to get himself paroled. He returns to Ford County, and the retribution begins.

The Lincoln Lawyer

Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn't recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil. Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers—they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence—it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.