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Special Circumstances (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,836 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
Debut author Sheldon Siegel bursts into the legal arena with a riveting courtroom drama, exposing the world of big-time law firms and lawyers in a sharp-witted, wonderfully sardonic page-turner of a novel.

Meet Mike Daley. Ex-priest. Ex-public defender. Ex-husband. And as of yesterday, ex-partner at Simpson & Gates, one of San Francisco's most prominent law firms. Today
Paperback, 549 pages
Published June 26th 2001 by Bantam (first published February 1st 2000)
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Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-legal
This is a very good legal murder mystery. A top earning lawyer,Bob Holmes, is found dead, apparent suicide, along with another lawyer,Diana Kennedy, making it look like murder suicide. But then the new District Attorney,Prentice Marshall Gates III, formerly a lawyer with the same law firm, and the police find evidence suggesting that one of the firm's other lawyers has murdered both people. They arrest Joel Mark Friedman.
He hires Michael Daley, who has been forced to leave the firm.

Daley starts
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
I had no idea I'd even read this before, so discovering a rating from 8+ years ago was a little disconcerting, especially as I apparently enjoyed it as much then as now!

This is law practised from the other side, where resources are stretched and money is not limitless as Mike tries desperately to defend his friend and former colleague from a charge of double murder. As they investigate, new layers of secrets and lies are revealed, which may lead to questions that they dare not ask.
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one hooked me on the very first page. This is first book in author Sheldon Siegel's, Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez series, "Special Circumstances". Mike Daley is the protagonist along with his ex-wife Rosie Fernandez becoming a co-protagonist.. The book opens set at one of the largest and most successful law firms in San Francisco, Lawyer Michael Daley is given his walking papers at year's end. Daley's five year run with the firm didn't generate enough business for him to continue as a partner ...more
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sheldon-siegel
First time reading a book by this author and I must say it was awesome from start to finish! I felt like I was in Mike Daley's head and actually thinking like him as he was defending Joel. This is also a very educational book. You will learn a lot about the law reading it-and it's not boring!and from what critics have written it's very accurate. All of the characters are interesting and some sleazy for sure but it's the best legal thriller I've ever read and I think Sheldon Siegel is by far bett ...more
Patricia Ibarra
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Daley, a former public defender, was fired from one of the most important law firms for failing to meet his quota of clients. He has decided to rent a room to start his individual practice from Rosie, his ex-wife and currently best friend. He would have never imagined that his first client in his new practice would be his best friend and work colleague in the law firm, unexpectedly accused of double murder. He is now his defense attorney, having as his opponent the law firm that just fired ...more
Jodi Daynard
This author has an excellent sense of humor, and I like his attorney duo Mike & Rosie. Ending feels a bit convoluted--in fact, I finished this a few days ago and already have forgotten whodunit. It didn't seem to matter, really. That said, I bought the next one in the series, since I like these characters.
Judy Churchill
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who likes legal thrillers this author is good. I just ordered the second book in this series. The plot was believable, the characters were real, and the story moved right along. This is my escape genre.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best legal thriller I've read in a while - I got it as an audiobook and just couldn't stop listening. Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez, once married but now functioning much better as legal partners, are well drawn characters, putting together the legal defense of a lawyer and former firm associate accused of two brutal murders. The story and writing are reminiscent of the best of Grisham and Turow. I look forward to reading more books in this series.
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mysteries
Back to legal thrillers, again (which seems to be a phase I am going through), I made the mistake of picking up this book the a few days ago as something to have in my bag in case I had to waste some time waiting for someone … and a couple nights later had to stay up until an ungodly hour in order to finish it.

Sheldon Siegel is/was a California attorney in private practice, specializing in corporate and securities law. Back in the late 1990s he joined a writing club, and this 2001 novel was his
Alan Marston
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES is BOOK 1 of 7 in the legal thriller series featuring Mike Daley & Rosie Fernandez.
Debut author Sheldon Siegel bursts into the legal thriller arena with a riveting courtroom drama, exposing the world of big-time law firms and lawyers in a fresh, sharp-witted, wonderfully sardonic page-turner.
Mike Daley is the lawyer who has just left the large firm for which he was working, only to find himself involved in defending one of his former colleagues accused of the double m
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Legal fiction
Shelves: legal-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic legal thriller. Starts out fast and is a page turner all the way. I will definitely read this whole series. It is equal to or better than John Grisham, so I heartily recommend these books by Sheldon Siegel.
Oct 08, 2010 rated it liked it
This was my first book by Sheldon Siegel and it was good. I have read legal thrillers before but this time, I knew the author! He works in my building and he autographed one of his books for me. Siegel's Mike Daley series takes place in my hometown, San Francisco! It was so cool to read and actually know where the places mentioned are. The story itself was very good and it had be guessing right up to the very end. I liked Mike, now on his own after his firm fired him, he takes a case defending h ...more
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

Having read many legal thrillers of different authors I can affirm that this one surpassed my expectations and this is a lot for a first debut, making Mr Siegel a promising author
This book has many qualities in display: the vigorous story related to the human and financial problems that partners and employees experience in the corporate world, the intense courtroom dialogues and procedures in direct and cross examination by the prosecution an
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another exciting new author!! Special Circumstance is Sheldon Siegel's first novel. Mike Daley gets fired from his stuff huge law firm and he's not really unhappy about it. Plus, the very day he's fired, the most profitable partner and an associate are murdered in the office. Not his problem, until his best friend - and really only lawyer friend - in the firm is charged with the murder. This story moves along really well and is captivating. The characters are quite interesting and credible. I su ...more
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A new mystery author to me, courtesy of Amazon discounted books. Such a deal! Humorous dialogue. I honestly didn't guess "who-dun-it" till almost the end. In fact, I was pretty sure I knew & it turned out I was wrong. Not as fast paced as I usually like. The courtroom scenes kind of dragged on. but the writing was crisp, the characters fun - even the bad guys. Recommended if you like courtroom/lawyer drama.
Geraldine Powell
There were times when the excessive redundancy in this book made me want to shelve it. I found the description to be too wordy. The story was interesting but if the narrative had moved faster it would have been compelling instead of just interesting.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

I really enjoyed this book, it kept my interest. Towards the end it started to drag a little that's why I gave it 4 stars. The conclusion was great, I would recommend this book!
Lora C. Kerby
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable read!

Loved all of the twists and turns and lawyer action! Great suspicious characters and what an ending! Going straight to the next book....can't wait to witness the next case.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Book #2 first, and enjoyed it enough that I went back to the beginning.

I really like learning about Mike leaving his high powered law conglomerate, and starting to work
with his ex, Rosie. Unfortunately, this book has less of the two of them, and I like that better in the second book.

But, the court scenes are entertaining, and all the people involved in working on the defence of Mike's friend, Joel, accused of murdering a partner and an associate at their firm, are also interesting.

May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2017-fiction
Good listen, full of legalese without being boring or preposterous. Took me awhile to realize Mike's inner - humorous or sardonic - monologue is included in much of the dialogue. As a listener this meant I had to determine whether he made a statement aloud or just to himself but it was relatively obvious and not a problem. And, in this first book we get a pretty deep background on Mike but not so much on Rosie, who is portrayed as the steady, wise counsel Mike respects.

Well drafted, with the od
Eric Armstrong
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learn how firearms work.

I would gIve a five star rating to this well written novel except for the incorrect description of the "revolver", which was an important part of the evidence. Mr. Siegel should have described the weapon as a semi-automatic pistol. Revolvers do not have delicate triggers unless the weapon is manually cocked. It would have been impossible for the victim to shoot himself and re-cock a revolver before dropping it to the floor. It's a simple mis-identification of a type of we
Lynn Pribus
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh what fun to find an enjoyable new (to me) author. Courtroom drama with a complex suicide/murder (or is it a double homicide?), interesting characters, and not a single serial killer in sight!

It's set in SFO and stars ex-spouses Mike and Rosita who still love each other and have a variety of consoling sex, happy sex, victory sex and just plain sex, plus. a daughter they both love. They simply cannot swell under the same roof.

Lots of cheerful and entertaining hyperbole in character descriptions
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had not read a legal procedural for a while so I was really in the mood for this. And it is a good one!! The characters were well developed and interesting. If you think you figured out who did it, then keep reading and think again. I was surprised by the ending which was refreshing. Tom Reed, the defense attorney, has some tough obstacles to overcome, including a lying defendant. Tom's relationship with Rosie was fun to learn about. I couldn't put this down and will definitely read more of th ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved a good courtroom trial. Whether an Earle Stanley Gardner book when I was young, the original Law and Order on TV, and of course I never missed Court TV when it was on. It's hard to find an author that can paint a picture and have a masterpiece emerge through the trial. I'm not sure this is the author, but it was a very enjoyable story and I was stumped as to the real killer. Mide and Rosie make a fun team and I hope they keep on Wendy, Pete and bring back Mort. He's a crusty ol ...more
Sujeet Kudale
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best courtroom thriller

I was little bit skeptical when I chose this one to add to my reading list. But boy what a choice it turned out to be. Recently I haven't been through good fiction novels to keep me engaged to them. However, this one surely ticks all the checks. The story never seem to get dragged unnecessarily and always on the track. I got full blown experience of reading on the edge as had to finish this in 4 reading sessions. Looking forward to read other novels by Sheldon.
Mary Sullivan
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very captivating book and a great summer read. There are lots of twists and turns. I understood where they were at at all times after having lived in San Francisco. This kind of thing could have only happened in that fun, adventurous city. Lots of good twists. Up until the last chapter, I thought two other folks were the villain!! I was wrong. You will find it quick, fun, entertaining read. Enjoy!
Mary Mervis
I was looking for a new author when I happened upon this book. I did like it, although at times the plot seemed a little predictable...I guessed "whodunnit" early in the book and finished it to prove to myself that I was right. I like Mike, the main character, and will read another to see if Mr. Siegel's next books offer a greater challenge. I know this is his first novel, and that writers generally get stronger as they continue so, Incriminating Evidence, here I come.
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Sheldon Siegel is a New York Times Bestselling novelist and author best known for his works of modern legal courtroom drama.

Siegel was born on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and later went on to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an Accounting major. He graduated with a Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall at the Universi
More about Sheldon Siegel...

Other Books in the Series

Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery (8 books)
  • Incriminating Evidence (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #2)
  • Criminal Intent (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #3)
  • Final Verdict (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #4)
  • The Confession  (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #5)
  • Judgment Day (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #6)
  • Perfect Alibi (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez Mystery, #7)
  • Felony Murder Rule (Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez #8)
“trial. That’s bad for business in the PD’s office. The supervisors are paid for disposing of” 0 likes
“a stretch to me.” It begs the obvious question. “Pete,” 0 likes
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