I met Judge Jeanine Pirro several months ago and she told me that she was looking for someone to help her write a novel about her early days as the first female prosecutor in Westchester County, just outside of New York City. Shortly after Jeanine was hired in 1978, she created one of the first Domestic Violence Units in
the country. She specialized in prosecuting spousal abuse cases at a time when it was not illegal in some states for a husband to beat his wife. After calling attention to domestic violence, Jeanine targeted pedophiles, by creating the first sting operation in the nation to catch sexual predators. (This was decades before NBC’s Dateline Series: To Catch A Predator.) Jeanine later was elected the first woman judge in Westchester County and eventually ran unsuccessfully for the New York Attorney General’s job. Since leaving the bench and politics, she has been a regular on television, hosting her own FOX prime time program, Justice With Judge Jeanine.
I was hooked the moment I met Jeanine. She is a smart, no-nonsense, tireless legal champion for underdogs. She also has a great sense of humor and smile. I liked the idea of fictionalizing actual cases and I especially was interested in helping write a novel grounded in the 1970s about a feisty, female prosecutor.
Jeanine and I quickly came up with a main character — Dani Fox — who is (not surprisingly) a lot like Jeanine. The title of the first book is SLY FOX , which will debut in July and is now available for order. A second novel, CLEVER FOX, will be published later.
This is not a ghostwritten book where a FOX TV News celebrity simply attaches his/her name to a professionally written novel. Jeanine selected the cases and we worked collaboratively on the manuscript with her pouring over every word. Because Jeanine was so involved, SLY FOX gives readers an intimate and insider’s glimpse at what she experienced as a young prosecutor when women were not welcomed in courtrooms. The reviews (printed below) have been good.
While SLY FOX is the first time that I’ve ever collaborated on a novel, it is not my first foray into fiction. I’ve published three earlier novels — Lethal Secrets, The Big Secret, and The Apocalypse Stone. Alan Cheuse of NPR especially liked Lethal Secrets — (click to hear his review).
My fingers are crossed that Jeanine’s book will become a summer hit!
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY REVIEW OF SLY FOX BY JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO