The Crime Circus Murder Case is the kind of high-octane mix of breezy dialogue, high-crimes and misdemeanors in high places, underworld skullduggery, and courtroom pyrotechnics that aficionados of legal thrillers have come to expect from George F. Worts' classic Gillian Hazeltine courtroom mysteries form the 1930s (The Gold Coffin Murder Case, The Hospital Homicides Murder Case, etc.).
As the book begins, attorney-sleuth Gillian Hazeltine has fallen head-over-heels in love, but his fiancée will accept his proposal only if he promises to give up his practice as, in her words, "defender of the underworld, the murderers, the crooks, the gunmen, the gamblers, the bootleggers," and become a "responsible," "respectable" attorney whose work she could be proud of.
Gillian barely has time to promise her that he's through with murder cases forever when a small-time hoodlum is gunned down at his front door. Before the man dies, he whispers something about being the only witness to a gangland rub-out for which an innocent young woman has been framed. Things become more complicated when the Governor's son confesses he's unintentionally responsible for the young woman, Violet Dearing, being framed for murder - and his father is behind it. But he begs the lawyer to take Miss Dearing's case and defend her anyway.
Summoned to the State Capitol, Gillian is threatened by the Governor who says he's prepared to provide perjured witnesses, a bribed jury and a hand-picked judge, if necessary, to convict Violet Dearing; and he swears to destroy Gillian's career if the lawyer involves himself in any way with the defense. Furious, Gillian promises he'll defend Violet Dearing - and win an acquittal, no matter what strings the Governor pulls. Face to face with the defendant at last, Gillian finds the situation becoming more complicated when he begins to fall in love with the courageous, intelligent young woman who is his client.
Then one night, while he is driving home, the attorney-sleuth is ambushed by a carload of hoodlums armed with the newest, chilling instrument of mass destruction, the hand-held Thompson machine gun! With his career, his romance, and his life at stake, Gillian, true to form, will have to transgress laws, violate legal ethics and pull an unexpected legal rabbit or two out of his hat in order to ferret out the real killer.
And his first step is that when the prosecution begins to turn the case against Violet Dearing into a media circus, Gillian gets a change of venue -to a Circus! And those are only some of the delights of this captivating Gillian Hazeltine courtroom mystery from the pen of master Golden Age detective novelist George F. Worts. Cover design: J.L. "Frankie" Hill.