Celia Conrad is the author of the divorce contact guidebook, Father's Matter, and three mystery novels (Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy: A Model Murder, Wilful Murder and Murder in Hand). As a former specialist family lawyer, she has appeared on television, given evidence on family law to Parliamentary Committees, regularly responds to Government Consultations and her comments on legal reform have been reported in the Press. She studied law at King's College, University of London, and after qualifying as a solicitor, specialized in family law working for several 'magic circle' firms in London before leaving private practice to become a full-time free-lance legal writer and author.
Celia Conrad's popular essential guide to contact on separation and divorce, Fathers Matter, was published Oct. 2003 (second edition, pub. March 2007). She is interested in all areas of Family law reform with a particular interest in the field of Child law. This best-selling and practical handbook, now in its third edition, is the essential guide for fathers seeking contact with their children after separation and/or divorce, and all those connected with a father in that situation including grandparents and members of the extended family. Divided into three parts, it explains with clarity and compassion how the law affects all categories of fathers and navigates the reader through this increasingly complicated area of family law. To order: http://www.fathersmatter.com/.
Celia Conrad shares similarities with the British heroine of her Alicia Allen Investigates trilogy in her Anglo-Italian heritage and profession. Together they share an enthusiasm for Justice, Shakespeare, All Things Italian and, of course, Pringles. A Model Murder was Conrad's first book, written at the suggestion of a mentor who encouraged her to write mysteries based on real-life stories she encountered while working within the law. Each book in the trilogy features an investigation into corruption or scandal involving some aspect of the legal system, and often take readers on trips to Italy, Australia as well as lesser known locales in London (such as hostess clubs).
To order: http://aliciaalleninvestigates.com
- A Model Murder
- A Model Murder is a fast-paced mystery that draws scary, sometimes hilarious, parallels between alpha males in strip clubs and law firms.
This first book in the Alicia Allen Investigates trilogy introduces Alicia Allen, a 29-year-old London Anglo-Italian lawyer whose desire for Pringles is matched only by her desire to solve crime. When her neighbor—a beautiful aspiring Australian model—is found raped and murdered before she can pick up her first paycheck at a sleazy “hostess” club, Alicia ignites with such passion to bring the wrongdoer to justice, it would make even Portia envious.
As her dangerous quest draws her into the dark world of exploitative “hostess clubs,” Alicia finds herself facing similar circumstances in a new law firm where alpha males roam the halls in solicitor suits intimidating or stalking undervalued female coworkers. Worse luck, the deeper she delves into the investigation, the more her comfortable world falls apart. Friends are viciously attacked...potential lovers may not be what they seem...clues pop up in Italian opera, Shakespeare, and a cat.
- Wilful Murder
This second mystery in the Alicia Allen Investigates trilogy lures the justice-loving solicitor out of London and into the shadowy depths of the Land Down Under where nothing is what it seems and a risky Trust could lead to murder.
When an Australian-born heiress living in London asks Alicia to draw up a Will in expectation of her forthcoming marriage and impending English fortune, she reveals that her family members have been meeting untimely deaths. After her fiancé is killed in an explosion, and her own life is threatened, she implores Alicia Allen to investigate. Alicia soon finds herself hot on the trail of a psychopathic killer who could be responsible for the deaths and near-deaths that continue to occur in England and Australia—or are there two psychopaths working in tandem? Her quest takes her to Australia—coinciding with a friend’s wedding in Brisbane where she encounters her old flame, Alex Waterford, a London lawyer who shares Alicia’s hardheaded determination to bring about justice, no matter what the cost. Together they put their own lives on the line in pursuit of the answer to this murderous mystery that lies just beneath the misleadingly placid surfaces of Probate, Wills and a Trust.
- Murder in Hand
Alicia Allen—the Anglo-Italian London solicitor with such a passion for justice, it would make even Portia envious—returns to star in this novel set in London and Italy. It is the last book in the Alicia Allen Investigates trilogy.
Alicia’s Uncle Vico, a New York attorney, introduces her to Fabio Angelino—an Italian American living in London who needs her help dealing with the Probate of his mother’s English estate. Fabio’s father worked with Vico at Scarpetti, Steiglitz & Co. in New York before transferring to its U.K. branch and disappearing in Sicily sixteen years ago. The Italian police suspected the Mafia was responsible for his death, but the case remains unsolved. Fabio reveals to Alicia that now someone is trying to kill him. When Fabio’s sister, Giulia, is found callously murdered, Alicia feels compelled to investigate the crimes on her own. Her quest takes her through Sicily, Italy, Tuscany and Umbria over beautiful but sinister terrain as she finds herself pulled into an underworld where the most dangerous and corrupt criminals are those who hide behind the law.
This case brings to the surface our heroine’s Italian heritage and willingness to take on dark forces to bring about justice; but in her bid to entrap the perpetrators, has Alicia taken on malevolent forces too great, and will this be her last investigation?