Mark Gimenez: Con Law

Texas novelist Mark Gimenez wants to clear up one thing about his new book, Con Law: ''The views expressed by the characters are theirs, not mine,'' he tells us. ''It's fiction. I made it up. I am not preaching my personal views on fracking or art or politics. I promise.'' Okay, glad we got that cleared up. (Wink, wink.)

The book's central character, John Bookman, is a tenured professor at The University of Texas School of Law. Known for taking on lost causes, Bookman accepts a case that leads him into the world of fracking…and murder. Gimenez, a Notre Dame Law School alum, says the idea for Con Law (short for constitutional law) came to him as a result of the national debate on health care. ''I had been kicking around the idea of a series starring a law professor for some time, but I wasn't sure what he should teach. Criminal law? Civil procedure? Torts? Then, last summer, when all of America sat breathlessly waiting for nine unelected lawyers to decide whether Obamacare was the law of the land or just a piece of paper, I thought, 'That's it, con law!’''

This is the first installment in a new series featuring John Bookman. Gimenez says he already has plans for more constitutional law-related adventures for the character. ''In the next book, we'll learn about the Second Amendment's 'right to bear arms.' Of course, I'll have to wear a flak jacket to book signings.''

4:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit Free.
Sat., Aug. 24, 4:30 p.m., 2013

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Olivia Flores Alvarez