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- Hardcover: Scribner (1994)
- Paperback: Harper (1996)
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Cable-TV mogul Stanfield Standish wrote the book and broke the rules in the news and entertainment industry. When his charred body is found inside the burnt-out remains of his classic 1930 Duesenberg Sedan, his family files a $52 million damage lawsuit against Courtland Motor Company.
Courtland brings in Attorney Max Bramble, who promptly hires ace arson investigator, Wylie Nolan. As Nolan brilliantly dissects the fascinating anatomy of a fire, Bramble discovers that the media tycoon scalded many of his way up the ladder, setting himself up for payback with hot-blooded murder.
Praise for Origin and Cause
“Successful on every front is Reuben’s second novel…giving us two unforgettable sleuths in the sharp and savvy Max and Wylie, Reuben also brings specialized lore of antique cars and arson to the rapt attention of her readers.” Publishers Weekly
“Reuben, a licensed arson investigator with infectious enthusiasm for her profession, draws on solid technical expertise to take the reader through arcane forensic details like burn patterns and the relative volatility of flammable liquids.” The New York Times Book Review
“…a fascinating look into the intricacies of arson and murder…This book gives readers the excitement of the case as Max and Wylie investigate, the bonus of learning both about arson and product liability, the intrigue of courtroom drama, a fascinating plot, plus a large and varied cast of wonderfully drawn characters.” Montgomery Alabama Advertiser