Attorney Joth Proctor is focus of new detective mystery series

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

Holly Sullivan is found dead. Sully, her estranged husband, and brother, Paul, both feel entitled to the rental property that she owned. Attorney Joth Proctor finds himself caught in the middle as Sully is his best friend and Paul was his college teammate.

While each is willing to lie, cheat and steal to get that property, people start turning up dead. Are one of them willing to go even further?

Find out in “Friends Like These” by James V. Irving.

The mystery was inspired by careers Irving had as a private detective and lawyer. Through those roles, Irving recognized how both lawyers and detectives seek justice as they see it.

“Lawyers see justice within a set of ethical, procedural and evidentiary rules; for the detective, the only rule is how far you are willing to push it,” Irving said. “Joth is governed by a lawyer’s rules, but a detective’s sensibility. I wanted to present the reader with a man whose personal code values and integrates both sets of rules.”

Inside “Friends Like These,” readers will find themes surrounding the pursuit of justice, maintaining integrity, financial issues, relationships and more. The characters in the book face relatable challenges and learn lessons such as standing firm in one’s beliefs.

“Be true to yourself and do what you know you need to do,” Irving said. “That’s what matters and you can’t worry about how other people are going to try to push you to conform.”

“Friends Like These” will be enjoyed by readers who not only enjoy a good mystery but delight in crime and detective fiction.

Irving said hopes readers of his book gain “an understanding of the challenge facing a lawyer when justice is fungible and the courage it takes to pursue it when your friends and allies doubt you.”

“Friends Like These” is the first book in the Joth Proctor Fixer Mystery Series. Book two, “Friend of a Friend” was recently released and readers can expect book three in the fall.

In addition to being an author, Irving is currently a lawyer and a former private detective. He lives in northern Virginia. For more information about the author and his work, visit

“Friends Like These” is available for $15.95 (print) and $6.99 (eBook) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, and Kobo Books.

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