Wallach's third novel (after "Private Scores" and the bestselling "Women's Work"). New York City trial Judge Pax Peyton Ford is called upon to exercise the cool composure of Portia and the wisdom of Solomon in both her personal and professional lives. She's drawn the custody case of Caitlin California, the six-year-old daughter of billionaire artist Johnny California, whose death has left the child torn between her father's gay lover, famous ballet dancer Tom D'Arcy, and her aunt, the high-strung and narrow-minded Ba Bishop. Making matters trickier for Pax is Ba's marriage to John Talcott Bishop, a member of the screening panel for appointments to the Appellate Division, promotion to which Pax desperately desires. On the personal front, Pax's budding romance with Leonard Scholer, her son's father-in-law, is placed on hold when Leonard signs on as D'Arcy's defense counsel. And Judge Rosa Macario, an old friend of Pax since childhood (when her mother was the Ford family's maid), is becoming both a romantic and a professional rival. In the end, one of the women gets the man and the other gets the coveted appellate judgeship. Wallach keeps the pages turning, albeit at the expense of deep character exploration, but still a good read.