For anyone who’s dreamed of breaking out of the quiet desperation of a $400,000-a-year law partnership, the answer could be crime.

Legal thrillers are a publishing staple, a recognized subgenre at which many lawyers are trying their hand and a small but steady number are succeeding. At least 15 legal thrillers a year are published, and there’s a brisk demand. The Mysterious Bookshop lists more than 70 on its Web site. has a special search function to find them.