I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. The first half of 2006 seemed to be my time for series reading. I read quite a few books by J.A. Jance during that time. Here are some of my reviews from 2006:
Avon Books, 1994
Crime Fiction; 386 pgs
Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont's current investigation is much more complicated than at first it appears: old friends, Nazi hunters, neo-Nazis, missing gold, and two dead bodies. It was a pleasure spending a couple of days with my old friend Beaumont. This round, he is partnered with Sue Danielson, the newest detective on Seattle's Homicide detail, and I definitely hope to read more about her in future books. J.A. Jance writes an enjoyable mystery full of suspense and intrigue.
Avon Books, 1996
Crime Fiction; 392 pgs
J.P. Beaumont is called in when a dead body is found floating near Pier Seventy. The dead body belongs to a man whose life is filled with secrets. He appears to have more enemies than friends. On a more personal front, Beaumont learns that his ex-wife is dying, and he finds himself being accused of possible child abuse. It gets to be too much for J.P. Beaumont, and he seriously considers drowning his woes in alcohol. J.A. Jance did a good job of building up the tension and stress in Beaumont’s life. I felt like I was in the middle of it all. The author’s character, Grace Highsmith, provided a little comic relief at times. Name Withheld was a very enjoyable mystery.
Avon Books, 1999
Crime Fiction; 358 pgs
In the 14th J.P. Beaumont mystery novel, Seattle Homicide Detective Beaumont and his partner, Sue Danielson, are hunting down an arsonist who murdered a not-so-liked elderly woman and also trying to uncover how a couple of men got a hold of a dead shaman’s bones. With a change in the regime at the station, a possible curse, and a partner whose abusive ex-husband has suddenly popped back into the picture, Beaumont has his work cut out for him. J.P. Beaumont had me cheering him on throughout the book, as well as crying with him when the situation got rough. More than once, his life was on the line, and yet he did what he had to in order to make things right. J.A. Jance is a great storyteller and her characters have found their way into my heart time and time again.
Avon Books, 2001
Crime Fiction; 388 pgs
I decided it was time to spend a little time with J.P. Beaumont who joined his newlywed grandmother and her new husband on a cruise to Alaska. What should have been a relaxing and stress free vacation turned into another homicide investigation for Beau when one of the passengers falls overboard. Meanwhile, his services are also requested by the FBI to help protect a passenger on the ship from domestic terrorists. I enjoyed this novel despite it being unbelievable in some places.
Avon Books, 2002
Crime Fiction; 386 pgs
I have been looking forward to reading Partner in Crime for quite some time. In this particular novel by J.A. Jance, she brings two of her popular characters together, Sheriff Joanna Brady and Special Investigator J.P. Beaumont. They are investigating the murder of woman who was supposed to be under the protection of Washington State’s witness protection program. The two headstrong characters butt heads at first but soon find a way to work together to solve the crime. Also, Beau comes face to face with Anne Corley’s past, visiting the town where she grew up. Because the J.P. Beaumont series is narrated in first person and the Sheriff Joanna Brady series is in third, I wondered how the author would present the combined character novel. J.A. Jance used both voices, going back and fourth between third and first, depending on whose viewpoint she was writing the story from at the time. I enjoyed spending time with both Beau and Joanna although came away a little disappointed and unsatisfied. I particularly liked getting a “look” at Arizona through the eyes of J.P. Beaumont. The descriptions of the landscape brought the desert to life.
Avon Books, 2005
Crime Fiction; 339 pgs
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough when I read Long Time Gone, the latest in the J.P. Beaumont mystery series. The novel was intense and suspenseful through the entire book. J.P. Beaumont is reunited with an old high school acquaintance who asks his help in solving a murder that occurred over 50 years before. As he’s putting the puzzle pieces together in that mystery, his best friend and ex-partner, Ron Peters, and family are drowning in their own problems when Ron is the lead suspect in the murder of his ex-wife. Long Time Gone was a fun and entertaining novel.
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