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Desert Heat Mm Mass Market Paperback – Feb 12 1993


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (Feb. 12 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380765454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380765454
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #915,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
JOANNA BRADY stepped to the doorway of the screened back porch and stared out into the night. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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By C. T. Mikesell on Jan. 27 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Desert Heat, J.A. Jance manages to do several things very well: she establishes likeable primary and secondary characters ( ... and then there's Maude, er, Eleanor, Joanna Brady's mother, who's well-established and *dis*likeable); she makes a bold departure (both geographically and tonally) from the J.P. Beaumont Seattle series; and sets up a decent mystery (more Lifetime than HBO, though a couple scenes wouldn't be out of place on Cinemax). A few things aren't quite Grade-A, however: the plot itself is lightweight and Joanna has a tendency to ramble in her dialogue.
Although this is the first in the series, if you've read other Joanna Brady books first, go ahead and read this one too. The pace moves quickly and it's always good to read a character's origins firsthand.
While the bar - to a certain degree - is set low, the novel certainly doesn't disappoint. Because there is room for improvement, the other books in the series keep getting better and better
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By tertius3 on Aug. 7 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first in the long Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County series. It shows the sad family events that initially pushed Joanna, as the wife of a deputy sheriff, into law enforcement. Joanna is a determined, able, and frank talking woman who must deal with an allegedly suicidal, drug-dealing, and cheating husband. It's not really a "suspense" novel, as personal threats are few and Joanna sorta backs into solving the crime. The story is set up well with empathetic family situations and loyalties, but towards the end the plot goes ratty, a couple of glaring holes in the plot conveniently appearing as Jance races to wrap up the story. I think Jance also severely underplays local Arizona color and ambiance: this novel could be happen anywhere, quite unlike the great specificity and plot drivers of Hillerman or McGarrity's novels that could only be set in New Mexico. I hope Jance gets better in later novels, for this one doesn't generate much heat. For some reason this Avon pb is printed in rather large print, which may contribute to why it's a nicely fast and easy read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Desert Heat in a nice introduction to the Joanna Brady series of books. Joanna Brady is a happily married mother of one, when her husband Andy, a local police officer, is shot on his way home. Determined to find out who killed Andy, and why his reputation is being destroyed by innuendo and gossip, Joanna sets out to solve the mystery of his death on her own.
The pace of the book is fairly fast, and there are an assortment of interesting characters throughout the story. Joanna Brady is also smart, and tough, but with a touch of vulnerability. The setting of the Arizona desert is almost a character in the book, with nice descriptions. The ending leaves you wanting to follow up on the further adventures of Joanna Brady and company.
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By Todd on Sept. 26 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Desert Heat, J.A. Jance introduces us to Joanna Brady, a happily married young woman who sells life insurance in the town of Bisbee, Arizona. Together with her husband, Andy, who is a Cochise County sheriff's deputy, and their bright 9-year old daughter, Joanna leads a comfortable and happy small-town life - comfortable and happy, that is, until the night of her tenth wedding anniversary when she finds her husband lying shot and near death in a desert ravine not far from home.
Almost before he is transported to the hospital, rumors begin to circulate that Andy is a good cop turned bad and that he tried to commit suicide rather than to risk having his shady dealings with drug smugglers exposed. Of course, Joanna doesn't believe any of the rumors and sets out on a mission to find the true story and to find Andy's attacker.
This series debut manages to successfully combine a cast of very believable and well-developed characters with an intriguing mystery and a unique setting. The "whodunit" is solved early on, but the reader is left trying to understand the "why" until nearly the end. The story unfolds at a steady pace and there is little fever-pitch action or edge-of-your-seat suspense; however, that's actually an advantage as it makes the story quite believable and is consistent with life in a small town like Bisbee. Despite the deliberate pace, plenty of surprises throughout do keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.
Desert Heat is a quick and enjoyable read for those who enjoy a good mystery set in the desert southwest. With such a strong debut, I've definitely become a Joanna Brady (and J.A. Jance) fan and am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
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By D. P. Birkett on Sept. 21 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked the Arizona scene-setting - birds and beasts and landscape nicely done. A good, and even useful, description of a family coping with grief. The wife and parents and child (and dog) of the victim come together in moving way to cope with bereavement, and are helped by a minister (although it's quite high on sex and violence). I think the reviewer who complained of exposition has a point. She tends to tell us what to think of a character before showing us. For example Joanna Brady's parents are introduced as "rock-solid, salt-of the earth type people" Not as much humor as I personally like, although a certain amount in the portrait of Joanna's non-supportive mother. No great dialog. No great prose. She gets along with telling the story.
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