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A missing teenager and an octogenarian found dead of apparently natural causes are pretty run-of-the-mill cases in Bisbee, Arizona, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is focusing on the last-minute details of her upcoming wedding. In this latest outing in Judith Jance's Brady series, the connection between the two events is a thin one. In the author's capable hands, however, it's enough to drive this well-plotted mystery to a credible conclusion.
Fifteen-year-old Lucy Ridder dreads her mother's release from prison, eight years after she was convicted of killing Lucy's beloved father. Lucy is aware that her mother's priority is not a family reunion but the retrieval of a mysterious diskette entrusted to Lucy by her dad shortly before his death. After inadvertently witnessing her mother's brutal slaying by a stranger who's also hot after the diskette, Lucy vanishes. It takes most of the novel for Joanna to figure out that Lucy's disappearance is tied to her mother's murder, and for good reasons. Besides the distraction of her pending nuptials, the sheriff has been accused of killing her elderly, beloved neighbor for financial gain. Because the reader knows the truth of both situations very early in the game, Joanna's delayed awareness doesn't pack as much wallop as it might. The greater mystery is whether she'll strangle her wedding-obsessed mother before she and her too-good-to-be-true fiancé make it to the altar. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Southwestern mysteries continue to grow in popularity, with Jance's series, set in southern Arizona, one of the strongest entries in the subgenre. The new novel to feature Sheriff Joanna Brady opens at the entrance to a desert canyon called the Cochise Stronghold, where Sandra Ridder, who is part Apache, is trying to retrieve an item she buried eight years ago, before going to prison for killing her husband. The next day hikers find her corpse, while Sandra's 15-year-old daughter, Lucinda, and the girl's pet red-tailed hawk go missing. Could Lucinda, who seems to be a troubled loner, have killed her mother as revenge for her father's murder? Joanna starts to investigate shortly before she's to be married. Then Clayton Rhodes, the neighbor who helps feed Joanna's animals, dies suddenly, and unexpectedly bequeaths his ranch to her. Clayton's estranged daughter feels she should have inherited the property. Unreasonably and viciously, she blames Joanna for exerting undue influence over her father. The tangled threads of Joanna's personal life come close to overwhelming her professional one, and she has to exercise all of her time management skills to keep the murder inquiry on track. Her fianc?, Butch Dixon, comes off as way too perfect to be human, but his parents, in an amusing touch, are seriously dysfunctional. Sometimes the dialogue is stiff, but generally this is a solid installment in a worthy series. The Arizona desert, as usual in Jance's mysteries, plays an unforgettable part in this atmospheric tale. Mystery Guild dual main selection. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I believe this novel I read of JA Jance. Although it is a great book, I was disappointed to find that I had read it many, many years ago so I discarded it from my Kindle.Published 17 months ago by Carol Walker
This whole series is really a joy to read. The author can take Joanna from introspection to inspection of a crime scene in a few pages with very little problem in the transition. Read morePublished on Jan. 8 2003 by apoem
This is the first book I read from J.A. Jance, so I'm not very familiar with her work , so I'll try to read more of her later. Read morePublished on June 24 2002 by Victor Abud
I think I've read all of the Joanna Brady series published to date, and Devil's Claw is the last one I will read. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2002
Having just returned from two weeks in Tucson, this mystery hit the spot (and wrecked other weekend plans). The place names added a greater touch of credibility for me. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2002 by Robert J. Schwarz
I wasn't particularly interested in reading another story about a missing computer disc, but I stayed with this story because I liked the characters. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2001 by N. Sausser
The bottom line: I really didn't like this book. I found the plot and action to be very slow moving and uninteresting. One thing I did like was Sheriff Brady. Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2001 by Brad Stonecipher
This book contains three stories involving Joanna Brady, the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona. First, we have the crime story involving an old murder, a current murder, and a... Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2001 by Paul Skinner