Buy Used
CDN$ 7.10
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Almost in new condition. Book shows only very slight signs of use. Cover and binding are undamaged and pages show minimal use . Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Thriftbooks is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Juan Doe Murders Library Binding – Nov 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Library Binding
"Please retry"
CDN$ 107.39 CDN$ 7.10

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product Details

  • Library Binding: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786228970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786228973
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,868,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

About the Author

Edgar Award Nominee If you love CSI or NCIS, you’ll love the mysteries of Noreen Ayres. This Edgar Award finalist was writing memorable and compelling crime fiction with a focus on forensics long before those shows emerged on the scene. She broke new ground in the crime fiction genre with The Juan Doe Murders and her two prior suspense novels featuring Smokey Brandon, an ex-Las-Vegas-stripper-and-police-officer-turned forensic criminalist. Smokey finds herself involved cases that cut a little too close to home – and Ayres’ plucky heroine is as sunny and complex as the Southern California world where she solves crimes. In addition to her novels, Ayres is also an acclaimed short-story writer. Her stories have been featuring in many mystery and suspense anthologies and earned her an Edgar Award nomination for “Delta Double Deal,” her contribution to the collection The Night Awakens. For gritty police procedurals with a fun and sexy twist, Noreen Ayres’ Smokey Brandon series can’t be beat. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By col2910 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 6 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
The third entry in Noreen Ayres’ Smokey Brandon series originally published back in 2000.

Brandon is a former stripper, former cop and a long-time widow currently working as a forensic scientist. We have a series of murders involving Hispanic victims, initially unidentified and unclaimed. Brandon as part of a larger investigative team puts names to the victims and eventually in a somewhat fortuitous manner of convenience, gets a steer towards a possible perpetrator and motive from the grown-up son, David of her partner-cum-boyfriend, Joe (also a forensics expert).

A bit plodding for me and a little bit too much of Smokey, which because I didn’t feel anything towards her other than indifference, made the book drag. Leisurely diversions away from the case, de-weeding bamboo canes with a bunch of tree huggers didn’t help. Even if it did offer Smokey a potential rival to Joe for her favours.

David’s reticence to disclose what he knew, partly through fear, partly through fear of disappointing his father, also stunted the pace of the book.

In the end we got where we were going, and there were enough incidents along the way, including a massive bit of personal trauma through bereavement, to make the book an okay read, but not better than that I’m afraid.

On balance a 3 from 5.

I’m not driven to seek out the earlier two mysteries in the series; which are A World the Color of Salt (1992) and Carcass Trade (1994).

The Juan Doe Murders has been recently republished by Brash Books, who were kind enough to provide this one for review.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
“In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.” - Douglas MacArthur

The battlefield. Blood and fear, hatred and death. But it isn’t only the battlefield where these things lie. Even here, in the arms of the supposed “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” the roar of the battlefield shrieks aloud – carrying blood and fear, hatred and death to the innocent, the child, the weak wishing only for food, shelter, a new life.

As a Forensic Specialist, Smokey Brandon knows all about the horrors visited on those who can’t protect themselves. The children, the immigrants, the women and men who are lost and hidden. And California’s newest serial killer is the latest to prey upon the hidden and the vulnerable. Of course, in Orange County the whole Ideal is ‘cover it up, because it couldn’t ever happen in our perfect little rich-man’s world”. But the horrific mutilation of the first victim sets all Smokey’s warning signals flaring. And as the bodies of Hispanics pile up, it is a race to find the perpetrator.

Ayres is brutally realistic in her portrayals of the crimes, the characters, and the attitudes that make up the undercurrents of a deeper story – the immigration, sometimes illegal, of Hispanics across the borders from Mexico to the US. You are dropped right in on the first scene from the beginning, no build-up, no easing in. Just a mutilated young girl, left to rot in a filthy bedroom, in a filthy house.

This was my first Smokey Brandon. Her third book, after “Carcass Trade” and “A World the Color of Salt”. I fully intend to go back and read the first two in order to “catch up” as it were.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Library Binding
Although part of a series, this book works as a stand-alone, (although if you're planning to read the series, I recommend starting with A World the Color of Salt.) Smokey Brandon, one-time stripper and now an evidence tech for a California crime lab, faces her toughest challenge yet in The Juan Doe murders. A couple of new characters are introduced, including the adult son of Smokey's older divorced lover. This book is edgy and suspenseful, as are all of Noreen's books, but this one took a dark, unexpected twist at the end. As always, Noreen's writing is crisp and true. Fans of Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell will enjoy her graphic detail.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Library Binding
Noreen Ayres adds to her Smokey Brandon series with the darkest and most moody installment yet. The suspense is as heavy as fog, and the menace of the narrative is unrelenting. The novel asks you in, and it won't let you leave.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa2064b28) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9faf07f8) out of 5 stars the best yet in the smokey brandon series Jan. 30 2004
By Christel Doucette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Although part of a series, this book works as a stand-alone, (although if you're planning to read the series, I recommend starting with A World the Color of Salt.) Smokey Brandon, one-time stripper and now an evidence tech for a California crime lab, faces her toughest challenge yet in The Juan Doe murders. A couple of new characters are introduced, including the adult son of Smokey's older divorced lover. This book is edgy and suspenseful, as are all of Noreen's books, but this one took a dark, unexpected twist at the end. As always, Noreen's writing is crisp and true. Fans of Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell will enjoy her graphic detail.
HASH(0x9faf0a44) out of 5 stars A strong series entry with important messages June 26 2015
By Leiah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
“In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.” - Douglas MacArthur

The battlefield. Blood and fear, hatred and death. But it isn’t only the battlefield where these things lie. Even here, in the arms of the supposed “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” the roar of the battlefield shrieks aloud – carrying blood and fear, hatred and death to the innocent, the child, the weak wishing only for food, shelter, a new life.

As a Forensic Specialist, Smokey Brandon knows all about the horrors visited on those who can’t protect themselves. The children, the immigrants, the women and men who are lost and hidden. And California’s newest serial killer is the latest to prey upon the hidden and the vulnerable. Of course, in Orange County the whole Ideal is ‘cover it up, because it couldn’t ever happen in our perfect little rich-man’s world”. But the horrific mutilation of the first victim sets all Smokey’s warning signals flaring. And as the bodies of Hispanics pile up, it is a race to find the perpetrator.

Ayres is brutally realistic in her portrayals of the crimes, the characters, and the attitudes that make up the undercurrents of a deeper story – the immigration, sometimes illegal, of Hispanics across the borders from Mexico to the US. You are dropped right in on the first scene from the beginning, no build-up, no easing in. Just a mutilated young girl, left to rot in a filthy bedroom, in a filthy house.

This was my first Smokey Brandon. Her third book, after “Carcass Trade” and “A World the Color of Salt”. I fully intend to go back and read the first two in order to “catch up” as it were. Smokey is a very well rounded character, even jumping in in what could be called ‘the middle of the tale’ and I enjoyed not only her, but the other characters as well. The forensics and police procedure is believable as is the character of OC. If you are interested in a good forensic/police procedure with solid characters and storyline, this is a series to put on your reading list.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9faf0c84) out of 5 stars Who is Juan Doe? April 24 2015
By C. S - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Juan Doe Murders
Noreen Ayres
This is a 5 star without a doubt. Ayers is a new writer for me. However, this is her third book featuring Smokey Brandon. The first two "A World the Color of Salt"and "Carcass Trade", were written in the mid 90's.

Ex-cop and ex-Las Vegas stripper Smokey Brandon is now a forensics specialist (CSI) working from the crime lab in Orange County, CA. Her partner, and lover, is Joe Sanders. Smokey's job is to collect, analyze, and preserve the physical evidence from crime scenes. She aids in the solving of horrible murders through meticulus investigation.
She is very good at her job.

This book doesn't have the usual basic buildup to the story. Ayres starts in the middle of the crime scene and you get the full force of what Smokey sees. A young Hispanic woman who was beaten, raped and mutilated. She had been in the country for about six months. Smokey has the edge on the police, she has access to the crime lab and the pathology lab. She notices that some of the Hispanic murders of young men, even though they happen in different parts of the county, are similar.

I liked that the story not only delved into the forensec science but we got to see the softer side of Smokey. She is a bird watcher and volunteers with various cleanup and aid groups. She even has a pet guinea pig.

The characters are very well developed and the murder/thriller plot is very realistic. Ayers paints a vivid picture of the murders and the effect on everyone involved. The added presure to solve several seemingly random cases. It is Smokey who supects that they are connected. When Joe's son, David, contacts her about several of the deceased men she has another decision. Should she trust David and check his suspesions or take him to the Detectives on the case?

I had the Kindle version and listened straight through. Several times I backtracked to check an area or clue. I like to verify facts.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9faf0f00) out of 5 stars I liked it even though I couldn't connect with the character. April 18 2015
By Autumn Fallen Over Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review. 3.5 stars.
I saw the title of the book and that is what caught my attention I didn't even read the blurb to this book and that is something that I normally don't do. I have to say after reading the blurb I know that Smokey is a female. For the longest time I kept wondering if Smokey was a male or female and though it wasn't a big thing it drove me crazy.
Now I see this book is part of series but it does good as a stand alone so it doesn't seem you miss anything from not reading the previous books.
Smokey is a crime technician and now she is trying to put together the pieces of what connects all these people that seem to be possibly Hispanic. While she is trying to put the puzzle together she also is trying to help out her I believe boyfriend Joe's son David and what he is going through.
David seems to be harboring a secret and when it finally comes out it seems what he knows can help solve who the victims of the crime are.
There is some action not a lot, but the author was very detailed in telling us what was going on. Especially inside the ME's room. I learned some things that I never knew before such as one of them being lighting a paper towel to let the gas be released inside of a body. That was very cool fact to add into the book.
Though the story line was good and I believe I will pick up more books from this author, the character Smokey was not one I connected with. Even though I think the job she has is freaking amazing she felt very flat for me.
I also though the way she would talk to David about his problem that he had going on didn't feel real enough for me. It was like she didn't know what to say to him I suppose? When you read the book the dialogue between them two characters you may know what I mean.
There is some romance but nothing that takes away from the murders or crime solving of what is going on. Nothing is really too gruesome in the book being as there is not graphic detail of the murders but you do get an idea.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9faf1210) out of 5 stars Noreen Ayres is a Good Writer March 28 2015
By Paul Dale Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Juan Doe Murders by Noreen Ayres. Brash Books.
Great writing right from page one to the end. The Juan Doe Murders is the first book I’ve read by Noreen Ayres, and the third Smokey Brandon forensic mystery. Normally, I’m turned off by first person narratives. But the writing is so wonderfully concise that I couldn’t stop reading. Ayres describes forensic procedures in intimate accurate detail. Her descriptions of evidence collection and the politics of policing is spot-on, and her imagery is faultless. Here’s an example of imagery to die for: “Irvine is a vast, flat, master-planned and virtually antiseptic city so dirt-free you could drop a sandwich, pick it up, and eat it without a thought. A breeze could blow between buildings of the business park where the body was found and not lift a single leaf. It was not a place where you might imagine a man to be sitting against a white wall with a bullet drilled through his head.”
Notice the way her alliteration works? That’s poetry in action.
Ayres mixes narration with realistic dialogue. Not too much of either, just the right mix. Reading The Juan Doe Murders is a pleasure. The story flows effortlessly.
The storyline itself is a hardboiled mystery with plenty of dead bodies. Smokey Brandon is a county-wide crime scene investigator in California. Unidentified Hispanic John Does are turning up all over the place, one right after another. One common denominator is the lack of shell casings at the scene, even when the victim is a supposed suicide. How does one off himself with an automatic and not leave behind a shell casing? Also linking several of the victims is the same name on fake IDs: Hector Rios. And the gun-shot residue on their faces indicates they were each shot up close and personal-like.
What I especially liked about this novel were the details other authors often miss: an ME lighting a paper towel above the victim’s abdomen to ignite and disperse smelly escaping gasses released during the Y-opening at autopsy; behaviors of wild birds and other animals, including bloodhounds and guinea pigs; vivid descriptions of California flora; observations of various ways co-workers interact with one another on a daily basis and when under stress; the intended and unintended complications of interpersonal relationships that mess up innocent lives. Ayres takes her sweet time to tie together a lot of loose ends, and the story’s pace does drag a bit in the middle. But there is enough emotional and sexual tension to hold the reader’s interest as complications abound.
The Juan Doe Murders isn’t a perfect novel, but it is an entertaining and enlightening read. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good police procedural.
I received an ARC of this title in exchange for a fair review. I loved Ayres writing so much, I bought her other Smoky Brandon titles from Amazon.


Feedback