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Partner In Crime Spa Mass Market Paperback – Jul 10 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Jul 10 2003
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; 1 Reprint edition (July 10 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380804700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380804702
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,429,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this chilling novel, the prolific Jance successfully brings together her dyspeptic Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont (Birds of Prey, etc.) and Cochise County, Ariz., Sheriff Joanna Brady (Paradise Lost, etc.). When artist Rochelle Baxter is murdered in Bisbee, Ariz., Brady's department is stunned that Baxter's next of kin is not a person but the Washington State Attorney General's Office. Baxter was Latisha Wall, an industrial whistle-blower in a Washington witness protection program pending her testimony at an important trial. Beaumont, now an investigator for the AG, is sent to Arizona to determine if Wall's cover was blown. The enraged Brady interprets his arrival as personal criticism; Beaumont feels uncomfortable with her resentment and with being in the hometown of his second wife, the serial killer Anne Rowland Corley. After a second murder, the two investigators develop mutual respect and even a physical attraction. The convoluted plot builds to a surprising solution, though the floundering romance ultimately comes off as forced. The most frightening feature is the cause of death--sodium azide, an odorless, tasteless, unregulated chemical used in automobile air bags. Jance highlights the differences between her two protagonists by alternating Beaumont's first-person narration (despite her Seattle sleuth's dislike of Arizona's desolate scenery, the author describes it beautifully) with Brady's third-person chapters, which show how Brady, her staff and family handle pressure.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Jance is famed for two series, one featuring big-city detective J.P. Beaumont and the other small-town Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady. Here, in a case involving the murder of an out-of-state attorney on Brady's turf, the two meet explosively.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm pretty well used to that by now. I was impressed with Jance's plotting, her descriptions and her characters. She seems to be a fine writer and I have no doubt that I would rate the book higher if I ever force myself to finish it. Unfortunately, my "whine" tolerance factor is set very low and everyone in her cast -- aside from two very minor characters -- enjoys large doses of whine with their cheese. I held on through chapter four but finally bailed when I realized the situation was not getting any better; indeed, it just deteriorated that much faster. Good plot, good premise and well-written characters, just not anyone I'd tolerate hanging around with unless I were being paid for the trouble.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Combine Tony Award winner Debra Monk with stage and film actor Cotter Smith and you have a powerful double-barreled reading of the latest adventure by ace crime writer J. A. Jance.
Avid Jance fans (and there are many) will remember Seattle based J. P. Beaumont, Washington State Attorney General's Office, and Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Joanna Brady from previous tales. Pairing the two results in combat and combustion.
When Washington State artist Rochelle Baxter is murdered in Arizona, Joanna is shocked to learn that the victim was slain while under government protection. Enter J.P., the newest member of the State's Investigation team. Joanna sees his arrival as interference, which she thoroughly resents.
However, she's under orders to cooperate so she reluctantly does until she learns that he may be the only one she can trust.
Do this unlikely duo become romantically involved? Are they a match for the deadly forces allied against them?
The fun's in finding out through a crisply written narrative that's superbly read.
- Gail Cooke
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really had a fun time with this novel. I found the crime believable (frighteningly so), the pacing brisk but not rushed, and the interaction between Brady and Beaumont realistic. I was startled by their "moment" together, but have come to the conclusion that it was more out of character for Beaumont to reject it than for Brady to instigate it (she wasn't connecting well with Butch and found herself with a man she has expended a lot of emotional energy against; a man who, like her, had lost a spouse; a man who understood and appreciated her law-enforcement skills - add to that the fact she had been put through the wringer by Ken Junior and Marliss Shackleford, lost Sadie, and hadn't been eating properly and you've got a recipe for disaster).
I was less thrilled with the behavior of the murderer in his attempt to flee justice. If the APB goes out for a man with gray hair and a long ponytail ... well that's nothing that a pair of scissors and a bottle of Grecian Formula can't fix. Why go to all the trouble he did when much simpler solutions existed. A few threads were left hanging at the end of the book, too: What did Ernie find at the post office, who saw the "moment" and what did they do about it, did Naomi Pepper grow a pair or is her mom really going to come between her and Beau - inquiring minds want to know.
Ultimately, this is a story of survivors. Sure, not everyone survives (it's not much of a murder mystery if everyone makes it through okay), but Jance focuses more attention on those that do than she has recently. Cornelia Lester's story is particularly tragic, Serenity Granger's almost humorous.
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Format: Hardcover
I follow Jance's Joanna Brady series but never got into the Beaumont character. So I must admit I opened this book with misgivings: would Beaumont's presence dilute the tone and style of the Joanna Brady character?
To my surprise, Beaumont's addition actually allows the reader to observe new dimensions of Joanna Brady. He provides a foil that may be missing in the rest of the series. He's tough and hard-edged; she's a good cop who takes the day off when her daughter's dog dies. He is alone in the world; she is smothered in family.
Actually, Joanna's character has always seemed somewhat one-dimensional to me -- certainly not as deep as other female heroines, such as Anna Pigeon or Sharon McCone (especially in later novels) or Kate Shugack. She's a sheriff and a mom, doing a good job with both. She has an interfering mother and great in-laws. But how did she get to be such a good sheriff -- by living with her father and husband? By drawing on her former skills as an office manager?
And what conflicts does she face, internally or externally? In this book, her new husband, Butch, gets frustrated by her schedule (didn't he think about this before they got married?) and wants to put electric trains in their future family room. what?
Joanna's story is told in third person, as usual, creating further distance. Beaumont, narrating in first person, is the sad detective with a past, trying to find a new job in the unfortunately named Special Unit.
The story is a classic whodunit: Woman found dead, boyfriend first suspect, but victim's ties to out-of-state crime soon become evident -- and, I think, a little far-fetched. There's not much mystery and we soon realize who committed the crime.
What Jance does best is create the setting in Bisbee, Arizona.
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