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Skeleton Canyon Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Aug 1 1998
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (Aug. 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380724332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380724338
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,043,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Although J.A. Jance and Tony Hillerman (Coyote Waits, The Fallen Man) are in many ways poles apart as mystery writers, they are united on at least two fronts: their appreciation of the hypnotically arid beauty of the American Southwest; and their sense that this landscape is peculiarly capable of engendering horrific violence. In Skeleton Canyon Jance writes: "Overhead, the stars shone like glittering diamonds against a velvet sky. The starlight was so bright that the mountains, rocks, and trees around her emerged from the gloom. Sitting there in the half-lit dark of Skeleton Canyon, it was easy for Brianna to sense time falling away from her. This rugged, almost empty corner of the Arizona desert had changed so little that even now an occasional jaguar, roaming north from the mountains of Mexico, had been spotted by a solitary rancher. And if the wild canyons of the Peloncillos still played host to an assortment of wildlife, it wasn't so far off to imagine that human outlaws still ranged that same habitat as well."

Brianna O'Brien never returns from Skeleton Canyon, where she had waited under cover of darkness to rendezvous, à la Juliet and Romeo, with her boyfriend, Ignacio Ybarra. In investigating Brianna's murder, Sheriff Joanna Brady must confront both the blatant racism of the O'Brien family--horrified to discover that their daughter could have been involved with a Mexican boy--and the family's dark past. There are skeletons in canyons, and skeletons as well locked behind the doors of the sprawling O'Brien compound. Home is where the heart is--but home is also host to a lethal nest of lies, greed, and secrets. --Kelly Flynn

From Library Journal

Joanna Brady, sheriff of Tombstone and star of Jance's award-winning mystery series, is summoned to the murderously hot Skeleton Canyon to investigate a killing.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joanna Brady is the no-nonsense sheriff of a border town in Arizona, and she is thoroughly delightful in this story of murder in the treacherous canyons near the Mexican border.
The recently widowed mother of a 10-year-old girl, Joanna cannot help but be moved by the vicious murder of Brianna O'Brien, the beautiful and popular daughter of the town's most prominent family. The reader, too, is drawn into Brianna's all-too-brief life, and is there with her in Skeleton Canyon as she joyously awaits the arrival of her secret lover, Ignacio Ybarra, equally young, beautiful, and deeply in love. Brianna does not live to meet her lover--but who killed her? And why? It's up to Joanna to find out, and her job is much hampered by the arrogance of Brianna's father, whose distrust of the local law enforcement community is matched only by his racial hatred of Mexican-Americans.
Brianna and Ignacio were involved in a forbidden love affair, at least by the senior O'Brian's lights. Did he find out and have his own daughter killed? It seems highly unlikely, since Ignacio is very much alive--and a suspect. But why would he murder his beloved? What secrets in the O'Brian family coalesced to cause this inevitable tragedy?
While Joanna and her crew struggle to find the answers, the reader is treated to magnificent descriptions of the rugged Southwest, whose beauty masks murderous dangers such as killer flash floods. Equally interesting is the supporting cast: Joanna's friend Angie, a former hooker turned straight; two old and entertaining drunks in the bar where Angie works; Joanna's indomitable mother, who has a secret of her own; and more.
This is the 5th in the Joanna Brady series, and the first I have read. It stands alone beautifully, but got me so hooked that I must get my hands on the next book immediately! Highly recommended for mystery lovers looking for a good, strong, read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a big fan of Tony Hillerman and Rudolfo Anaya, I was looking for another author to quench my southwest mystery thirst so I came about Skeleton Canyon as my first J.A. Jance novel.
Overall, the novel was entertaining. The author does a good enough job with the main character's backgrounds that you don't need to read the previous novels to understand their motivations, back stories, etc.
New characters are described just as well, and the reader can really identify with these 'genuine' people and not outlandish or stereotypical cutouts.
The story itself was fresh as was the mystery, though it did take a while to really delve into the mystery. For a novel that is just shy of 400 pages, it seems that the mystery aspect didn't really take off until midway through. However, the preceding setups and side stories are entertaining enough to push the novel forward anyway, keeping the reader's attention despite the lack of early mystery.
The only disappointment I had was with the lack of southwestern flair I am used to with a Hillerman novel. Though the novel takes place in Arizona, near the border of Mexico, there is little reference to local culture, native American theology, a typical south west descriptors.
The payoff/climax is good and there were a few twists at the end that I found debatable between a little 'convenient' and unique. The last chapter in itself had little to do with the novel, or even less of a future setup for a next book. Just seemed a bit odd in placement and context, but not bad.
Overall a good read, and look forward to other Joanna Brady novels.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joanna Brady seems more decisive and more skilled in her job as sheriff of Cochise Country, Arizona, in this installment of the series. Her co-workers still doubt her ability at times, but her straightforward approach and honesty seem to be winning them over. In this book, a young teenager, Bree O'Brien, is brutally murdered on the way to a rendezvous with her secret lover, Ignacio Yberra. Her father, who harbors a prejudice against Mexicans, immediately blames Ignacio. Mr. O'Brien is a wealthy and influential man who counts the Governor as a close friend, so Joanna has to approach the case in a careful and discreet manner. She decides to treat it as any other case, and is criticized by a local reporter for not giving it a higher priority. At the same time she is drawn into a case where illegal Freon from Mexico is being smuggled into Arizona. Eventually these two cases prove to have some common threads. On the home front, Joanna's daughter Jenny goes off to camp for the first time, with the usual angst on the part of both mother and daughter. Joanna's mother Eleanor pulls a very surprising move which leaves her a bit bewildered. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good mystery with a look into the personal life of the heroine.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the hard copy version. As usual, I started with the editor's synopsis inside the jacket, but in this one, the editor must not have read the book. No, the parents are not clamoring for Sheriff Brady to arrest the football star. The book is pleasant enough, and fast reading, but it is incredible that most of the subplots eventually tie together. That's too much of a coincidence for me. I found the climatic scene in the canyon a bit difficult to follow. It seems like Joanna Brady would have been killed had that really occurred.
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