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Breach of Duty: A J.P. Beaumont Mystery Hardcover – February 1, 1999
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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In Breach of Duty, after a three year hiatus, J.A. Jance resumes her Seattle-based mystery series featuring homicide detective Jonas Piedmont Beaumont. The novel begins on Lake Chelan (in eastern Washington State) as Beau scatters his grandfather's ashes in the water. The reflective moment offers Jance a perfect opportunity to get new readers up to speed with her hero (and offers a quick refresher course for the many ongoing Jance fans). Beau has struggled through a hard life of alcoholism and two failed marriages, but now, just maybe, he's pulled things together. After his return to Seattle, his new partner, Sue Danielson, bombards him with two cases and a number of leads. A 67-year-old woman named Agnes Ferman burned to death in her bed. After $300,000 was discovered in her garage, the police rightly began to suspect murder. At almost the same time, a group of teenagers discovered the long-dead body of a Native American man--possibly connected to recent hate crime. Sue and Beau plunge into both cases while they begin to learn a bit more about each other.
One of the pleasures of Beau's narrative is his constant, unspoken (and often hilariously sarcastic) asides to the reader. Meanwhile, Beau's sensitivity to Sue and her personal struggles suggest great promise for this couple. In the end, a diverse collection of oddball characters, a comprehensive sense of Seattle and environs, and a strong pairing of mystery plots make this another winning installment in Jance's much-beloved series. The tale of J.P. Beaumont began with Until Proven Guilty in 1985, and has included award-winners Without Due Process and Failure to Appear among its 14 books. --Patrick O'Kelley
From Publishers Weekly
In his 14th outing (and first in three years), Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont (Name Withheld, etc.) finds, along with his new partner, Sue Danielson, that seemingly ho-hum investigations grow in grim complexity even as personal distractions multiply. The pair has been assigned to investigate the arson death of Agnes Ferman, a woman disliked by just about everyone; the more than $300,000 found tucked away in her garage points to plenty of suspects. In Seattle's Seward Park, meanwhile, a group of costumed, role-playing teens have been using human bones in their games. Beau is warned that the bones may be those of Quinault shaman David Half Moon, and that anyone handling them is in grave danger. Beau scoffs, but when some of those associated with the investigation meet violent ends, he and Sue develop open minds. Adding texture to the doings are Sue's troubles centering around the sudden reappearance of her violent ex-husband, who, uncharacteristically, wants to take their sons on a dream trip to Disneyland. A coincidence?that most of the Seward Park suspects regularly congregate at one of Beau's haunts?stains the narrative, but otherwise Jance, as usual, relates a clean and tightly woven plot distinguished by authentic dialogue, honest emotions and characters readers will care about.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.