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J.A. Jance: Sentenced to Die


Crescent Blues Book Views William Morrow (Hardcover), ISBN 0-06-077603-X

Book: j a jance, sentenced to die
What joy! After reading this book, I remain sorely tempted to send the publisher a thank you note.

J.A. Jance ranks high on my "A" list of favorite authors -- especially her Joanna Brady series -- but I came late to the J.P. Beaumont series and read them out of order in a rather hit or miss fashion. Sentenced to Die, containing the first three Beaumont books, answers questions I didn't know lurked in the depths of my mind. If Beaumont remains on your menu of books unread, and you love detective fiction, then I would guess this book presents a literary feast. But one that will leave you hungry for more of J.P. Beaumont, a hero to amaze, delight and leave you breathless.

Book one, Until Proven Guilty, finds Beaumont investigating the murder of a little girl. One clue after another leads him into a mire of religious fanaticism and new love that twists and turns, pulling him in deeper and deeper until he learns a very hard truth: Love can bring back old memories and demons to haunt him. Love can also kill.

Book two, Injustice for All, destroys Beaumont's vacation with a dark brew of murder, politics and a beautiful blonde in need of comfort. Did I mention the lady has a husband? Or that she discovers the first body? Beaumont, never one to turn away from an intriguing mystery, follows the leads to the bitter end.

Book three, Trial by Fury, involves the Seattle detective in yet another beguiling mystery, one seemingly at odds with a present day modern city in the Pacific Northwest. The investigation into the fatal lynching of a black football coach found naked in a dumpster encompasses both his very pregnant wife and a very dangerous secret. Again Beaumont proves experience, intuition, and dogged sleuthing can uncover most hidden vices.

I suppose you've guessed that I give Sentenced to Die my highest recommendation -- and that I cherish the hope the publisher brings out the next three Beaumont books.

Patricia Lucas White

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