Partner in Crime (Joanna Brady Series #10 / J. P. Beaumont Series #16)

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Overview

"The dead woman was an artist recently arrived from Washington State, cruelly cut down in the early stages of a promising career. Now all that remains of Rochelle Baxter lies on a cold slab in the Cochise County morgue, and Sheriff Joanna Brady knows that murder has once again infected her small desert community. But there is more to this homicide than initially meets the eye - and more to the victim, who died while supposedly under the conscientious protection of the government." "The big-city legal establishment has no faith in the abilities of ...
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Partner in Crime (Joanna Brady Series #10 / J. P. Beaumont Series #16)

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Overview

"The dead woman was an artist recently arrived from Washington State, cruelly cut down in the early stages of a promising career. Now all that remains of Rochelle Baxter lies on a cold slab in the Cochise County morgue, and Sheriff Joanna Brady knows that murder has once again infected her small desert community. But there is more to this homicide than initially meets the eye - and more to the victim, who died while supposedly under the conscientious protection of the government." "The big-city legal establishment has no faith in the abilities of a small-town sheriff, let alone a female sheriff. Instructed to swallow her indignation, Joanna awaits the arrival of the "help" Washington's attorney general is sending her: the newest member of the state's Special Homicide Investigation team - a man named Beaumont." "Bisbee, Arizona, is the last place J. P. Beaumont wants to be. The ghosts of a painful past are too numerous there, and his reluctant "partner," Sheriff Brady, resents his intrusion and cannot help but make her feelings known." But the road they are forced to travel together is taking some unexpected turns, running two dedicated servants of the law headfirst into the impenetrable stone walls of a shocking conspiracy of silence. For Brady and Beaumont's hunt is disturbing a very deadly nest of rattlers, and suddenly trust is the only option they have. On their own in the Arizona desert, they know death can be cold and quick. And nobody is watching their backs here...they'll have to watch each other's.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In Partner in Crime, J. A. Jance brings together her two most popular characters, J. P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady. What finally unites these engaging, stubbornly independent crime trackers is a jurisdiction-crossing homicide victim. The corpse was discovered on Sheriff Brady's Cochise County, Arizona turf, but while in a more vibrant form, the murdered woman participated (however unsuccessfully) in the Washington State Attorney General's Witness Protection Program. To close out the official file on the case, Beaumont, the newest member of the AG's Homicide Investigation Team, is dispatched to Bisbee, where he meets Brady, a pack of suspects, and at least one contract killer. For years, the author has been besieged by reader requests for a joint Beaumont and Brady appearance, and this novel is the answer to every Jance fan's dream.
Publishers Weekly
In this chilling novel, the prolific Nance 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. Nance 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.
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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After fifteen J.P. Beaumont mysteries (Devil's Claw, 2000, etc.) and nine Joanna Bradys (Paradise Lost, 2001, etc.), it's clearly time for a Beaumont-Brady, though the joint case isn't terribly challenging to either sleuth. The tale begins in Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Brady's turf, when talented young artist Rochelle Baxter is found dead the night before her first-ever one-woman show. Homicide? Yes, indeed, complicated by the fact that there never was a Rochelle Baxter. The late headliner was actually Latisha Wall, who'd been stashed away in a witness protection program pending a court appearance in behalf of the state of Washington. Enter former Seattle homicide cop Beaumont, currently a special investigator for Washington's bristling attorney general, a boss who's hopping-mad over the loss of his star witness. Back when she answered to Latisha, the ex-marine painter had worked for a private prison corporation-until she blew the whistle on her crooked higher-ups. Was it these self-same lowlifes who did for Latisha, or was it a disappointed lover whose fingerprints have turned up in suspicious proximity to her body? Beau's been dispatched because his big-city masters don't trust "some little wet-behind-the-ears cowgirl" to conduct a proper investigation. Item: Beau and Joanne don't like each other. Item: Beau and Joanne operate at cross-purposes. Item: Beau and Joanne have an ah-ha moment after which they perceive each other's true worth and crack the case. Soft-boiled stuff, but then that's the way the target audience likes its eggs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380804702
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/9/2003
  • Series: Joanna Brady Series , #10
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

J. A. Jance

J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and four interrelated thrillers about the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle and Tucson.

Biography

Considering J. A. Jance's now impressive career -- which includes two massively popular mystery series and status as a New York Times bestseller -- it may be difficult to believe that she was initially strongly discouraged from literary pursuits. A chauvinistic creative writing professor advised her to seek out a more "ladylike" job, such as nurse or schoolteacher. Moreover, her alcoholic husband (a failed Faulkner wannabe) assured her there was room in the family for only one writer, and he was it. Determined to make her doomed marriage work, Jance put her writing on the back burner. But while her husband slept, she penned the visceral poems that would eventually be collected in After the Fire.

Jance next chose to use her hard times in a more unlikely manner. Encouraged by an editor to try writing fiction after a failed attempt at a true-crime book, she created J. P. Beaumont, a homicide detective with a taste for booze. Beaumont's drinking problem was clearly linked to Jance's dreadful experiences with her first husband; but, as she explains it: "Beaumont was smart enough to sober up, once the problem was brought to his attention. My husband, on the other hand, died of chronic alcoholism at age 42." So, from misfortune grew one of the most popular characters in modern mystery fiction. Beaumont debuted in 1985's Until Proven Guilty -- and, after years of postponing her writing career, Jance was on her way.

As a sort of light flipside to the dark Beaumont, Jance created her second series in 1991. Inspired by the writer's happier role as a mom, plucky small-town sheriff Joanna Brady was introduced in Desert Heat and struck an immediate chord with readers. In 2005, Jance added a third story sequence to her repertoire with Edge of Evil, featuring Ali Reynolds, a former TV reporter-turned-professional blogger.

And so, the adventures continue! A career such as Jance's would be extraordinary under any circumstances, but considering the obstacles she overcame to become a bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist, her tale is all the more compelling. As she explains it: "One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that everything -- even the bad stuff -- is usable."

Good To Know

Geographically speaking, Jance is equal parts J. P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady. She splits her time between Beaumont's big-city home of Seattle and Brady's desert residence of Arizona.

Before her writing career become truly lucrative, Jance made little more than "fun money" off her books, and on her web site, she wryly recalls "the Improbable Cause trip to Walt Disney World; the Minor in Possession memorial powder room; the Payment in Kind memorial hot tub."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Judith Ann Jance
    2. Hometown:
      Bellevue, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 27, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Watertown, South Dakota
    1. Education:
      B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



As Sheriff Joanna Brady drove through the last thicket of mesquite, the house at High Lonesome Ranch lay dark and still under a rising moon. Usually her daughter Jenny's two dogs -- Sadie, a bluetick hound, and Tigger, a half golden retriever/half pit-bull mutt -- would have bounded through the undergrowth to meet her. This time, Joanna surmised, they had chosen to accompany Butch on his appointment with the contractor at the site of the new house they were planning to build a mile or so away.

Butch had bugged out of St. Dominick's immediately after the service, while he and Joanna waited for the sanctuary to empty. "I'll stay if you want," he had whispered. "But I really need to go."

"Right," she had told him. "You do what you have to. I'll be fine."

"I'll stop by the house and do the chores first," he said. "Don't worry about that."

Joanna had simply nodded. "Thanks," she said.

By then Yolanda Ortiz Cañedo's grieving husband, her two young sons, her parents, brothers and sister were walking out of the church through two lines of saluting officers made up of both police and fire department personnel. Joanna could barely stand to watch. It was all too familiar, too close to her own experience. As her green eyes filled with tears, Joanna glanced away, only to catch sight of the prisoners. That forlorn group -- eleven county prisoners, freshly barbered and dressed in civilian clothes -- stood in respectful silence, under the watchful eyes of two jail guards and Ted Chapman, the executive director of the Cochise CountyJail Ministry.

Ted had come to Joanna's office the day after the young jail matron had died of cervical cancer at a hospice facility in Tucson. "Some of the inmates would like to go to the services," Chapman had said. "Yolanda Cañedo did a lot of good around here. She really cared about the guys she worked with, and it showed. She helped me get the jail literacy program going, and she came in during off-hours to give individual help to prisoners who were going after GEDs. Some of the people she helped -- inmates who have already been released -- will be there on their own, but the ones who are still in lockup wanted me to ask if they could go, too. The newer prisoners, the ones who came in after Yolanda got sick, aren't included, of course. They have no idea who she was or what she did."

"What about security?" Sheriff Brady had asked. "Who's going to stand guard?"

"I already have two volunteers who will come in on their day off," Chapman answered. "You have my word of honor, along with that of the prisoners, that there won't be any trouble."

Joanna thought about how good some of the jail inmates' words of honor might be. But then she also had to consider the notebook full of greetings -- handmade by jail inmates -- that the Reverend Chapman had brought to Yolanda and her family as the young woman had lain gravely ill in the Intensive Care Unit at University Medical Center in Tucson. Sheriff Brady had been touched by the heartfelt sincerity in all those clumsily pasted-together cards. Several of them had been made by men able to sign their own names at the bottom of a greeting card for the very first time. Other cards had names printed by someone else under scrawled Xs. Their good wishes had seemed genuine enough back then. Now, so did the Reverend Chapman's somewhat unorthodox request.

"How many inmates are we talking about?" Joanna had asked.

"Fourteen."

"Any of them high-risk?"

"I don't think so."

"Give me the list," Joanna had conceded at last. "I'm not making any promises, but I'll run the proposition by the jail commander and see what he has to say."

In the end, eleven of the proposed inmates had been allowed to attend the service. in his eulogy, Father Morris had spoken of Yolanda Cañedo as a remarkable young woman. Certainly the presence of that solemn collection of inmates bore witness to that. And, as far as Joanna could tell, the prisoners' behavior had been nothing short of exemplary.

They stood now in a single straight row. With feet splayed apart and hands clasped behind their backs, they might have been a troop of soldiers standing at ease. Seeing them there, dignified and silent in the warm afternoon sun, Joanna was glad she had vetoed the jail commander's suggestion that they attend the funeral wearing handcuffs and shackles.

Chief Deputy Frank Montoya came up behind her then. "Hey, boss," he whispered in her car. "They're putting the casket into the hearse. Since we're supposed to be directly behind the family cars, we'd better mount up."

Nodding, Joanna left the inmates to the care of the two guards and Ted Chapman and walked back toward Frank's waiting Crown Victoria. Even in heels, the five-foot-four sheriff felt dwarfed as she made her way through the crush of uniformed officers. A light breeze riffled her short red hair.

"Looks like the members of Reverend Chapman's flock are behaving themselves." her chief deputy observed, as he started the Civvie's engine.

"So far so good," Joanna agreed.

"But they're not coming to the cemetery?"

Joanna shook her head. "No. Having them at the church is one thing, but going to the cemetery is something else. If there's any confusion, I was afraid one or more of them might slip away."

"You've got that right," Frank agreed. "We don't need to give your friend Ken Junior anything else to piss and moan about."

"Since when does he need a reason?" Joanna returned.

Ken junior, otherwise known as Deputy Kenneth Galloway, was Sheriff Brady's current problem child. He was the...

Partner in Crime. Copyright © by J. Jance. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

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(24)

4 Star

(14)

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2010

    Another Great One

    I've read all of the Joanna Brady series and some of the J.P. Beaumont. This was a great read, went fast & left me thinking about the characters and the story afterwards. Even though I have never visited Cochise County, Arizona; after reading this series I can envision the locale and feel the richness of the area. J.P.'s locale is just a few hours North of us - the dreary Seattle weather is home!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2005

    A beaut crime novel!

    Oh my gosh...I loved this novel, especially and mostly because I was raised in Bisbee, AZ from the late 1940s to 1956 - where the author also lived. My brother and I can relate to most details mentioned in 'Partner in Crime'. He suggested the reading since I live in Australia and haven't come across JA Jance's books before now! Way to go!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002

    Disappointing

    The Beaumont and Brady series are totally different and the author made a mistake trying to combine them. While the plot of the book was interesting, the encounter between Joanna Brady and JP Beaumont was totally improbable. The book seemed to 'run out of steam' at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Confusing

    While I applaud Jance For trying something new and unique in combining the Joanna Brady and J P Beaumont storylines, I feel that it made this book confusing in allot of places. Jance changes character viewpoints without warning so readers often do not know whether it is Brady or Beaumint that is narrating. She should have put in some headers letting readers know that the "voice" of the bookhad changed. Might have been a great story if it hadn't been so confusing.

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  • Posted January 17, 2014

    Good Author with great story lines...don't miss J.A. Jance.

    J. A. Jance has set her books in the west and its fun to read and identify areas. Her characters are well developed and plots are interesting. I especially enjoy the Brady series but the Beaumont series is good too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Excellent!

    What a great story. Here, in Partner In Crime by J.A. Jance, we meet J.P. Beaumont another of Jance' characters with a series of his own. The situations that had them cross paths were very entertaining and made me want to read the J.P. Beaumont series too! (More books! Yea!) Highly recommend the entire Joanna Brady series. I love Joanna!

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Loved it!!

    I really liked the crossover of Joanna Brady and JP Beaumont. Jance did a terrific job of inter-mingling the two and bringing the reader up to speed with their back grounds if a new reader did not know.
    This book is a must read if you like the Beaumont series and the Brady series

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    I came into this book as a big J.P. Beaumont fan and never readi

    I came into this book as a big J.P. Beaumont fan and never reading Joanna Brady. If you're like me, skip this one. For the first 8 chapters it's all Joanna and then it starts splitting chapters from there. You really get more Joanna here and I wasn't happy about having the other series shoved down my throat and forced on me since it's in my Beaumont line of books. It had a decent story, but for once  the perpetrator was a little too predictable and that disappointed me. The climax(I use that word loosely) towards the end is
    very disappointing. Abrupt and boring. Throwing in the Anne Corley portion was fine except it made for J.P. acting like a total woman, which having to sit through Joanna's sappy crap with her dog and relationships was bad enough. Then we get the ultra sappy, all of a sudden i'm in love with you for no reason, corny moment at the end between the two. Has a decent twist at the end that, like before, ends abrupt with no payoff. Very disappointed and feel like my Beaumont series just got a little tainted, i'm gonna wait awhile 
    for the next one. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Loved it.

    Jance stays true to the Beaumont character without making him boring. Great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    Fast Read

    Way to go Jance!! I liked the pace of the book and the storyline was engaging. This book made Joanna¿s character more convincing. I always questioned whether her feelings for Bruce were true. Thanks for a great read. As always, J.P Beaumont was fabulous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2003

    Slow and Disappointing

    I have been a great fan of Jance and have thoroughly enjoyed both series. This book did not work for me and I had to force myself to continue reading out of loyalty. It just went too slow and I really didn't like "the moment" that Beau and Johanna had at the end. Why was Butch treated lightly or of no importance. Where was the loyalty?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    A DOUBLE-BARRELED DELIVERY OF A CHILLING TALE

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2002

    You're Kidding, of course?

    Oh, Puhleeeze! Indeed the Joanna Barnes and the J.P.Beaumont series have both had merit but the two should NEVER have had to meet. I am sure that Ms. Janse thought she was being very clever (albeit quite unoriginal) but she managed to create a book that is most difficult to follow. The basic thread of story line kept me interested enough to almost finish it. I finally gave up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    engaging police procedural

    In Bisbee, Arizona someone murders artist Rochelle Baxter just after her works go on display. The Cochise County Sheriff¿s Department led by Joanna Brady investigates the homicide only to learn that the victim¿s on record next of kin is the Washington State Attorney General's Office. <P>Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont travels to Bisbee to learn if someone leaked Baxter¿s identity. Baxter was actually Latisha Wall, placed in the state¿s witness protection program for whistle blowing. Now the star witness is dead just before she was to testify at a trial. However, Brady does not welcome the intrusion from the northwest into her jurisdiction. Beaumont is also uncomfortable as Bisbee provides nightmarish memories for him. When a second murder occurs, the two investigators begin to cooperate as respect and romance surface leading to a pooling of their talents to ferret out a killer. <P>Readers of either J.A. Jance¿s two long running series will enjoy the partnering of the duet in a solid police procedural. The novel alternates chapters between the stars. Beaumont provides a first-person account that shows his disdain for the area yet brilliantly describes this part of Arizona. Brady's chapters are written in the third case narrating much of how the sheriff and her office work the case. The romance between the stars seems unnecessary and unreal, and the use of a seemingly available chemical as the murder weapon makes this reviewer uncomfortable. Still, series fans will enjoy the merging of the two fine law enforcement officials in an engaging police procedural. <P>Harriet Klausner

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    Posted October 1, 2013

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    Posted July 26, 2013

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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    Posted November 2, 2008

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    Posted June 3, 2011

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    Posted September 18, 2010

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