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Payment in Kind (J. P. Beaumont Series #9)

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Overview

A riveting novel of dark secrets and murderous rage featuring Seattle detective J.P. Beaumont from the New York Times bestselling author of Betrayal of Trust

In death, they were entwined like lovers—a man and a woman hideously slaughtered, then stuffed into a closet in the Seattle School District building. But what appears a cut-and-dried crime of passion, complete with an ideal prime suspect, goes deeper than investigating detective J.P. Beaumont could ever have imagined. For ...

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Payment in Kind (J. P. Beaumont Series #9)

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Overview

A riveting novel of dark secrets and murderous rage featuring Seattle detective J.P. Beaumont from the New York Times bestselling author of Betrayal of Trust

In death, they were entwined like lovers—a man and a woman hideously slaughtered, then stuffed into a closet in the Seattle School District building. But what appears a cut-and-dried crime of passion, complete with an ideal prime suspect, goes deeper than investigating detective J.P. Beaumont could ever have imagined. For an accused betrayed husband is keeping something shocking carefully hidden, a terrifying truth that’s hotter and more sordid than extramarital sex. And some secrets are more lethal than murder.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his ninth appearance, Detective J. P. Beaumont of the Seattle Police is swamped with problems: a pair of corpses at the public school district office, and the unwelcome assistance of self-promoting Detective Paul Kramer. Marcia Kelsey, a district employee, and Alvin Chambers, a security guard, are found partially naked, legs entwined, dead of gunshot wounds. A note found nearby says, ``A, See you tonight at the usual time. M.'' When Pete Kelsey learns that his wife may have been having an affair with Chambers, he calmly observes that she had always had ``outside interests.'' Kramer is itching to pin the murders on Kelsey, and when the husband's name and identity turn out to be fake, the overly ambitious detective is ready to press charges. But Beaumont learns how 20 years of mostly innocent deceit have finally come to bear deadly fruit. This entertaining work moves along at a sprightly pace, sprinkling delicious clues along the way, but readers may conclude that Jance ( Minor in Possession ) isn't playing quite fair--Beaumont misses a crucial identification that a peripheral character makes easily late in the book. Author tour. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062086365
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Series: J. P. Beaumont Series , #9
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 148,002
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (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, as well as a volume of poetry. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

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

The first thing I noticed that morning was the quiet, the deathly quiet. And then I noticed I was cold. For the first time since Karen divorced me, leaving me in sole possession of the covers and taking her perpetually frigid feet elsewhere, I woke up with cold feet, and not just feet, either.

It took a while to figure out that what was missing was the comforting rumble of the building's heat pumps on the roof outside my penthouse apartment. It was not quite sunrise on a wintry early January morning, and those warmth-giving pumps were definitely off. Had been for some time. My bedroom was freezing.

I put in an irate call to the manager, who confirmed what I already knew. The heat pumps had "gone on the blink." For some unaccountable reason, the heat pumps in Belltown Terrace, a luxury high-rise condominium in downtown Seattle, are built to function fine in temperatures all the way down to fourteen degrees Fahrenheit. Down to, but not below.

So when the thermometer hit a record-breaking six degrees above zero sometime during the late night hours of January second, Belltown Terrace's overworked heat pumps kicked off entirely. By the time I woke up several hours later, the, thermometer in my apartment read a chilly forty-five.

Leaving the manager to summon the proper repairmen, I headed for the warmest spot in my house -- the two-person hot tub in the master bathroom. I turned on the air jets and climbed into the steaming water, fully prepared to stay there for as long as necessary.

I lay in the tub with my eyes closed and my head resting comfortably against one of the upholstered cushions. Reveling in luxurious warmth, Iwas jarred from my torpor by a jangling telephone in the chilled bedroom behind me. Weeks earlier, Ralph Ames, my gadget-minded attorney in Arizona, had hinted broadly that I might want to consider buying myself a cordless phone, but I hadn't taken his advice. Now I wished I had.

"Smart ass," I grumbled for Ralph's benefit as I threw myself out of the steamy tub, grabbed a towel, and dashed for my old-fashioned and very much stationary phone.

If my caller had been Ralph Ames, I would've had to tell him his suggestion had a lot of merit, but it wasn't Ames at all. Instead, the person on the phone was Sergeant Watkins, my immediate supervisor from Homicide at the Seattle Police Department. When Watty calls me at home, it usually means trouble, but surprisingly, he didn't launch into it right away.

"How's it going?" he asked with uncharacteristic indirectness.

"Colder 'an a witch's tit," I answered tersely. "Our heat pumps went off overnight. I'm standing here dripping wet."

"Your heat pumps went off?" he echoed with a laugh. "What's the matter? Did one of you fat cats forget to pay the bill down at City Light?"

Sergeant Watkins doesn't usually beat around the bush discussing the weather. "Cut the comedy, Watty," I snapped. "I'm freezing my ass off while you're cracking jokes. Get to the point."

"I've got a case for you, Beau. Initial reports say we've got two stiffs on Lower Queen Anne Hill. We've got some people on the scene, but no detectives so far. You're it."

"Where?"

"In the Seattle school district office. Know where that is?"

I was already groping in my dresser drawer for socks and underwear. "Not exactly, but I can find it," I returned.

"The streets outside are a damned skating rink," Watty continued. "It might be faster if you go there directly from home instead of coming into the office first."

During the call I had managed to blot myself dry with the towel. Now I held the phone away from my ear long enough to pull a T-shirt on over my head. I returned the phone to my ear just in time to hear Watty continue.

"Do that. Detective Kramer'll meet you there as soon as he can. The guys in the garage are trying to find another set of chains. One broke just as he was starting up the ramp."

"Kramer?" I asked, hoping I had heard him wrong. "Did you say Detective Kramer? What about Big Al?"

I can get along all right with most of the people in Seattle P.D., but Detective Paul Kramer is the one notable exception. When it comes to my list of least favorite people, Kramer is right up there at the top -- just under Maxwell Cole, the lead crime columnist for our local news-rag, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"I thought someone would have let you know," Watty returned. "He and Molly both came down with a bad case of food poisoning after a Daughters of Norway dinner Saturday nightThey ended up in the Ballard Hospital emergency room along with fifteen or twenty other people. He's still in no shape to come back to work. And Kramer's partner called in sick as well."

"So we're stuck with each other?"

"For the time being."

Having to work a case with Detective Kramer was a bad way to start a new week and an even worse way to start a new year. If I were superstitious, I might have seen it as an omen.

"Swell," I grumbled. With that, I hung up on Watty and dialed the concierge, making sure someone was working on the heat pump problem and asking her to call for a cab while I finished dressing.

People in the Pacific Northwest are used to clouds and rain in winter. That kind of weather is expected and comes with the territory. Arctic cold isn't, and nobody here knows what to do when it comes.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Payment in Kind

Chapter One

The first thing I noticed that morning was the quiet, the deathly quiet. And then I noticed I was cold. For the first time since Karen divorced me, leaving me in sole possession of the covers and taking her perpetually frigid feet elsewhere, I woke up with cold feet, and not just feet, either.

It took a while to figure out that what was missing was the comforting rumble of the building's heat pumps on the roof outside my penthouse apartment. It was not quite sunrise on a wintry early January morning, and those warmth-giving pumps were definitely off. Had been for some time. My bedroom was freezing.

I put in an irate call to the manager, who confirmed what I already knew. The heat pumps had "gone on the blink." For some unaccountable reason, the heat pumps in Belltown Terrace, a luxury high-rise condominium in downtown Seattle, are built to function fine in temperatures all the way down to fourteen degrees Fahrenheit. Down to, but not below.

So when the thermometer hit a record-breaking six degrees above zero sometime during the late night hours of January second, Belltown Terrace's overworked heat pumps kicked off entirely. By the time I woke up several hours later, the, thermometer in my apartment read a chilly forty-five.

Leaving the manager to summon the proper repairmen, I headed for the warmest spot in my house -- the two-person hot tub in the master bathroom. I turned on the air jets and climbed into the steaming water, fully prepared to stay there for as long as necessary.

I lay in the tub with my eyes closed and my head resting comfortably against one of the upholstered cushions. Reveling in luxurious warmth, I was jarred from my torpor by a jangling telephone in the chilled bedroom behind me. Weeks earlier, Ralph Ames, my gadget-minded attorney in Arizona, had hinted broadly that I might want to consider buying myself a cordless phone, but I hadn't taken his advice. Now I wished I had.

"Smart ass," I grumbled for Ralph's benefit as I threw myself out of the steamy tub, grabbed a towel, and dashed for my old-fashioned and very much stationary phone.

If my caller had been Ralph Ames, I would've had to tell him his suggestion had a lot of merit, but it wasn't Ames at all. Instead, the person on the phone was Sergeant Watkins, my immediate supervisor from Homicide at the Seattle Police Department. When Watty calls me at home, it usually means trouble, but surprisingly, he didn't launch into it right away.

"How's it going?" he asked with uncharacteristic indirectness.

"Colder 'an a witch's tit," I answered tersely. "Our heat pumps went off overnight. I'm standing here dripping wet."

"Your heat pumps went off?" he echoed with a laugh. "What's the matter? Did one of you fat cats forget to pay the bill down at City Light?"

Sergeant Watkins doesn't usually beat around the bush discussing the weather. "Cut the comedy, Watty," I snapped. "I'm freezing my ass off while you're cracking jokes. Get to the point."

"I've got a case for you, Beau. Initial reports say we've got two stiffs on Lower Queen Anne Hill. We've got some people on the scene, but no detectives so far. You're it."

"Where?"

"In the Seattle school district office. Know where that is?"

I was already groping in my dresser drawer for socks and underwear. "Not exactly, but I can find it," I returned.

"The streets outside are a damned skating rink," Watty continued. "It might be faster if you go there directly from home instead of coming into the office first."

During the call I had managed to blot myself dry with the towel. Now I held the phone away from my ear long enough to pull a T-shirt on over my head. I returned the phone to my ear just in time to hear Watty continue.

"Do that. Detective Kramer'll meet you there as soon as he can. The guys in the garage are trying to find another set of chains. One broke just as he was starting up the ramp."

"Kramer?" I asked, hoping I had heard him wrong. "Did you say Detective Kramer? What about Big Al?"

I can get along all right with most of the people in Seattle P.D., but Detective Paul Kramer is the one notable exception. When it comes to my list of least favorite people, Kramer is right up there at the top -- just under Maxwell Cole, the lead crime columnist for our local news-rag, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"I thought someone would have let you know," Watty returned. "He and Molly both came down with a bad case of food poisoning after a Daughters of Norway dinner Saturday nightThey ended up in the Ballard Hospital emergency room along with fifteen or twenty other people. He's still in no shape to come back to work. And Kramer's partner called in sick as well."

"So we're stuck with each other?"

"For the time being."

Having to work a case with Detective Kramer was a bad way to start a new week and an even worse way to start a new year. If I were superstitious, I might have seen it as an omen.

"Swell," I grumbled. With that, I hung up on Watty and dialed the concierge, making sure someone was working on the heat pump problem and asking her to call for a cab while I finished dressing.

People in the Pacific Northwest are used to clouds and rain in winter. That kind of weather is expected and comes with the territory. Arctic cold isn't, and nobody here knows what to do when it comes. Payment in Kind. 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
( 35 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Awesome blossom

    Another good installment in the Beaumont series with this book. Seeing his recovery after the last book and delving deeper into J.P.'S past was a great addition to a great story. Had me guessing until the end with some great twists. Worth the read, as always.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    Great Series

    I have read all the books in the J.P. Beaumont series now. I've enjoyed every one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2011

    recommend

    I am enjoying this series. You can read them without reading the series because enough information is included though. J P Beaumont is a person in progress. He makes mistakes, he learns, he loves, he loses.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2007

    Payment in Kind

    This book was ok. Not one of her best, but still a good work by Jance. I liked the way the book kept moving all the way throughout, but the twist at the end truly is a little unbelievable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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