Taking the Fifth (J. P. Beaumont Series #4) by J. A. Jance, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Taking the Fifth (J. P. Beaumont Series #4)

Taking the Fifth (J. P. Beaumont Series #4)

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by J. A. Jance, Judith A. Jance
     
 

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It seemed like a most unlikely instrument of death: a lady's cobalt blue pump with stiletto heels. But the fact that it was caked with the blood of—and found damningly close to—a very dead man gives Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont a solid lead into a case of lethal theatrics and unsavory union doings. He has a pay stub, a matchbook, one corpse

Overview

It seemed like a most unlikely instrument of death: a lady's cobalt blue pump with stiletto heels. But the fact that it was caked with the blood of—and found damningly close to—a very dead man gives Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont a solid lead into a case of lethal theatrics and unsavory union doings. He has a pay stub, a matchbook, one corpse—and an unsettling feeling of more to come. And he has a murder weapon. All Beau has to do now is find the woman who fills it.

Author Biography: J.A. Jance is the American Mystery Award-winning author of the popular J.P. Beaumont mystery series as well as eight mysteries featuring Joanna Brady. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This 1987 title is one of the author's popular mysteries featuring Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont. This outing finds Beamont pursuing the killer of a man done in by a stiletto heel. While the book is not out of print, this hardcover-only edition will save libraries from having to replace continually less sturdy paperbacks. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780727859440
Publisher:
Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
12/27/2002
Series:
J. P. Beaumont Series, #4
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.64(w) x 8.96(h) x 1.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

Taking the Fifth

Chapter One

The aid car was there, sitting next to the railroad track with its red light flashing. But for the guy on the ground, the guy lying on his stomach with his face in the cinders and dirt beside the iron rails, it was far too late for an aid car. He didn't need a medic.

What he needed was a medical examiner. And a homicide detective.

That's where I came in, Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont, of Seattle P.D. I was there along with my pinch-hitting partner, Detective Allen (Big Al) Lindstrom. After working until midnight on our regular shift, we had been called back when the body was found. Now we were standing by, waiting for Dr. Howard Baker, King County's medical examiner, to arrive on the scene.

Doc Baker isn't a morning person, and this was very early morning. It was ten to five on a cool summer day, just after the longest day of the year. Although the horizon was hidden from view by the Alaskan Way Viaduct directly above us, a predawn glow was breaking up the darkness around us, and the waterfront odor, heavy with wet creosote, filled my nostrils.

We waited in a small, hushed group until Doc Baker's dark sedan came tearing through the parking lot and jerked to a stop less than two feet from where we stood. Nobody bothered to move out of the way.

"All right, all right," Baker grumbled, easing his more-than-ample frame out of the car and taking charge. "What have we got?"

"I'm betting on a drunk,"' Big Al told him. "Some wino, from up by the market who got himself clobbered by a passing freight train."

Al was referring to the Pike Place Market, which sat on the bluff directly behind us, a hundred orso steep stair steps above our heads.

The market is a popular Seattle tourist attraction during the day. At night, parts of it still maintain an upscale, touristy atmosphere. But there are other parts of it, dark underbelly parts, that do a Jekyll-and-Hyde routine as soon as the sun goes down. For instance, almost every night the blackberry-bordered parking lot beneath the market itself becomes a savage no-man's-land, a brutal setting for beatings, rapes, and muggings that is all too familiar to officers assigned to the David sector of Seattle P.D.

Doc Baker glowered at Al for a moment. The medical examiner's shock of white hair was uncombed and standing belligerently on end. "We'll see about that," he said, grunting, and rumbled away, dragging a train of technicians as well as a nervous young police photographer in his wake.

A squad car stopped nearby. Two uniformed officers got out and walked over to us. "Any luck finding out who reported it?" I asked.

They shook their heads in unison. "Not so far," one answered. "The call came in to 911 from a pay phone down by the ferry terminal about three-fifteen. Near as I can tell, that's the closest public phone at that hour of the night. The caller was a woman, but she didn't leave a name."

I nodded. "That figures."

Turning away, I looked back toward Doc Baker and his group of assistants. They were gathered in a small, closely knit clump around the body, which was sprawled within inches of the track itself. To one side yawned the entrance to the Burlington Northern Tunnel, a railroad tunnel that cuts through a rocky bluff and then burrows South and east under downtown Seattle, from Alaskan Way and Virginia to the King Street Station a mile away.

I felt the rumble of a train long before its warning whistle sounded or its bright headlight flashed from deep inside the tunnel. Doc Baker and his cohorts scurried out of the way.

The freight train emerged from the black tunnel like a slow-moving demon escaping the jaws of hell, with a heavy, evil-smelling cloud of smoke, laden with diesel fuel, boiling around it. Minutes after the caboose had disappeared from sight, the dense smoke still eddied around us like a thick gritty fog.

As the haze began to clear, Doc Baker charged back toward the body. The photographer, a young woman in her mid- to late-twenties, seemed to hang back, but Baker ordered her forward with an imperious wave of his hand.

Al Lindstrom favored the photographer with a bemused grin. "'She's a looker, all right," he commented, "but I bet this is the first time she's taken pictures of a real body. Understand she's a journalism major who just graduated from Evergreen."

Evergreen College is an exceedingly liberal liberal arts school in Olympia. "A journalism major!" I croaked. "What's she doing working for us?"

"I'm of the common law-enforcement opinion that anyone remotely connected with journalism can't be trusted. Even the good-looking ones. Especially the good-looking ones.

"Jobs must be pretty scarce in the newspaper racket these days," I added.

By then the young woman in question was squatted next to the body, pants pulled taut across the gentle curve of her backside, a detail that didn't escape any of her appreciative audience, except maybe Doc Baker. Attempting to follow the M.E.'s barked orders on angle and focus, she lost her balance and tipped to one side, scrambling to right herself in the railroad-track dirt and debris.

I didn't envy her. It's not so bad working with Dr. Howard Baker. He accords detectives a certain amount of grudging respect. But I think it would be hell on wheels working for him, especially as a lowly peon.

At last Baker got up off his hands and knees and strode over to us. Taking the Fifth. Copyright © by J. Jance. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

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 five 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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Bellevue, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 27, 1944
Place of Birth:
Watertown, South Dakota
Education:
B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970
Website:
http://www.jajance.com/

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Taking the Fifth 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GOOD AUTHOR, GOOD PLOT HOLDS YOUR INTEREST FROM FIRST CHAPTER TO THE END.
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MandJ214 More than 1 year ago
We always look for J.A. Jance's books either on line for our ipad or in stores while we were shopping for books. We think her stories are told very well and makes you want to read another. Get one and see!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great, want it to be a longer read.
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I completed enjoyed this book! The J. P. Beaumont series is a great one for those who like mystery books! Great read from start to finish!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am totally in love with this seris!! Everybook just keeps getting better. I bought the first book on sale for a dollar and have been hooked since. On to book 5!!!
Katie1010 More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I could not put it down.
Dreams61 More than 1 year ago
I have read Series #1 thru #8. I just love Detective Beaumont, his crazy thinking. There is only one Word, I wish had been left out of all the Series I have read, I just skip out it. Beside that I plan to read all 19 series, by J A jance about J.P Beaumont. Series # 20 will be out in 2012.
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