Kiss of the Bees (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #2)

Kiss of the Bees (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #2)

by J. A. Jance

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061945397
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/29/2010
Series: Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series , #2
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 150,137
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About 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.


Bellevue, Washington

Date of Birth:

October 27, 1944

Place of Birth:

Watertown, South Dakota


B. A., University of Arizona, 1966; M. Ed. in Library Science, University of Arizona, 1970

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

They say it happened long ago that the whole world was covered with water. I'itoi -- Elder Brother -- was floating around in the basket which he had made. After a time, Great Spirit came out of his basket and looked around. Everything was still covered with water, so I'itoi made himself larger and larger until shuhthagi -- the water -- reached only to his knees.

Then, while I'itoi was walking around in the water, he heard someone call. At first he paid no attention, but when the call came the fourth time, Elder Brother went to see who was shouting. And so I'itoi found Jeweth Mahka i -- Earth Medicine Man -- rejoicing because he was the first one to come out of the water.

Elder Brother said, "This is not true." He explained that he himself was first, but Jeweth Mahkai was stubborn and insisted that he was first.

Now I'itoi and Earth Medicine Man, as they were talking, were standing in the south. They started toward the west. As they were going through the water -- because there was as yet very little land -- they heard someone else shouting.

Ban -- Coyote --was the one who was making all the noise. I'itoi went toward the sound, but Elder Brother went one way, and Ban went another. And so they passed each other. Coyote was shouting that he was the very first one out of the water and that he was all alone in the world.

I'itoi called to Ban, and at last they came together. Elder Brother explained to Coyote that he was not the first. And then the three -- Great Spirit, Earth Medicine Man, and Coyote -- started north together. As they went over the mud, I'itoi saw some very smalltracks.

Elder Brother said, "There must be somebody else around." Then they heard another voice calling. It was Bitokoi -- Big Black Beetle -- which the Mil-gahn, the Whites, call stinkbug. Bitokoi told I'itoi that he was the very first to come out of the water. I'itoi did not even bother to answer him.

And then the four -- Elder Brother, Earth Medicine Man, Coyote, and Big Black Beetle -- went on together toward the east because, as you remember, nawoj, my friend, all things in nature go in fours.

JUNE 1996

Dolores Lanita Walker's slender brown legs glistened with sweat as she pumped the mountain bike along the narrow strip of pavement that led from her parents' house in Gates Pass to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum several miles away. Lani wasn't due at her job at the concession stand until 9 A.M., but by going in early she had talked her way into being allowed to help with some of the other duties.

About a mile or so from the entrance, she came upon the artist with his Subaru wagon parked off on the side of the road. He had been there every morning for a week now, standing in front of an easel or sitting on a folding chair, pad in hand, sketching away as she came whizzing past with her long hair flying out behind her like a fine black cape. In the intervening days they had grown accustomed to seeing one another.

The man had been the first to wave, but now she did, too. "How's it going?" he had asked her each morning after the first one or two.

"Fine," she'd answer, pumping hard to gain speed before the next little lump of hill.

"Come back when you can stay longer," he'd call after her. Lani would grin and nod and keep going.

This morning, though, he waved her down. "Got a minute?" he asked.

She pulled off the shoulder of the road. "Is something the matter?" she asked.

"No. I just wanted to show you something." He opened a sketch pad and held it up so Lani could see it. The picture took her breath away. It was a vivid color-pencil drawing of her, riding through the sunlight with the long early-morning shadows stretching out before her and with her hair floating on air behind her.

"That's very good," she said. "It really does look like me."

The man smiled. "It is you," he said. "But then, I've had plenty of time to practice."

Lani stood for a moment studying the picture. Her parents' twentieth wedding anniversary was coming up soon, in less than a week. Instinctively she knew that this picture, framed, would make the perfect anniversary present for them.

"How much would it cost to buy something like this?" she asked, wondering how far her first paycheck from the museum would stretch.

"It's not for sale," the man said.

Lani looked away, masking her disappointment with downcast eyes. "But I might consider trading for it," he added a moment later.

Lani brightened instantly. "Trading?" she asked. "Really?" But then disappointment settled in again. She was sixteen years old. What would she have to trade that this man might want?

"You're an Indian, aren't you?" he asked. Shyly, Lani nodded. "But you live here. In Tucson, I mean. Not on a reservation. "

Lani nodded again. It didn't seem necessary to explain to this man that she was adopted and that her parents were Anglos. It was none of his business.

"I've tried going out to the reservation to paint several times," he told her, "but the people seem to be really suspicious. If you'd consider posing for me, just for half an hour or so some morning, I'd give you this one for free."

"For free? Really?"


Lani didn't have to think very long. "When would you like to do it?" she asked.

"Tomorrow morning?"

"That would work," Lani said, "but I'd have to come by about half an hour earlier than this, otherwise I'll be late for work."

The man nodded. "That's fine," he said. "I'll be here. And could I ask a favor?"

Lani, getting back on her bike, paused and gave him a questioning look. "What's that?"

"Could you wear something that's sort of...well, you know" -- he shrugged uncomfortably --"something that looks Indian...

Kiss of the Bees. Copyright © by J. Jance. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Kiss of the Bees (Brandon Walker and Diana Ladd Series #2) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a very effective sequel to Hour of the Hunter, Judith A. Jance has composed another work of genius with Kiss of the Bees. Those of you who are fans of the regrettably, often-overlooked Hour of the Hunter will again be rapt with fear and wonder as you read through the pages of this beautifully crafted blend of Native American legend and tradition; South Western culture, and murder. Her research in these areas is thorough. Do not, however, become lulled by the Native American story that begins each chapter, because what follows may be one of the most chilling descriptions of assault and murder you will ever read! Jance has a long list of comfortable characters that recur in her Beaumont and Brady books. 'Bone' the wonderful large wolfhound-like mutt/hero that appeared in Hour of the Hunter and is reprised briefly as a memory in Kiss of the Bees is such a character. But many characters in KOTB are in one way or another, rising above grave traumas that have occurred in their lives. This is a book in which Jance doesn't let the reader or the characters get too comfortable. Diana Ladd Walker continues to recover from the aftermath of her terrifying experience with Andrew Carlisle.(HOTH) Brandon Walker is cutting and stacking wood to help deal with the betrayal of his son,Quentin, the disappearance and presumed death of another son, and defeat in his incumbent election for sheriff. Rita Antone/Nana DAHD is orphaned as a child, her only son has died, and she is living outside of the Native American culture. Lanita Ladd Walker lost her natural family and almost died as a result of being badly stung by the 'Little People'(ants, wasps, and bees)as a toddler. Andrew Carlisle and Mitch Johnson may be the least comfortable characters that Jance has penned todate. We don't want to know that people like that actually exist. Disturbingly, these characters are difficult to unload once they have made thir way into the reader's mind. Would their demises really be enough to put them away for good? Loyal Jance readers know that they can depend on her to tie up all of the loose ends before the last sentence is written. The fact that many characters have survived lives filled with tragic events is a tribute to their strength and complexity. I highly recommend Kiss of the Bees to mystery readers everywhere, but with fair warning. This book is not a Brady or a Beaumont. It is a Walker. Get this one 'hot off the press' and plan to set some time aside for immediate reading! You will not want to put it down! If you have not read Hour of the Hunter you have missed a gem!
trainerfl More than 1 year ago
I started reading JA Jance about 2 years ago when my favorite authors were not writing fast enough to keep up with all my reading, I started with an Ali Reynolds book, loved it, then went through that series quickly. Once I finished that I worked my way through the entire Joanna Brady and JP Beaumont series. When I finished them all, I was feeling JA Jance withdrawl, so I decided to try the other 3 books by this author that featured the Walker family. Boy, am I glad I did, I flew threw Hour of the Hunter and Kiss the bees, and am now about 1/2 way through Day of the Dead. I have found this series to be really great and different from this authors other character series. I have come to really love this authors books, I find them very intriguing to the point where I don't want to put them down and my partner has to tell me turn out the light and go to bed! Highly reccomend this author to any mystery reader lover!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book will keep you up reading.its a horrifying journey to terror. the great part about it. it dont bore you
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book, and some times found it difficult to put down. The plot for the most part moved right along, the characters were very real and easy to idenity with . . . Another great book is Stolen Moments by Barbara Jeanne Fisher. This too is a story that will touch your heart and change your life forever. . . Read both books . . .they are top notch reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J. A. Jance is a superb story teller, and ¿Kiss of the Bees¿ is Jance at her best. In it, a convict, Mitch Johnson, under the tutelage of his cellmate and mentor, Andrew Carlisle, is released from prison and carries out a sadistic plot of revenge against a former county sheriff and his family. Jance has done extensive research into Native American folklore, bringing a mythological context to this battle between good and evil. This is a skillfully-plotted thriller that will please the most demanding of armchair adventure seekers.
pmtracy on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Kiss of the Bees is the second in J.A. Jance's Walker-Ladd family series. Because the book is so plot driven, this is a spoiler-free review so as not to spoil the book for anyone. It's therefore brief.This story jumps ahead 20 years from the first book, Hour of the Hunter. The first part of the book is used to catch the reader up on the happenings of the family but then the story from the first book continues, against expectations, into this one. Like the first installment, this book is slow to start then becomes a page-turned about mid-way.Jance continues to introduce each chapter with a bit of Papago Indian folklore. This helps cement a sense of place within the desert of Southern Arizona amongst the Tohono O'Odham people. I'm a fan of Jance's writing but I'm becoming particularly fond of this series. The plots in her other works are always interesting and have plenty of twists, but the characters are a bit shallow. In this series, she's taking the time to thoroughly develop her characters. Quite a bit of this story is internal dialogue and you get to experience the growth of some characters and better understand their viewpoint as a Native American. There are quite a few interesting heroes being developed for future works in this series and I'm looking forward to diving into the next book, Day of the Dead.
filipslady on LibraryThing 6 days ago
The second book in her new Sheriff Walker series. I recommend it, but must say I had some issues with the slow pace at which it starts. You must be patient with all the set up. It's worth it.
onyx95 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Twenty years ago, Diana Ladd had been instrumental in putting Andrew Carlisle in prison, as well as maiming and blinding him. After all those years, he was dead and Diana had published a book about the whole ordeal that had changed their lives. She had gone on to marry Brandon Walker (the sheriff), raised her son (Davy) and adopted an Indian child (Lani). Being part of the Walker family and having Rita Antone raise them, the children both knew the Indian customs and stories, including the ones about evil enemies. They never expected that evil `ohb¿ to show up again, he was dead, but his cellmate had learned his lessons well and had agreed to help get revenge from the Walker family. Both Carlisle and Mitch Johnson had reasons to dislike the family and they agreed the way to the parents was through the kids. A dying request the Mitch was happy to see fulfilled.Book 2 .¿. All suspense, the mystery is in the timing. Will Brandon and Diana figure it out in time, will Davy understand what he is seeing in time, will Fat Crack (Gabe) get there in time, will Lani know what to do at the right time. We know from the start what kind of evil is coming for the family. The interactions between the family is defined by flash backs of previous events that give a better frame to the family. Liked the inclusion of Brian, even Quentin and Tommy help to show the dynamics of the family structure. Felt Brandon as a character so much more than Diana, but liked how strong Lani was. Interested to see the next one, Day of the Dead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many characters and too many story l inesres of m
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very super duper nice. I like is alot.
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LandofEnchantment More than 1 year ago
I have read other series by this author and loved them; this is the only book of this series I have read, however, it is just not my personal preference - too much gruesome reality for me. Also, to my thinking, the entire premise of an abduction of one of the main characters is faulty, based on the background and past events in the lives of the main characters involved.
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Binker More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Jance, but I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this book. I perservered and was glad I did. Great story overall, but I came away still confused about some details, feeling as if I had missed something. Hope you fare better.
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