Title: Breach of Duty: A J.P. Beaumont Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 0380974061 This hardcover book is Fine, being square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine lettering. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. This copy is signed by the Author on the title page without inscription and dated 3/17/99 in her hand. Bookseller Inventory # 006609
Synopsis: Jonas Piedmont Beaumont has had it rough all his life. Raised by his hardworking, unmarried mother and disowned as a youth by his grandparents, he learned at a very early age how cruel life can be. Two marriages, a treacherous battle with the bottle, assorted midlife and moral dilemmas, and a few decades as a homicide detective haven't convinced him otherwise. For his gruesome caseload continually reinforces those ugly childhood lessons about the awesome and terrifying cruelty of man.While the more things change, the more they stay the same, the Seattle that beau knew as a young policeman is disappearing around him. The city is awash in the aromas emanating from a glut of gourmet coffee bars, the neighborhood outside his condo building has sprouted gallery upon gallery, and even his long-cherished diner has evolved into a trendy eatery for local Gen X-ers and hipsters. But all the glam is strictly surface, for the grit under the city's fingernails remains caked with blood...When Beau and his new partner Sue Danielson are assigned the murder of an elderly woman torched to death in her bed, Beau finds himself distracted by Sue's difficulties at home. Distraction soon turns to terror as Beau and Sue find themselves caught up in a series of events that will leave them and their carefully constructed investigation shattered. For Beau, nothing will ever be the same again.
Review: In Breach of Duty, after a three year hiatus, J.A. Jance resumes her Seattle-based mystery series featuring homicide detective Jonas Piedmont Beaumont. The novel begins on Lake Chelan (in eastern Washington State) as Beau scatters his grandfather's ashes in the water. The reflective moment offers Jance a perfect opportunity to get new readers up to speed with her hero (and offers a quick refresher course for the many ongoing Jance fans). Beau has struggled through a hard life of alcoholism and two failed marriages, but now, just maybe, he's pulled things together. After his return to Seattle, his new partner, Sue Danielson, bombards him with two cases and a number of leads. A 67-year-old woman named Agnes Ferman burned to death in her bed. After $300,000 was discovered in her garage, the police rightly began to suspect murder. At almost the same time, a group of teenagers discovered the long-dead body of a Native American man--possibly connected to recent hate crime. Sue and Beau plunge into both cases while they begin to learn a bit more about each other.
One of the pleasures of Beau's narrative is his constant, unspoken (and often hilariously sarcastic) asides to the reader. Meanwhile, Beau's sensitivity to Sue and her personal struggles suggest great promise for this couple. In the end, a diverse collection of oddball characters, a comprehensive sense of Seattle and environs, and a strong pairing of mystery plots make this another winning installment in Jance's much-beloved series. The tale of J.P. Beaumont began with Until Proven Guilty in 1985, and has included award-winners Without Due Process and Failure to Appear among its 14 books. --Patrick O'Kelley
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