Outlaw Mountain (Joanna Brady Mysteries, Book 7)

J.A. Jance

Published by Avon, 1999
ISBN 10: 0380975009 / ISBN 13: 9780380975006
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Alice Rogers, an elderly widow, is dead, found murdered in the Arizona desert. It's easy enough to pin the killing on the teens caught driving her car across the Mexican border, but Sheriff Brady isn't about to let it go at that. Alice was something of a free spirit, with a penchant for Scotch, the glitter of Las Vegas, and a romance with a man twenty years her junior. Her hot-tempered daughter Susan suspects Mom's boyfriend -- her former handyman who moved in instead of moving on when he finished his handy work. Now Susan's furious at her brother Clete, the do-nothing mayor of Tombstone, blaming him for not protecting their inheritance by breaking up their mother's winter romance.

Yet all is not as it appears to be, and Joanna is forced to put her personal life on hold to dig deeper into Alice's death, the lives of her greedy offspring, and the identity of her mysterious gentleman friend. And as the investigation gets sidetracked by ugly local land disputes, it takes some troublesome twists and turns, until Sheriff Brady finds herself wading through a murky morass of graft and corruption that may have given someone reason to kill -- and kill again.

Review: J.A. Jance's Joanna Brady series whisks us off to a small town in the desert terrain of the Southwest. When Joanna's newly elected husband is killed while serving as sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, Joanna steps into his position. We watch her grow into the job in Jance's series: she has to cope with the problems of juggling family and personal life while solving crimes. At the same time, we've learned about the benefits and shortcomings of daily life in a desert--how beautiful and dangerous the landscape can be in all seasons.

Jance's seventh book, Outlaw Mountain, begins with the death of an old woman who was injured when she fell on a poisonous cholla cactus. But it isn't the plant that finishes off Alice Rogers; the lively, free-spirited widow is murdered by someone who injects her as she lies writhing in pain. Now Joanna has to find out whether anyone in Alice's large family would have killed her for her land and money. Was it her son Cletus, "a restaurateur with the diplomacy of a mountain goat," who was recently elected mayor of the legendary Arizona town of Tombstone (where Wyatt Earp once reigned)? Or did the murder have something to do with a local political power struggle? As she has done so well before, Jance balances scenes full of action and excitement with more intimate moments. --Dick Adler

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Title: Outlaw Mountain (Joanna Brady Mysteries, ...
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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