Picking up the latest J.A. Jance book is like settling down on the porch to catch up on the latest with an old friend. That latest is her new book, Dance of the Bones. And the old friends? Well, this is the 22nd book for J.P. Beaumont and the 5th book featuring members of the Walker family.
Detective Brandon Walker is retired as is Special Investigator J.P. Beaumont. 1600 miles separate them, but a cold case from 40 years ago, brought to light with new evidence from The Last Chance group will have them working together. Faithful Beaumont fans, take note - Brandon has the lead role in this novel.
Prospector Amos Warren and his partner Big Bad John Lassiter had a violent argument in a bar full of witnesses. When Warren's body is found, it is Lassister who is convicted. Except - we know who the real killer is - the opening prologue details Warren's death. The reader is along for the ride as the two men try to track down the real murderer. Knowing 'whodunit' early on did not detract at all from my enjoyment of the book.
Readers not familiar with the Walker clan and their friends may find the first few chapters a bit busy - there are many characters and the relationships go back many years. (Dr. Lani Walker is my favourite) But, Jance does provide enough backstory that the reader will be quickly brought up to speed.
The Walkers live in Pima County, Arizona. Every chapter opens with lore and legends from the Tohono O'odham, people of the desert, that mirrors much that is happening in the book. I really enjoyed these and the way that Jance wove First Nations culture into her book.
Jance's mysteries are not cozy, but they're not difficult overly difficult to suss out either. For me, it is the characters that draw me to Jance's writing. It's comfortable and comforting to reconnect with characters I've enjoyed over the years. And I'm always curious as to their lives will evolve from book to book. This melding of two series with a new cold case group may provide many opportunities for other crossovers. Read an excerpt of Dance of the Bones.
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. You can connect with J.A. Jance on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.