Breach of Duty: A J.P. Beaumont Mystery. By J.A. Jance. (New York: Avon Books, 1999. 384 p.)
Recommendation submitted by:
Will Stuivenga, Cooperative Projects Manager, Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA.
This is mystery writer J.A. Jance’s 14th Seattle-based J.P. Beaumont police procedural. In it, Beaumont is investigating the arson murder of a woman whose death would not have been particularly noteworthy, if $300,000 had not been found hidden in an old refrigerator in her garage.
Meanwhile, a Native American woman, who happens to be a professor of physics at the University of Washington, shows up and warns Beaumont and his partner of a powerful curse. It seems that someone has stolen the bones of an important shaman and bad things start happening to those who handle them, as predicted.
Meantime the chief of police retires, and his replacement is a co-worker of Beaumont whose dislike for him is heartily reciprocated. Oh, and did I mention that Beaumont’s current partner, Sue Danielson by name, divorced mother of two, is worried because her deadbeat ex is coming to town?
Talk about a plot with lots of complications and disparate story lines! Jance weaves all of these lines together throughout various seedy locations of the greater Seattle area. For those who enjoy well-written – if slightly superficial – police-procedural style mysteries set in Seattle, J.A. Jance and J.P. Beaumont could easily become a habit!