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Outlaw mountain
Jance, Judith A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
531 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
After an elderly widow is found murdered in the Arizona desert, Sheriff Joanna Brady, is forced to dig into the lives of her greedy offspring, and the identity of her mysterious gentleman friend.
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FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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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 Joanna Brady isn't about to let it go at that. Alice was something of a free spirit, with a penchant for scotch, Las Vegas, and a boyfriend twenty years her junior. Alice's hot-tempered daughter suspects the boyfriend, and is furious at her brother Clete, the do-nothing mayor of Tombstone, for not doing something. Yet all is not as it appears to be ...

Author Notes

Judith Ann (J. A.) Jance was born in Watertown, South Dakota on October 27, 1944. She received a degree in English and secondary education in 1966 and a M. Ed. in library science in 1970 from the University of Arizona. Before becoming an author, she taught high school English, worked as a school librarian on a Native American reservation, and sold insurance.

She is the author of many popular mystery series including the J. P. Beaumont Mystery series, Joanna Brady Mystery series, and the Ali Reynolds series. She won the American Mystery Award for Without Due Process in 1992 and for Failure to Appear in 1993. Both of these titles are books in the J. P. Beaumont Mystery series. In 2014, her fiction book, A Last Goodbye, made the New York Times bestseller list.

Random Acts, a title in A Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds Novella Series, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County, Arizona, has her hands full: the mayor's mother has been brutally murdered; the chief deputy has resigned; and Joanna must find whoever abandoned a mentally disabled man at the local church. Then there's life on the personal front: Joanna's best friend is still grieving deeply over her child's death; Joanna's daughter Jenny is suspended from school for fighting; and Joanna's "sort of" beau, Butch Dixon, has stunned her by proposing marriage. Matters get worse rather before they get better when the mayor winds up dead, and evidence turns up of a drug ring among the town's most prominent citizens. The Brady series' combination of vivid landscape, a strong central character, and satisfying plotting has made it a winner from the outset. Expect the streak to continue with this one. An excellent choice for readers partial to the Southwest setting or to the combination of American cozy and police procedural (ala Hess' Maggody novels). (Reviewed April 15, 1999)0380975009Emily Melton

Library Journal Review

In her seventh outing (after Rattlesnake Crossing), Tombstone, AZ, sheriff Joanna Brady wears a tough gal's badge yet remains a sensitive, caring single mom and friend. Hard-drinking Alice Rogers, the mayor's mother, is stabbed with an insulin syringe and left for the vultures in the harsh southern Arizona desert, and Joanna's team must step between Rogers's dueling son and daughter. A tender subplot concerns a developmentally disabled man named Junior, abandoned by scheming relatives at an Arizona art fair. As Joanna's friend Butch Dixon helps out with Junior, she appreciates a new facet of his character, and her pushy mom, Eleanor, runs interference in an effort to secure their engagement. Not just for series fans, this installment features endearing characters and situations ranging from an environmentalist with a car trunk full of rattlesnakes to the local minister who feels she's lost her edge in the pulpit. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/99.]ÄSusan A. Zappia, Maricopa Cty. Lib. Dist., Phoenix (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Outlaw Mountain Chapter One Easing the porch swing back and forth, thirty-year-old Sheriff Joanna Brady closed her green eyes and let the warmth of an early-November Sunday afternoon caress her body. Nearby, on the top step, sat Joanna′s best friend and pastor, the Reverend Marianne Maculyea of Canyon United Methodist Church. Without speaking for minutes at a time, the two women watched their respective children-Joanna′s eleven-year-old Jennifer and Marianne′s three-year-old Ruth-at play. Both sets of mothers and daughters were studies in contrast. Joanna′s red hair was cut short in what Helen Barco at Helene′s Salon of Hair and Beauty called a figure-skater cut. On this Sunday afternoon, Marianne′s long dark hair was pulled back in a serviceable ponytail. Jenny′s fair, blue-eyed face was surrounded by a halo of tow-headed white hair while Ruth′s shiny black pageboy gleamed in the warm autumn sun. The last week in October, a surprisingly fierce cold snap had visited southeastern Arizona, bringing with it a frigid rain that had threatened to drown out most of Bisbee′s Halloween trick-or-treating. Two days later, when bright sunlight reemerged, the cottonwood, apple, and peach trees on High Lonesome Ranch seemed to have changed colors overnight. In the sunny days and crisp nights since, dying leaves had drifted from their branches and had fallen to earth, carpeting the yard in a thick mantle of gold, red, rust, and brown. For little Ruth, recently rescued from life in a desolate Chinese orphanage, the crackly, multicolored leaves were a source of incredible wonder and delight. Together the two girls raked great mounds of leaves into piles, then dived into them with a chorus of shrieks alternating with giggles. For a while both of Jenny′s dogs-Sadie, a bluetick hound, and Tigger, a comical-looking half pit bull/half golden retriever-had joined in. When Sadie tired of the game, she retreated to the relative quiet of the porch along with Joanna and Marianne. With a sigh, the dog lay down on the top step and placed her smooth, floppy-eared head in Marianne′s lap. Tigger, however, continued to throw himself into the festivities with all the antic energy of a born clown. On Jenny′s command to "stay," the dog, quivering with eager anticipation, would lie perfectly still and allow himself to be covered with a mound of leaves. When Jenny shouted "okay," the dog would erupt from the leaves, tuck his tail between his legs, and then race around the yard as though pursued by a pack of ravenous coyotes. Each time the game was repeated, Ruth clapped her hands in childish delight. "Again, Jenny," she crowed. "Do again!" Watching the simple game and enjoying the gales of gleeful laughter, Joanna Brady found herself nodding and smiling. She was about to comment on the beautiful afternoon and on the two girls′ unrestrained joy. When she looked in Marianne′s direction, however, she saw a single tear snake its way down her friend′s solemn face. Seeing that tear, Joanna opted for silence. For the space of another minute or so, neither woman said a word while Marianne′s hand absently stroked Sadie′s soft, velvety muzzle. "What is it, Mari?" Joanna asked finally. The question wasn′t really necessary because Joanna knew exactly what the problem was. In August, Marianne′s other newly adopted daughter-Esther, Ruth′s twin sister-had died of complications following heart-transplant surgery. It seemed certain to Joanna that watching two little girls at play on this warm, jewel-clear afternoon had reopened Marianne′s aching wound. Joanna Brady herself was no stranger to the grieving process. The death of her husband, Andy, had thrown her own life into a personal hell of pain and loss. She understood how a perfect moment in a gemlike day could darken and then be dashed to pieces by the sudden realization that someone else was missing from the picture, that a certain loved one wasn′t present to share that special moment. At times like these, the perfection of the present would fade to a muddy gray, shrouded behind an impenetrable fog of hurt. Watching one daughter at play, Marianne had no doubt been stricken by a terrible longing for the other child, one who wasn′t there and never would be again. Convinced that she knew exactly what was going on with Marianne, Joanna was confused when, after another minute or so, she heard her friend′s clipped response. "I′m going to quit," Marianne said. At first Joanna didn′t make the connection. "Quit what?" she asked. "The ministry," Marianne replied. "I′m going to resign effective immediately." Somehow Joanna managed to stifle her gasp of dismay. "Surely you don′t mean that!" she said at last. "I do," Marianne said determinedly. "I′ve never meant anything more in my life. My letter of resignation is all written. It′s sitting in the computer waiting to be printed. There′s a church council meeting on Wednesday evening. I′ll probably turn it in then." Stunned, Joanna fell silent. Through the turmoil following Andy′s death, Marianne Maculyea and her husband, Jeff Daniels, had been never-failing sources of comfort and support. With their help and encouragement, Joanna had slowly battled her way back to emotional stability. They had walked her through months of painful grieving-through the inevitable stages of denial and anger-until she has at last achieved a measure of acceptance. That summer, when tragedy had visited her friends in the form of Esther′s death, Joanna had done her best to return the favor. She had strived to provide the same kind of understanding and strength for them that they had given her. Now, Joanna realized that her efforts had fallen short. She must not have done enough. Why else would Marianne be sitting on the front porch, basking in the warm afternoon sunlight, and drowning in despair? Outlaw Mountain . Copyright © by J. Jance . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Outlaw Mountain by J. A. Jance All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.