Friday, September 18, 2015

Dance of the Bones by J.A. Jance (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Years ago, Amos Warren, a prospector, was gunned down out in the desert and Sheriff Brandon Walker made the arrest in the case. Now, the retired Walker is called in when the alleged killer, John Lassiter, refuses to accept a plea deal that would release him from prison with time served. Lassiter wants Brandon and The Last Chance to find Amos’s “real” killer and clear his name.

Sixteen hundred miles to the north in Seattle, J.P. Beaumont is at loose ends after the Special Homicide Investigation Team, affectionately known as S.H.I.T., has been unexpectedly and completely disbanded. When Brandon discovers that there are links between Lassiter’s case and an unsolved case in Seattle, he comes to Beau for help.

Those two cases suddenly become hot when two young boys from the reservation, one of them with close ties to the Walker family, go missing. Can two seasoned cops, working together, decipher the missing pieces in time to keep them alive?"

My Thoughts:

A year or so ago I gave this author a try with one of her books in a different series (boy is she a prolific writer) and really enjoyed it!  As soon as I was offered the possibility of reading this one I was all over it despite the fact that I would be starting smack dab in the middle of a completely different series.  I'm glad I wanted to read this one though because I now have three different series by this author that I am planning on catching up on.  Ha ha, I really I need to get to reading!  I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons but the main reason that really made this book stand out for me was the way the author interwove Native American culture and stories into the book.  Each chapter began with part of a Native American story and the pieces of that story continued on from chapter to chapter.  It was just as interesting to me as the actual story-line itself!

All of the Native American traditions and beliefs that were included in this novel really made this mystery stand out for me.  I felt like it added so much to this book as the setting where this mystery mainly took place came to life for me.  This is one of those books that you can take your time with and just enjoy.  I read this one at a leisurely pace and just soaked it all up.  My one and only complaint was that I did feel at times that I had missed out by not reading these in order.  Whose fault is that?  Only my own but it did leave me very excited to go back to both of these series and get my hands on book one.  Another thing that really made this book different from your typical mystery was that we know early on who the killer is.  Instead of the suspense being tied up in the whodunnit it was more focused on if the case would be solved in time before the killer was able to make their final escape.  It added to the suspense level for me as I really wanted to see the killer caught and punished.  The last hundred or so pages had me reading as quickly as I could just so I could see how it would all turn out.  The ending was nicely done and now I just want more!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am finding myself to be a big fan of this author's books.  Go figure that I now have three different series by her that I want to catch up on. (I am such a series addict!)  I think that all of the unique details really brought that this book to life for me in a way that other books have not.  I will definitely be recommending this book to other mystery fans (although I might suggest to them to start at the beginning)  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A slow building mystery that I just couldn't get enough of!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts are my own!



  1. Ooh that Native American element sounds really fascinating to me. This book is going on my TBR list!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. Seriously? You're going to go back to the beginning of 3 of Judy Jance's series and read them. Good luck to you, Sam! LOL

    I've read a bunch of her Joanna Brady books and a couple of her Ali Reynolds books. I've not read even one with J.P. Beaumont. And I love Seattle. Sigh. She has a million books out there. Maybe one day. :-)


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