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Still Dead is the latest novella by JA Jance in her first mystery series J.P. Beaumont. I haven’t read yet Proof of Life, which was published one month after Still Dead, so while I finish reading it, I decided to review this short story so I keep track of what is going on in the author’s most popular series to date.
The previous book published was in 2015, so we, the series’ fans, had to wait for two years for something new JP Beaumont related.
The Special Homicide Investigation Team has been disbanded (this happened in book #22, Dance of the Bones), so J.P. Beaumont is pondering the merits of getting a dog.
When he gets a phone call from his old buddy, Ralph Ames, who works at The Last Chance, an organization where retired homicide cops try to solve very cold cases, Beau is unwittingly drawn into the organization’s latest cold case, one as old as 30 years.
Some 30 years ago, the car of Janice Marie Harrison’s car was found abandoned near a bridge with no sight of the owner. Next to the car was written the phrase “I’m sorry” in the dirt. Could these be Janice’s last words and did she commit suicide? They never found her body even after all these years.
Back in the day, her sister claimed that Janice would never kill herself and this was not a suicide. The more Beaumont investigates the case, the more interesting details come to the surface and muddy the water quite a lot. Yet, several clues that pop up along the way seem to paint a new picture of the whole old affair and Beaumonds unravels a cruel scheme that will shake the whole family to the core.
Since the book was quite short at around 60 pages, the story was relatively easy to unravel and Beaumont took no time in solving the case. While reading this short novella, I was reminded of an old, favorite TV show with the title Cold Case. I used to love that series and was thoroughly sorry to see it end several years ago. If I ever worked at the police, I would definitely tackle old cases. There is just something intrinsically rewarding to solve a case that has been left unsolved for decades.
While I do love the Ali Reynolds series most among everything JA Jance has written, the J.P. Beaumont series comes in a fast second place, so I was glad to finally read something more about him, after a two-year wait. Now, I’m off to read Proof of Life, currently the latest J.P. Beaumont novel, one that has been sitting on my shelf since October actually.
Still Dead by JA Jance
Series: J.P. Beaumont Series #22.5
Published by Witness Impulse
Genres: Crime Mystery, Detective Mystery