Read Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance Online


An old woman, both a hermit and a hoarder, is dying in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. While cleaning out her dilapidated house, her estranged daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills. For Liza, the money seems like a blessing—until an elderly man she's never met appears at her mother's funeral, warning that she's in danger. Suddenly, Liza's quiAn old woman, both a hermit and a hoarder, is dying in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. While cleaning out her dilapidated house, her estranged daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills. For Liza, the money seems like a blessing—until an elderly man she's never met appears at her mother's funeral, warning that she's in danger. Suddenly, Liza's quiet life is turned upside down. Terrified, Liza sets off on a perilous cross-country journey that will lead her to Cochise County, Arizona, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own.Junior Dowdle, a developmentally disabled man in his sixties, is found dead in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. Inside the cave, the police also discover a badly injured kitten, as well as the remains of other mutilated pets. Though he'd always been kind and sweet, with the onset of dementia, he had begun having violent episodes. Could he have hurt those animals? Was his death an accident? Or is he a victim as well? Joanna and her modest staff have their hands full as another case rocks the department—a shocking murder involving Liza and the money. The undaunted sheriff must solve these two disturbing cases fast, before more innocent blood can be shed.__________12 hours 18 minutes 23 seconds...

Title : Remains of Innocence
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062134707
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 389 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Remains of Innocence Reviews

  • Tulay
    2019-03-28 13:03

    Very good mystery.Like this strong self made sheriff. Joanna is real woman with the same issues of working women. Killings in Massachusetts and Arizona is came together and she has to solve this mystery also find the evil in her town. Killings of the innocent people and torture of animals.

  • Barbara
    2019-04-10 17:09

    3.5 stars Massachusetts resident Selma Matchett, a cantakerous, mean-sprited hoarder, is estranged from both her children, Liza and Guy. When Selma enters hospice care, Liza cleans out her mom's house and finds nearly $150,000 hidden in books and magazines. Liza proceeds to spend some of the cash to renovate her mother's decrepit house for sale. Then, at Selma's funeral, an old man approaches Liza and tells her that be once knew her long-absent father and that Liza needs to be careful because some people 'don't forget'. Murder and mayhem soon begin and Liza takes off across the country on the 'underground railroad' operated by long-haul truckers, which is meant for abused women. Liza's plan is to get to her older brother Matthew in Bisbee, Arizona to see if he can explain what's going on. Meanshile, across the country in Bisbee, Sheriff Joanna Brady has a lot to deal with. Junior, a handicapped man beloved by his adoptive parents and the community, is found murdered - his body lying in a cave with the remains of several abused animals and a live but tortured kitten. Joanna fears a budding serial killer might be responsible. The medical examiner, Dr. Guy Matchett (Liza's brother), is scheduled to do Junior's autopsy but he is soon found brutally murdered himself, his body showing evidence of torture. Joanna thinks the Junior and Guy deaths are unrelated and - when she's contacted by authorities in Massachusetts looking for Liza - concludes there's a connection between the crimes in Massachusetts and what happened to Guy Matchett. The story skips back and forth between Liza's trek across the U.S. and Joanna's investigations in Arizona. Liza is handed off from one long haul rig to another and meets a series of interesting personalities along the way. In the Arizona sections, Joanna has a competent team of deputies and crime scene analysts and their work is well-described and informative. Joanna's family also plays a part in the story, including her supportive husband Butch, rodeo-loving daughter Jenny, and the family dogs and horses. This adds a homey touch to the book. Joanna solves Junior's murder with the help of forensic evidence and the Matchett case with the help of federal authorities. The Machett solution, however, didn't quite ring true for me. This book is a fine addition to the Joanna Brady series and recommended for mystery fans.You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  • Jerry B
    2019-04-24 15:15

    We’re long-time Jance fans; ironically though we dislike her Ali Reynolds series, her JP Beaumont and Sheriff Joanna Brady books are definite favorites, of which we would never miss her latest. We marvel that after over 50 novels, and at just a few months shy of 70 years on the planet, her standards have slipped nary a notch – as well evidenced by the terrific dual plot of “Remains”.Perhaps the plot closer to home is that Junior Dowdle, a long-running minor local character, and a mentally disabled man, has gone missing. When he's found dead in a dark cave, along with dead and mutilated animals, a homicide is suspected to say the least. Meanwhile, we’re entertained by another set of disturbing developments arising in Massachusetts. A woman named Lisa Manchett is handling the affairs of her late mother, a hoarder; and discovers a lot of cash in the house. When her neighbor turns up dead and Lisa’s apartment ransacked, her boss helps her escape using a cross-country “system” of transportation set up to help abused women escape their situations. It took us a while to connect her to Guy Manchett, the surly Medical Examiner in Brady’s hometown (and Jance’s in real life) of Bisbee Arizona. Then when Guy turns up dead as well, the tale really heats up.We have no doubt Joanna will find Junior’s killer, but that outcome surely came as a surprise. The Manchett matters didn’t get quite the detailed solutions one might have suspected, yet generated considerable suspense along the way. While we typically enjoy every book in this set, this one was quite compelling and definitely a tribute to an author whose flame hardly flickers!

  • Dan
    2019-04-24 20:15

    Liza Machett cleans out her mother’s home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts when she finds money hidden everywhere. All she remembers that they were poor growing up. Soon, the house is burned to the ground, her landlord is murdered and she is on the run to her brother is Bisbee, Arizona. But in Bisbee, the Sheriff, Joanna Brady is dealing with the death of a local who was found at the bottom of a hole. When Liza reaches Bisbee, Joanna hands her hands filled with more than the Sheriff’s department can handle. This story is riveting filled with enough suspense to keep me guessing. And situations that move quickly and efficiently that I didn’t want to put the book down. I though the characters were well developed and the mystery of the money satisfactory. It is an enjoyable summer read.

  • Jennifer Margulis
    2019-04-03 20:51

    This book tells two stories that take a long time to intersect: Liza Mattern is a young woman with a mentally ill mother growing up in a filthy home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Sheriff Joanna Brady is a red-headed law enforcement official in a small town in Arizona investigating the perplexing death of a developmentally delayed adult named Junior after he is found at the bottom of a cave ledge beside a mewling kitten that has been tortured. I haven't read any books by J.A. Jance or any other books in this series. My aunt gave this one to me because I was looking for a mindless escape. But neither storyline really grabbed my attention until over 170 pages into the book when the two plots finally come together. I found myself unable to keep track of all the characters (there are dozens) and not very compelled by what was happening in their lives. I imagine regular readers of these Brady novels would not have this problem. But even if you already know them from previous books, the characters in Remains of Innocence are not well developed. The narrator keeps her distance, never giving us any real insight into the psychology of someone who grows up with a hoarder. Liza's personality is flat. There is no emotion on her part or the reader's as the people around her are murdered. Sheriff Brady spends a lot of time on her Bluetooth while driving. We see her giving orders, eating peanut butter sandwiches, and thinking through the "and thens" of her day, but her personality seems woefully underdeveloped as well. She overcomes every obstacle put in her way (there aren't many) with ease, and never has to prove herself or get herself out of a bad situation. With no real conflicts to overcome in this book besides solving a small-town murder, there is not that much to keep the reader engaged.Though things finally pick up in the last third of the book, we never understand what the killer's motivation is in one of the storylines (being "evil" does not explain it). The writing, like the characters, is a little flat. And the loose ends aren't tied up very well. I had more questions than answers when the book ended: How was the extortion carried out for so long? Was the son part of it? Where would the main character who lost everyone to murder go now? I did like Brady's husband who uncomplainingly tended to the kids, sleuthed for his wife, and held down the fort while she was out investigating murders. I suspect other books in this series are better than this one. This is not a suspense novel I would recommend.

  • Mike French
    2019-03-30 18:13

    Another very enjoyable read from J.A Jance! Sheriff Brady has two murders to solve and this keeps the reader's attention from start to the end. I love Jance' s three series and if you haven't read her,do yourself a favor and start!

  • Laura
    2019-04-12 21:13

    It had been a Very Long Time since I had treated myself to an actual hardcover book. I went to a book-signing that J.A. Jance was having at the Puyallup Library and a local bookstore was selling her newest book. Truly an extravagance I shouldn't have afforded,but I did. If you ever have the opportunity to go hear Ms. Jance speak, do it. She is engaging, witty, and delightful. Exactly the kind of person one would love to have over for dinner to discuss things like family, travel, and the best ways to dispose of a pesky dead body.If you are already a fan of the Joanna Brady series, you won't be disappointed with this latest installment. If you have yet to become a fan, this is a good one to jump in with--it is jam-packed with opportunities to become filled with righteous indignation (harm to animals and the handicapped) and to thoroughly rally behind Our Heroine Joanna. I shan't include any spoilers, but let's say that Ms. Jance is adept at keeping the True Identity difficult to discern whilst laying out clues obvious in hindsight. To my mind, just the way a mystery should be. Figure-out-able but not blatantly obvious.Technical note: My copy, at the end of chapter 12 notes that a character is receiving 'just deserts' which I believe should be 'just desserts'. This is in no way a knock on Ms. Jance, but her publisher should make the correction prior to the next run. And consider themselves duly whacked with a wet noodle.

  • Jean Poulos
    2019-04-09 17:52

    My introduction to J. A. Jance was a book in the middle of the Joanna Brady series. I enjoyed it so much I read the entire series then started on the Beaumont series. I was so glad to see a new book in the Brady series; I thought she had forgotten about. The book starts out in Great Barrington, Massachusetts where a daughter of a hoarder is forced to return to her mother’s house. Lisa Machett’s mother Thelma is dying and Lisa needs to deal with Thelma’s affairs. In cleaning the house she discovers a large amount of cash. People who help Lisa are killed; Thelma’s house is burned down on the day of her funeral. Dr. Machetts is found murdered and tortured in his home in Bixby, Arizona. He is Lisa’s half brother. Sheriff Joanna Brady is also dealing with the murder of Junior Dowdle, a long time character in the series, along with Junior’s body is a number of dead and mutated kittens, rabbit and small dog. Gradually the two plots weave together to form a compelling tale of family dysfunction and murder. This is a complicated read that moves forward at a rapid pace. As usual J. A. Jance has written an interesting tale. Hillary Huber did a good job narrating the book.

  • Chris
    2019-04-10 15:53

    What a good book. The story centers on Junior's murder. He was found down a raven with dead animals (kittens and small dogs) under him. And Liza who is a waitress in Barrington, MA. Junior is an adult with Alzheimer who is living with an older couple as their son. He found dead after he disappeared from his room and later found at the bottom of the cavern. The Sheriff and the rest of the town do not think that is was Jr. that killed the animals since he has no defensive marks on him. In the meantime across the country we have Liza who didn't have a great childhood and is a waitress at a local diner. Liza's mother is sick and ends up in a hospice where she dies. While cleaning her house Liza comes across a ton of money in books, magazines and other places in the house. Liza's mother dies and at the Cemetery and a man gives Liza a warning stating that her father's old friends never forgets. Liza's father has been gone since she was small. The story moves fast and you are wondering if both of these deaths are connected.

  • Betty
    2019-04-03 14:48

    Remains of Innocenceby Jance, J. A. (William Morrow)A mentally challenged man is found dead in Arizona. Led to his death by a sadist. In Massachusetts an old woman is dying of COPD, and is a hoarder. When her daughter cleans out the house after her mother's death, she finds hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden in books. These two storylines have a connection, and Sheriff Joanna Brady has her work cut out for her. REMAINS OF INNOCENCE is an A-plus read, with real characters and a solid narrative. REMAINS OF INNOCENCE is J. A. Jance at her best. Betty Cox, ReviewerGood ReadsReader to Reader

  • Lynn Cahoon
    2019-03-30 19:56

    I love the way the author balances Joanna's home and work life, weaving in the small town quirks.

  • Sherry Fundin
    2019-04-23 16:59

    I have read numerous J A Jance novels, so when I saw the opportunity to read and review Remains of Innocence, I jumped all over it. J A Jance writes an amazing mystery of murder, torture, abuse and the evil of human psychopaths. The writing keeps me on the edge of my seat as I try to figure out who is the murderer.I can picture Lisa driving up to the dilapidated house that she had left so many years ago. Her memories are not good – an abusive mother who drove her and her brother away. Her mother had mental problems, not least of which was hoarding. Lisa grew up in poverty and filth. She had been teased at school and called stinky. A teacher stepped in and because of that, her life became bearable – she was able to shower, wash her clothes and had money to buy food That is why, now, her small apartment is spotless.When Lisa’s mother ended up hospitalized, they called her. All her mother wanted was her “Joy To Cooking” book and was adamant about it. That’s how Lisa came to be standing at the door of her old house. A spider crawled on her hand as she retrieved the book and she dropped it. We both hate spiders. Who doesn’t? Money fell out. She started checking all the books and kept finding more. Where had it come from? Had she been using outhouses, no bathing or clothes washing and no food to eat while the money had been sitting there the whole time? Thirty thousand dollars.In Arizona, Sherriff Joanna Brady was called from bed at 5AM to look for a developmentally disabled man. He had climbed out a bedroom window and was nowhere to be found.Joanna had inherited the job of sheriff of Cochise County after her father died. She had proven herself and won the townspeople’s respect. She is married with two kids and pets that all seem to be damaged in some way. I love that her husband, Butch, who is a writer, handles most of the household duties. A man secure in his masculinity. Does he write crime novels? My hubby does the cooking too, so I can relate. When hubby’s not home, like Joanna, a PB&J sounds like a meal to me.In her job as a waitress, Lisa knew people by what they ordered for dinner. They all chipped in to help her clean out and fix up her mother’s house with the money she found. Why would someone burn it down? Now she was on the run. She didn’t know from who, what or why.I love J A Jance’s approach. Remains of Innocence is two separate storylines, until……The reading is smooth and easy. Just enough suspense, mystery and tension to keep me reading page after page. The characters and plot are detailed and fully developed. No complaints. Even being an ARC, I found few things I would change and they were very minor and grammatical.I am always happy and eager to pick up a J A Jance novel, especially if Joanna is in it. I love her. She takes no crap from anyone.I feel J A Jance tried to trick me with the identity of the murderer. Whoa, a great twist. Where did that come from? No wonder I was vacillating back and forth. Most excellent and I can hardly wait to read the next one.

  • Dyana
    2019-04-14 15:15

    I read this book so fast I didn't have time to post I was reading it! Even tho this is the 16th in the series, it is still suspenseful and fast-paced. J.A. Jance never disappoints. This book involves two complicated cases that Joanna Brady, Sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona must solve:1. Liza Machett's estranged mother, Thelma, is a mentally ill and abusive hoarder and hermit. After Thelma is hospitalized, Liza returns to her childhood home to retrieve a cookbook her mother has requested and discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills hidden in books and magazines through out the house. Infuriated that the money was there all the time Liza and her brother, Guy, were growing up poor without the necessities of life, she begins to renovate the house to sell. On the day of her mother's funeral the house burns down, her apartment is broken into, and her elderly landlady is murdered. Because an elderly man at the funeral warned her of impending danger, Liza's boss gets her into an Underground Railroad system for victims of domestic violence. She travels to Bisbee, Arizona to find her estranged brother, Guy, in the hope he can help her figure out what's going on. Guy also happens to be the medical examiner in Joanna's department. During the trip Liza finds out her boss have been brutally tortured and murdered; and when she arrives in Bisbee, she also finds out her brother has also been brutally tortured and murdered. Why is she being hunted? Where did the money come from? Who is after her? Does it have something to do with the big racketeering trial going on in Boston?2. A recurring character from previous books, Junior Dowdle, a developmentally disabled man in his 60's is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee, Arizona. The police also discover a badly tortured kitten, barely alive, on a shelf in the cave and underneath the body the remains of other mutilated pets. Could Junior, with the onset of dementia and violent episodes, have murdered these animals? Most people think not. Was Junior a murderer or a victim? In interviewing neighborhood friends on Junior's street, the police talk to an alcoholic mother and her two home-schooled children named Ruth and Lucas and another boy named Jason who used to play checkers with Junior. What do they know about Junior's disappearance and death? I like the step-by-step police procedural that is followed by the various agencies in discovering clues and solving the cases. Sometimes it is coincidence, accident, or chance that propel the investigation on and keep the police from hitting dead-ends. I also like how Joanna's personal life is intertwined with her exciting, dangerous life as a sheriff. You also feel like you are coming home again with each book Jance writes - the recurring characters, the descriptive desert landscapes, the small town atmosphere. A very good read.

  • Bookmom
    2019-04-20 14:11

    Liza Machett walked away from her mentally ill and verbally abusive mother the day after her high school graduation and never looked back. Ten years later her mother enters hospice and she’s requested to go into the house to retrieve a cookbook. The house is a nightmare of highly stacked garbage and vermin—and a heck of a lot of moldy money stuffed in books; Liza had grown up dirt poor, even having to use an outhouse, so where did it come from? Spending that money to fix up the house so it can be sold brings unwanted attention, and she’s not safe. She decides to find her successful older half brother that bailed out of their lives years before she left, hoping between them they can figure out what to do.At the other end of the country, Sheriff Joanna Brady really has her hands full this time, beginning with an early morning call to find Junior, a mentally challenged man of about 60 who went missing from his bedroom overnight, which evolves into an unrelated crime. Her department works with the Bisbee PD in trying to solve a number of things that come to light.This story is jam-packed with things going on and various avenues to investigate with some surprising results. The story is told from 2 points of view. Obviously we have Joanna, but a good chunk of the story follows Liza, what she faces and learns, as well as her interesting escape across country to reach her brother. Outside of the genre I normally spend money on, I’ve only read one other book by this author years ago, and jumped at the chance to get an ARC via Edelweiss/Above the Treeline. I’m going to have to go back and pick up other books in this series. The fast-paced mystery is tightly written and easily kept me absorbed. The characters and situations are interesting, as is the area and terrain, although at times the number of characters felt overwhelming to me. I don’t believe that would have been the case if I’d already been familiar with them from prior books. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying this story. 4.5 stars

  • Stephen
    2019-04-08 16:51

    J.A Jance's latest thriller starts on either end of the United States. Step-sister Liza Machett works in a diner in Great Barrington , Massachusets and she only knows that her step-brother, Guy has graduated medical school and now works as a Coroner in Cochise County, Arizona. Guy ran away from his dysfunctional mother, Selma when he was a teenager but Liza stuck it out until Selma's recent death. Her mother suffered from Dementia including a facet of it, hoarding. After her death, Liza discovers money hidden all over her house.....lots of money.Meanwhile a sweet old man cared for and also suffering mental illness is discovered dead in a cave near Bisbee, Arizona. His caretakers are devastated and Sheriff Joanna Brady thinks that this was not an accident At Selma's funeral , an old man issues a warning to Liza that someone may be after her because of her father...a man she hasn't seen in 20 years. After spending a lot of the found money to fix up her house in order to sell it, the house is the victim of arson. And now Liza is taking the threat seriously and she knows it must be tied to the found money. Liza decides to head West to find her brother and warn him of the possible threat on their lives. Meanwhile in Bisbee, Sheriff Brady doesn't realized that she will soon be entangled in two cases and possibly tracking a serial killer. J.A.Jance never lets the pace slow down as the reader races to a big surprise ending.

  • Linda Rawlins
    2019-04-24 14:48

    "Remains of Innocence" By J.A. Jance is the 16th book in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series. The plot revolves around murders committed in two different parts of the country. The book starts in Massachusetts where a waitress, Liza, supports her hoarding dying mother. Cleaning out the house, she finds a large sum of money tucked away in books and magazines. She attempts to clean up the place and sell only to have disaster strike and force her to flee the state.In Arizona, a developmentally disabled man is missing and the town fears the worst. Engaged in an active search, Sheriff Joanna Brady and the police find abused, mutilated animals before being rocked by another horrible crime. More bodies pile up as Liza travels across the country to find her brother, who happens to live in Cochise County, Arizona, the same county watched over by Sheriff Joanna Brady.The book continues with two seemingly separate story lines that become permanently entangled as the book is brought to a conclusion. I am a big fan of J.A. Jance but have missed a few of the latest books. What struck me is the character of Sheriff Brady has developed from an insecure sheriff to a tough, non-nonsense law enforcement officer.If you love Jance and a serious killer storyline, you'll love Remains of Innocence.

  • Bob
    2019-04-17 20:47

    A new one by one of my favorite authors. We start out in Great Barrington, MA with a young woman who comes back to the home she left on graduating high school to find a book that her mother requested from her hospital bed. She has been supporting herself at a local diner and has had little contact with her mother since leaving then home and when she goes to the house she finds it in disrepair and inside a hoarders nightmare. No water, no power and trash everywhere. Finding the book her mother asked for she discovers something, and looking further even more but it is also the beginning of her own nightmare as she finds herself on the run to Bisbee Arizona to find her estranged brother. Back in Bisbee Sheriff Brady is having her own troubles when longtime resident, disabled man an friendly face at the local eatery turns up missing overnight. The search finds him dead, having fallen down an abandoned mine shaft. Accident or murder, it is unclear and the ME is out of town for the weekend. Eventually the two threads converge with unexpected revelations.

  • Marca
    2019-04-23 15:09

    Love the character of Joanna Brady. Joanna is faced with two murders in Cochise County. The first is Junior Dowdle, a character we met earlier, a developmentally disabled man who found a home with an older couple in Bisbee. Junior is found dead at the bottom of a cave. The second murder is related to Liza, a waitress clear across the country in Massachusetts, who is making her way to Bisbee via an Underground Railroad for abused spouses after her horrible mother dies. Joanna and staff burn the midnight oil to find the killers before they kill again. We get to see Joanna’s children grow and blossom and Butch is still a good guy. Jance does a great job of balancing the personal lives with the professional lives of her characters.

  • Karen
    2019-04-06 13:57

    YAY I have missed having more novels in this series.Again a great offering!Although the cover seems to be about a desert fire it's about children and the loss of their innocence. Whether the child is in their teens or a grown adult.YAY for JoAnna Brady

  • Nancy
    2019-04-24 19:51

    I just love Joanna Brady! Enough said...

  • Gail
    2019-03-26 19:56

    I thought this started a little slow but once it got going, it was pretty tense. I thought it was one of the better Joanna Brady books, most recent in the series but would also stand alone.

  • Kilian Metcalf
    2019-04-14 17:01

    I think I must be the only person in the world, or at least S. Arizona who doesn't love J. A. Jance. This is the second book I've read. The first was out of curiosity, this one under the duress of a book club pick for January. I won't be posting this review to my Facebook page. Some of her biggest fans are in that book group and are also Facebook friends. Why don't I like her? Well, there are several reasons, starting with her need for a good editor. This book could have been cut by one-third without hurting the story. It's my belief that once authors becomes best sellers with huge fan bases, they begin to believe they don't need an editor anymore. Especially an editor who will point out certain weaknesses. If all you are worried about is the mechanics of using the language, there's a certain amount of truth in this. Jance writes competent, if boring prose. But, really, does *every* character, including the pets, need a backstory? Or incredibly boring minutiae? Can't the sheriff just leave home without our knowing that she puts down the coffee cup, collects her weapons from a gun safe (it has its own backstory, too—it was a gift from her husband), dons her uniform jacket, walks out to her car, gets in her vehicle, turns on the key and finally (thank God) drives away. The sheriff/main character is too stupid to live. The first person to die is a developmentally disabled adult who is becoming demented. He wanders off into the night and falls (or was he pushed?) into a hole inside a cave, dying from the 40-foot drop. So far so good. The problem for me comes with the discovery of a tortured kitten, covered with cigarette burns. Everyone, include our intrepid sheriff, jumps to the conclusion that the dead man is the one who did this, but no one ever thinks to ask if he smokes, or check him or his room for cigarettes. When the body is moved, there is no one there but the rescue personnel, because our brilliant sheriff has left the scene with no law enforcement present and is chatting up the rescue squad outside. Big surprise, they find things under the body.She treats her husband like a live-in servant, never tossing him a word of gratitude or appreciation. One of the elements I disliked most in the first book I read was her treatment of her long-suffering husband. I have no clue why he puts up with her. He cooks, he cleans, he does the laundry and raises the kids so she can swan around as the sheriff. The good news is that she's never home, so he has the house to himself. Maybe he's writing his own series of murder mysteries. I'll bet they're better than this one. Her mother-in-law doesn't like her. I can see why.Apparently she's never learned how to use a computer very well (the author is 71), she's all helpless and 'too busy' to Google something and calls on one of her staff to do what needs to be done.In a physical confrontation with a suspect, she strikes him *on the head* with her heavy-duty flashlight. Even a rookie cop knows to aim for the shoulder or knee. You never hit someone in the head. It's not described as an accident, so I assume she was going for the head shot. When a victim is taken to the local hospital she uses her uniform and badge to force her way in. Really? Do the hospital staff not know who the sheriff is? Besides, this patient is a victim of a murder attempt, why would law enforcement have finagle a way into conduct an investigation.There is lots of smirking and sniggering about a nudist colony that makes me cringe. Generally these places are clothing-optional for nonmembers, and I definitely do not believe that the inhabitants helped to fight a wild fire wearing only hats and boots or that they actually requested the sheriff and her deputy to disrobe while on an official visit. I know for sure from personal experience that members do not 'strut around' (her words, not mine), but behave like adults going about their business. I wish I were at my favorite clothing-optional spa right now, enjoying the sun on my skin and the feel of swimming in the buff instead of spending hours I will never regain reading this book.I could go on, but these are just the things I remember. The things a good editor would have caught. If you are a Jance fan, I'm sorry I don't share the love, and I don't mind that you do. Just don't ask me to read any more of her work.So what is the allure? Is it the setting? We do get small glimpses of life in S. Arizona. Half a day at a barrel-racing event, some glimpses of history of the fascinating town of Bisbee with descriptions of its crazy layout on the side of a hill. It definitely cannot be the details of a police procedural, and the characters aren't interesting enough for a cozy. Maybe her earlier books were better. I will never know.

    2019-04-11 13:57

    And so it begins, the reading of books based only on their availability now that our library has closed its doors for, gulp, good. I have some good ones squirreled away to parse out in the coming months but a lot of my emergency reading stash is compiled of books plucked off the now defunct friends of the library sale cart on the cheap. This one was really cheap, I short stopped it out of my mom's thrift store donation bag. Having enjoyed Janice's J.P. Beaumont series years ago I thought why not, never mind it's the middle of a different series, beggars can't be choosers, right? It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either and I'm pretty sure it's not just me landing mid-series in Bisbee, AZ. Remains of Innocence follows two story lines that eventually meet in Bizbee. When Liza Machett's estranged, mentally ill hoarder mother is admitted to hospice care she sees her mother for the first time in years. Her mother tells her she has to bring her her cookbook, the Joy of Cooking. Liza stiffens her upper lip, stocks up on Vicks, face masks and rubber gloves and enters the family home. Startled by a spider she drops the book and discovers a substantial amount of cash stuffed in its pages. Turns out there's almost $150,000 between the pages of books and magazines. What ensues should have been a very suspenseful race to solve where the money came from and why/how is someone killing everyone who has anything to do with Eliza.Meanwhile, literally back at the ranch Sheriff Johanna Brady is awakened bright and early by a missing persons case. A disabled adult has wandered off and been found dead (the nightmare of every parent of a disabled child, truth). And right about here is where Sheriff Brady starts to annoy the pants off me. The victim is found in a cave/glory hole, old mineshaft type pit. With him is a kitten that's been tortured. Cigarette burn marks are specifically mentioned but it's ages before this obvious clue is only sorta addressed. And so it goes. I won't say much more about the Sheriff except I am not impressed with her treatment of her husband and family. Sure, she's got a big important job but eh, the husband is either an exceptionally good sport or has some co-dependency issues. Or maybe he just wanted a couple of kids and horses and is happy to scramble the Sheriff's eggs if it means he can run things and have the house to himself. But I digress.In my opinion neither mystery is satisfactorily wrapped up, quite a few loose ends left trailing and what does get wrapped up felt ... eh, who cares, I feel like I've already wasted enough time here. Wouldn't recommend unless you are desperate for reading material. Which I am. Sigh.

  • John W.
    2019-04-18 13:46

    “Remains of Innocence” By J.A. Jance is the 17th book in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series and fans will not be disappointed with the fast paced and thought provoking story. Fans are in the same room at the High Lonesome Ranch as Brady is about to leave to respond to an emergency in Cochise County. The mystery and suspense of Jance’s story take readers on a ride across the country and at the same time an intense situation happens in local Brisbee and the surrounding area of Cochise County, Arizona. Fans are treated to a unique experience as Jance helps her fans see each case unfold simultaneously. The transition between the events of the two cases is done flawlessly. We see how Jance’s character development of Joanna Brady has matured over the years. Brady takes her job as the Sheriff of Cochise County very seriously and she also takes her role of wife, mother, and daughter seriously as well. I like how Jance shows the Bradys all caring for each other. In addition to creating a strong protagonist, we see Jance’s development of great support characters who help broaden and enhance Brady’s investigative skills and provide readers a look at the personal lives of the Brady family and the personal lives of Jance’s key support characters.Jance shows the readers how Brady’s character growth is important to decisions she has to make to find answers to the cases she is investigating. Jance tells her readers what is going on from the turn of the first page of “Remains of Innocence”. We know who the support characters are and both protagonists and antagonists are as Jance shares well developed back stories on each character as needed. One of the strengths of Jance’s writing is the way she puts her readers right in the middle of the activities as they unfold. Fans see the story move in many directions and keep the reader wondering how the cases are going to be resolved. Each case continues to grab readers helping build intensity and drama as the investigations makes turns and twists that keep us guessing and are in a hurry to turn each page. “Remains of Innocence” keeps readers involved in the issues that lead to the events of the thrilling story and fans will be amazed and the ending. Jance’s book gives readers a look at how things happen to people that are beyond their control. Jance’s “Remains of Innocence” is well written intense story tells that lives up to its title. Readers will become addicted to Sheriff Brady series as it offers mystery, suspense, humor, and a little bit of romance. Jance shows fans her creative writing skills continues to deliver a great mystery and suspense series. I look for Sheriff Joanna Brady series to be around for a long time.

  • Cathy Cole
    2019-04-25 12:56

    There's nothing quite like reading one of Jance's Joanna Brady books while staying in Bisbee, Arizona. All I had to do is step outside the door to see I was right in the heart of these books. Having grown up in this old mining town, Jance's setting is pitch perfect and one of the reasons why I love these books.Another reason I love these books is the characters. Joanna is brave, intelligent, and compassionate, and these books have shown her growth from grieving widow to sheriff to sheriff at the beginning of a second marriage. Joanna can also be opinionated and stubborn, and her relationship with her mother is anything but harmonious. In other words, she's human.The people Joanna lives with and works with have become like friends as I've made my way through this series. When Junior was diagnosed with dementia in an earlier book, I got tears in my eyes. Yes indeed, I am invested all the way to my eyebrows in this series.A perfect setting and characters that wind themselves around your heart are all well and good, but they need a good mystery to show them in their best light. In the case of Remains of Innocence, one mystery is stronger than the other. It didn't take me long to deduce what had really happened to Junior, but Liza's part of the book kept my interest from beginning to end. Jance has a way of knowing just how to make a character so sympathetic that you want to invite them in for coffee and a long talk. She's done her usual excellent job with Liza and those $100 bills.Innocence is a theme that runs strong throughout this book. People who never lost their innocence; those who lost it much too early. People who should be innocent who aren't; and those who look guilty... but aren't. There's good food for thought in Jance's latest Joanna Brady mystery-- yet another reason why I love this series.

  • Maggie Franz
    2019-04-11 12:58

    Normally, other than page numbers, math isn’t really my thing. J.A. Jance’s latest book though, adds up perfectly. One strong and grounded protagonist, two separate investigations, at least four murders, and a whole slew of potentially implicated parties make Remains of Innocence suspenseful and alluring. A Joanna Brady novel, Remains of Innocence pulls at your heart strings and leaves you crying for justice, cheering this dedicated police chief on as she hunts to bring justice for her small town. While trying to solve one murder, Joanna uncovers another that will connect her to an investigation that spans the continental US. Jance, with her best selling skills has brought us another fascinating thriller that is as hot as the Arizona sun. Two investigations, both unbelievable in their own rights, involve so many pieces and bit of detail - but Jance manages to weave them all together and spin a novel that is deserving of all it’s praise. I very much enjoyed reading this book and will be recommending it to all thrill seekers. In this diverse genre so filled with talent, Jance has earned herself a place of prestige and sits on a shelf all her own.Read more of the review:

  • Ed
    2019-04-06 12:50

    #16 in the Joanna Brady series. Murder strikes close to home as Joanna works to solve the murders of two recurring series characters. Junior Dowdle, a developmentally challenged man who worked as a greeter in Daisy's Diner, has been pushed to his death in a shaft in a cave. In a separate case, unpopular medical examiner Guy Machett is tortured to death.Joanna Brady series - An old woman, a hoarder, is dying of emphysema in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In cleaning out her house, her daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner. Tracing the money's origins will take Liza on a journey that will end in Cochise County, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own. A man she considers a family friend is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee.

  • Carolyn
    2019-03-28 13:14

    Joanna Brady really has her hands full in this one. Not only has someone she cares for died (or been murdered?) but also she has law enforcement professionals from the East Coast calling about other murders. What is the connection between Bisbee, AZ and Great Barrington, MA, and what can she do about the new Medical Examiner who is so reluctant to do his job? J. A. Jance does her usually fine job of twisting a tale into tangled knots and then swiftly unravelling the pieces into a whole. Sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, all with complicated relationships play a part in this well-designed drama. Also, much appreciation to Hilary Huber for excellent narration!

  • Harry Lane
    2019-04-10 14:51

    Listened to audiobooki of this police procedural. Sheriff Brady has to deal with two murders, neither of which is straightforward. The detective work on the first murder unwinds slowly but the ending is surprising. The second muder doesn't get solved - but there's an interesting plot twist that provides a good reason for that. There is a parallel plot in the first half of the book which seems almost a separate story until the circumstances surrounding the second murder are revealed.

  • Ricki
    2019-03-27 19:47

    Another great mystery by J. A. Jance! She intertwined two mysteriesand multiple murders in this book, including killing off a character featured in some of her previous novels. Sheriff Joanna Brady's life just plain wore me out....I became so very involved in the book and her hectic life as she runs from one murder scene to another. A great book - really held my my interest!