I used to read J.A. Jance, but unfortunately have wondered away for a bit. I recently stumbled upon some wonderful novellas that she wrote with some of her established characters from full length novels.
The Old Blue Line supplies a great back story to Butch Dixon, who is a main character in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series. The story is seventy-three pages long and kept my attention. I loved the different characters she introduced from Grandma Hudson, to Tim O’Malley, to Tim’s friends, who are retirees that have the time, skill, and abilities to help those in need. Butch was definitely a man in need. He was being railroaded for a crime he did not commit, but looks certain for. I did not suspect the true culprit and that made the book even more enjoyable. Well worth the smaller price tag, and great when you don’t have the time to read a full novel, but desire great characters and great writing. This book is thicker than the other novella I had gotten because it includes a preview of Remains of Innocence (a full length novel). Numerous blank pages at the back of the book provide space for notes or sketching, if one likes writing in their books, but otherwise serve no real purpose. However, they do not detract from the story.
Random Acts is another novella, seventy six pages in length, written by J.A. Jance within the Joanna Brady series. Joanna gets the bad news that her mother, Eleanor, and stepfather were involved in an accident. After Eleanor supplies an important clue, Joanna teams up with another one of J.A. Jance’s characters, Ali Reynolds, and some local police to solve an accident that wasn’t really an accident. The ending was realistically unsatisfying, as some crimes do occur in this fashion, but…I won’t give it all away. At the end of the novella, the reader finds a nice addition, a preview of Downfall (a full-length novel in this same series.)
Now I have two novellas involving J.P. Beaumont, another great character by this same author, waiting for me to read. I find these novellas to be good reads, while also providing you a glimpse into some of the author’s other novels.
For more information on the author, and to purchase signed copies of his books, please visit his website.