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Tombstone Courage (1995)

Tombstone Courage (1995)

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3.97 of 5 Votes: 4
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0380765462 (ISBN13: 9780380765461)

About book Tombstone Courage (1995)

In this second of the series, Joanna Brady is elected the first female sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona only a couple of months after her husband (who was running for sheriff) is brutally murdered by a drug-cartel hit man. At first her nine year old daughter Jenny is on-board with her mother becoming Sheriff, then becomes withdrawn with uneasy silences, angry words and tears as she realizes she could also lose her mother if she becomes sheriff. Both mother and daughter haven't had time to heal from their grief and haven't been able to console each other properly. Joanna has no previous experience as a policewoman, must start the job immediately, has conflicts with people working under her (especially under-sheriff, Richard Voland, with his good-old boy mentality), and navigate around her overbearing mother, friends, and scared daughter while maintaining her home-life. Harold Patterson, an elderly rancher, is distressed by his middle-aged daughter Holly arriving back in town accompanied by a hypno-therapist and a lawyer with accusations that she was abused by her father as a small child. They are ready to sue in a personal-injury trial for half the ranch. Ivy, Holly's younger sister, stayed on the ranch helping to keep it running, took care of her ailing mother for years, and now feels she is being forced out of her home. She is bitter and angry. Harold has a guilty secret (not what you think) and a plan to compensate Holly for all her pain. Ivy feels betrayed. But, before the plan can be revealed, he is murdered. When the body is discovered in a mine hole, a second much older skeleton is discovered beneath him. Lawyer Burton Kimball was raised by Harold and his wife and is in emotional conflict because he loves Harold but has always protected Ivy from her sister Holly as they were growing up. He must decide who to support during this conflict.With grit, courage, and determination Joanna begins her new job. I like the fact that she makes mistakes, realizes she needs more training, is credible, and that there is room for growth in future books. A good mystery read.

I recently read Desert Heat, the first novel in the Joanna Brady series. This, the second entry, takes place several months after Desert Heat when the recently widowed Brady has taken her late husband's place on the ballot and is running for sheriff of Cochise County. (Since the cover announces it is part of the Sheriff Brady series, it comes as no surprise the she wins the election.) Not only does she have to deal with a skeptical and somewhat hostile group of deputies, but she is confronted with two murders on her first day. Part way in to this book, I realized I had read it several years ago before I was acquainted with the Joanna Brady series. It reads better knowing the context. Many of the characters introduced in Desert Heat continue in Tombstone Courage.

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This is really where the series starts finding its feet. The characters are great as always, the story is compelling from the very beginning. And most importantly we start developing and adding the secondary characters that make this series one of my favorites. As always I find the plot to be great and here is no exception, although I was kind of surprised the election didn't encompass the entire book, I kind of like that twist on what I was expecting of the plot. And here is the strange thing about this series. I love the politics, I love the political games Joanna has to navigate and I love the administrative issues she has to deal with, it is truly what hooked me with this series, and it starts to really emerge here.The only complaint I have with this book is the length is somewhat padded. Now fortunately here that padding comes early in the book, the books spends way too much time with Harold Patterson, and other side characters early on. The story you get from most of them is interesting, and it never strays from the plot too far, but alot of it feels unnecessary and like it is simply there to boost the word count of what would have been a very short book. Other than the small gripe I love this book, I love these characters and can't wait for more
—Brandon Collinsworth

I ordered a huge box of books off ebay from some poor sap who basically gave 22 books away for 2.00. When I got the box it was full of books by JA Jance and Stuart Woods. From there my love affair began with JA Jance's series. I read all of Joanna Brady's books out of order but I loved each and every one. I even went on the author's website and read where she told how she got the idea for each of the books she has written. It only made me love each book more :) How sad was I when I realized yesterday that I am now up-to-date on all the Joanna Brady books!! Now I am just hoping she continues to write this series.. I have to know what happens to her little family :)
—Kristi, A Book Fanatic

WOW! What A Stunner!I just started following the Joanna Brady Mysteries by J.A.Jance recently because I've always loved good suspense and police centered or investigative centered mysteries. I grew up watching Perry Mason and Dragnet! "Tombstone Courage" is the second in this series and a real page Turner. While some people might get bored or disinterested with the small-town backdrop, this suspenseful mystery unfolds in a very exciting and energetic manner.Jance is a master of intertwining the unusual with the average everyday happenings of life and keeps you guessing and hanging on to every happening. This series could have easily become a TV show. This episode had me going and twist at the end I didn't see coming at all. Everything that goes on in this story is plausible particularly in this small-town setting.However the story twists and turns with the humanly interactions between the characters and their reactions to what life throws at them.This is a really enjoyable read and the ending is worth the wait!

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