cover image Proof of Life: A J.P. Beaumont Novel

Proof of Life: A J.P. Beaumont Novel

J.A. Jance. Morrow, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-265754-1

In bestseller Jance’s entertaining 24th J.P. Beaumont mystery (after 2015’s Dance of the Bones), the 72-year-old retired Seattle homicide cop learns that reporter Maxwell Cole, a fraternity brother of his at the University of Washington, has died in a house fire. Maxwell, afraid that he might be murdered, told a family friend, Erin Howard, that he wanted Beau to investigate if he died, because he didn’t trust the Seattle police to do the job. Beau’s complex past history with Erin leads him to agree to take the case, and Beau’s established contacts with computer whiz Todd Hatcher and medical examiner Rosemary Mellon pave the way as he gathers leads and discovers suspicious anomalies. Beau’s wife, Mel Soames, the police chief of Bellingham, lends a hand, and both tread carefully when clues suggest that former Seattle police chief Lawrence Harden, still a powerful figure, might be involved in Maxwell’s death. Complications in Beau’s personal life, such as fostering Rambo, a 100-pound Irish wolfhound, add spice to this winning blend of humor, compassion, danger, and love. Agent: Alice Volpe, Northwest Literary. (Sept.)