Friday, February 06, 2009

Review-- Damage Control

Title: Damage Control
Author: J.A. Jance
ISBN: 9780060746766/ William Morrow, 2008
Genre: Mystery, #13 in the Sheriff Joanna Brady series
Setting: present-day Cochise County, Arizona
Rating: A

First Line: Lauren Dayson was sleeping soundly when some small noise in the front room of the apartment disturbed her.

Sheriff Brady almost needs a road map to keep track of all the action. Her husband, Butch, is working on a novel and taking care of their infant son. A woman shoots a home intruder. An elderly couple do a Thelma and Louise off a cliff at the Chiricahua National Monument. The nephew of a Cochise County detective finds a body out in the desert. A mobile home fire leaves one dead and three homeless. Something's not quite right in an organization that operates halfway houses for troubled and disabled persons. If that's not enough, Joanna has two sixty-something sisters duke it out in a popular restaurant, Butch's publisher wants him to go on a book tour, and her own mother is acting very strangely...even for her. Some of these things are connected; some of them aren't. It's up to Joanna to make sense of them all as sheriff of a county that's larger than the state of Connecticut.

If anyone asks me about my favorite mystery series, this one is always one of the very first I mention. It's like coming home from a stressful day at work, stripping off the work clothes, putting on something old and comfy, and stretching out on the couch to get caught up with favorite family members and friends. None of the characters in these books are cardboard cut-outs. The way Jance has Joanna grow, not only as sheriff, wife, mother, and daughter, but as a person is a thing of beauty to experience.

As much as I love the characters and the plots of the books in this series, I also love them for the setting: Bisbee and Cochise County in Arizona. Reading these books made me ask my husband if he wanted to spend our honeymoon at the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee. When we got there, I fell in love with the town and the county. I've since discovered a lovely cottage in the Mule Mountains outside of Bisbee, and we return there every January. The history, the sky islands, the wildlife, the towns, the people...I've gotten to experience it all because of reading these books.

I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite book in this series, but Damage Control would be right at the top.

Downtown Bisbee


  1. Great review! love the photo to accompany it! You got me interested!

  2. When I first read your title I missed "Review" and I thought you were having to do damage control. I'm glad I read it wrong. Great review as always!

  3. I only skimmed your review because I don't want to know too much. I've been reading her Beaumount series but I haven't yet read the Brady book. I do plan on getting to them.

  4. I haven't read any of Jance's books yet, and now I'm asking myself how come I haven't gotten around to them. I love your review - it's time to add a few to my TBR, I think. It sounds like a series I'd really enjoy.

  5. Great review, indeed. I must find one of Jance's soon.

  6. I'm a great fan of this series, so I hope you all give it a try. The books don't have to be read in order, but since character development is a main feature of each one, I think they're better if read in order.

  7. I'm one of those must-read-in-order kind of people!

  8. Beth--so am I. Stop, You're Killing Me is one of my most-visited websites!


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