The answer to Whodunit challenge #1 is mystery author J. A. Jance.

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Jance started her career with a book of poetry and essays called After the Fire, published in 1984. It chronicled the difficult years of her first marriage to a man suffering with alcoholism.

Her first mystery Until Proven Guilty, was published a year later in 1985. It featured Seattle Police Department Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont, who had his own problems with alcohol. The series proved to be hugely popular, with number 25 in the series published last year.


A decade later came Desert Heat starring soon-to-be sheriff Joanna Brady who was struggling with the recent death of her husband. Set in Cochise County, Jance shows off her Arizona roots. After 17 novels, the series is still going strong.


Jance has said that her Ali Reynolds series was born from a conversation with her editor that she wanted to start a new character. Given a deadline to complete the book in January, it took Jance until October to decide who her new main character would be. She was finally inspired by an actual news story about a television anchor who was fired due to her age. By January, she had finished writing Edge of Evil. The 13th of the series, Clawback, was released this year.

Jance introduced the Walker Family in Hour of the Hunter before Joanna Brady in 1990. Not as well known, the latest, Dance of the Bones (5th in the series), joins Brandon Walker with old favorite J. P. Beaumont.

Given that she was denied entrance to a creative writing program back in 1964,  J. A. Jance has more than proved them wrong. Be sure to check Jance’s website for full lists of her books.

For an in depth interview with J.A. Jance, see the next post.

Stop back next week for a new Whodunit challenge.

Are you a fan of J. A. Jance mysteries? Who is your favorite character?