Born Judith Ann Jance, she is the female American author who uses the pen name J.A Jance. She writes mystery and horror novels which she bases on the lives of a former news anchor and now mystery solver Ali Reynolds, Joanna Brady the Arizona County sheriff and retired detective J.P Beaumont of the Seattle Police department.
Order of Ali Reynolds Series
|1||Edge of Evil||2005|
|2||Web of Evil||2007|
|3||Hand of Evil||2007|
|5||Trial by Fire||2009|
|7||Left for Dead||2012|
|10||A Last Goodbye||2014|
|12||No Honor Among Thieves||2015|
|14||Random Acts (Short Story)||2016|
Judith Ann Jance was born on 27th October 1944 in Watertown, South Dakota but was raised in Bisbee, Arizona. She went to University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in English and Secondary education. She has worked as a librarian, an insurance agent and a teacher. Her dream of becoming a writer faced many challenges in college and in her life afterwards.
The creative teacher in the University of Arizona did not allow her to join the program (he thought ladies could not become good writers). Her husband (who was allowed to be a member of the club) could not agree more with the teacher and further put Jance down claiming he would be the only writer in the family. This coupled with the fact that he was a drunkard led to their divorce 18 years and two children later. As a divorcee she begun to put more thought to her writing but still had her full time job selling insurance.
Judith’s first book which she wrote in 1982 was never published. Her first published book was titled Until Proven Guilty which was published in 1985. This was the first in the Detective Beaumont series. She has since written several book series including one titled Alison Reynolds.
As Jance explains, the Alison Reynolds character was born after she saw the story of a newscaster she liked fired from her job just because of her age. Patti Weis was an afternoon news anchor who had been on air for a long time. But a new director aged thirty-something years decided to fire her in preference of a younger face over the 53-year old. This gave Jance the incredible idea of writing about the life of a retired journalist and in a unique twist of creativity gave Alison Reynolds the character of a mystery solver.
Ali Reynolds Awards
Jance’s books have been nominated for several awards. The first was in the 1987 Anthony Awards when she was nominated for the paperback Award for her book Trial by Fury. In 1992, her novel Hour of the Hunter was nominated for the novel award in the Anthony Award and the mystery novel in the Dilys award. Two of her novels Fire and Ice and Dance of the Bones have received starred reviews by the Publishers Weekly in 2009 and 2015 respectively. In 2015, the book titled Cold Betrayal (part of the Alison Reynolds series) received a starred review by Audio File.
Best Ali Reynolds Books
Here is a look at two of the best books in the Alison Reynolds series by J.A Jance.
Cold Betrayal: In this book are two events happening simultaneously all begging for the attention of Alison Reynolds. Her long-time friend Sister Anselm, a nun, finds herself on the bedside of a young woman who is heavy with child. The young lady has been injured from a car accident in a deserted Arizona highway. She had been rushing in an attempt to get away from her family in whose eyes she is an outcast after she goes contrary to their religious cult practices. On the other hand, Ali has just got married and her new daughter-in-law is seeking her help. The young girl’s grandmother has been receiving anonymous letters and her home broken into; enough reasons to believe that her life is in danger. These two mysteries need to be resolved by one Alison Reynolds but time is of essence. Will Ali be able to solve both problems in time?
Clawback: Alison’s parents lose all their life savings to a Ponzi scheme and need justice. So do others who had put their money in the Ponzi scheme. But people are not the same; while some seek justice others seek revenge. Soon a homicide is committed in which her father’s financial advisor and friend (the scheme’s owner) is the victim. A major problem arises when her father finds himself in the middle of the bloody murder scene as he goes to confront his friend over the matter. It is now up to Ali to determine who the real killer is and bring them to book so as to rescue her father from being the prime suspect.
Other Book Series You May Like
If you like the Alison Reynolds book series then you will enjoy:
1. “J.P Beaumont” by J.A Jance which covers the life of a detective J.P Beaumont as he tries to solve murders in the Seattle Police Department.
2. “Maggie Allen Mysteries” by Jeff Menapace which talks about the life of an FBI agent Maggie Allen who has the gift of catching serial killers. But she has jut lot her husband and son and needs a distraction to cope with the loss. Drugs are that distraction!