Comments from readers during signings for J.A. Jance’s fourth novel led the bestselling author to realize that her Seattle cop character J.P. Beaumont is an alcoholic, sending him to rehab near Wickenburg in the next installment. But it would be another 13 years before Beaumont met Joanna Brady, the Arizona sheriff who stars in 15 additional books (so far). Brady is closely tied to real life: Jance grew up in Cochise County and still lives in our state part of every year.
Even without the desert connection, anyone who’s moved that many titles (and two other mystery series as well) would rate big events for the 22nd Beaumont book, Second Watch. Following Jance’s appearance at Scottsdale’s The Poisoned Pen bookstore Thursday, September 19, she’ll read and sign at South Mountain Community Library, 7050 South 24th Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, September 20. Admission’s free; visit www.smclibrary.org or call 602-243-8187.