Loved it. the first of Jance's Beau books I read after having loved and read every one of her Joanna Brady books. Sure, he's middle-aged guy in Seattle instead of a young woman sheriff in Arizona, but once I got past the old fashioned narration (I had to think Thomas Magnum to avoid thinking Mike Hammer) I came to really care about this recovering alcoholic detective on a cruise with his long lost grandmother and his AA sponsor who's become his new step-grandfather.
This is an entertaining audiobook that kept my husband and me happy on a long car trip. J.A. Jance writes highly readable mysteries with engaging characters whose thoughts and emotions ring true. You'll have a good time listening to this story about a retired homicide cop who gets involved with his fellow passengers' intrigues aboard an Alaskan cruise ship.
"As much a tale of human frailty as it is a page-turning mystery...Set against the vivid and well-drawn backdrop of the beautiful Alaskan landscape, BIRDS OF PREY takes as many twists and turns as a ship navigating icy waters."
I regularly listen to CDs in my car back and forth to work so I'm always on the lookout for something entertaining. I loved this book! J.P. Beaumont is a hero to really grow fond of...so much so that I've already gotten 2 more books on CD! He has a wonderful sense of humor, takes crime seriously, is a good sport, not easily sidetracked, and is charming. My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough! I found myself picturing in my mind's eye each and every person introduced in the book. Twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end. Highly recommend if you're looking for a quick read and nothing too heavy or gory.
Amidst the lavishness of an Alaskan cruise, a Seattle homicide detective escorting his elderly relatives finds himself mistaken for an FBI agent of similar name, as people disappear and far too many suspects with multiple motives insist someone else is the culprit and demand answers NOW.
Beau is on vacation and trying to keep his sanity while he is stuck situated at a table with a group of women. One of which is a very crass woman that doesn't know when to keep quiet. This woman falls over board and there is controversy of whether she commited sucide or if she was murdered. There are undercover FBI agents on borad that ask for Beau's assistance. Can he stay on the wagon and out of trouble while he helps out?
The Statfire Breeze steams its way north toward the Gulf of Alaska, buffeted by crisp sea winds blowing down from the Arctic. Those on board are seeking peace, relaxation, adventure, escape. But there is no escape here in this place of unspoiled natural majesty. Because terror strolls the decks even in the brilliant light of day... and death is a conspicuous, unwelcome passenger. And a former Seattle policeman -- a damaged Homicide Detective who has come to heal from fresh, stinging wounds -- will find that the grim ghosts pursuing him were not left behind ... as a pleasure cruise gone horribly wrong carries him inexorably into lethal, ever-darkening waters.
I enjoy all of J.A.Jance's books. I have read most all of them. My only complaint is she has several subplots going throughout her books. Then at the end, she solves the crime and closes a couple of the subplots, but never closes them all
Amazon.com: After 20 years in the Seattle Police Department, J.P. Beaumont has been put out to pasture. The hero of 14 J.A. Jance crime novels has called it quits after the murder of his partner. But if Beau is out to pasture, what is he doing out at sea? Beau is on the Starfire Breeze, an Alaskan cruise ship, "for one reason and one reason only: to serve as my newlywed grandmother's chaperon."
He's also getting mistaken for a gold-digging gigolo by a band of middle-aged divorcées, led by one Margaret Featherman, who carries an anything-but- featherlight grudge against her ex-husband, successful neurosurgeon Harrison Featherman. Is it just a coincidence (as both claim) that Margaret and Harrison are on the same cruise ship? Or that Margaret is doing her best to seduce one of her husband's patients, who in turn has a crush on the good doctor's daughter?
But the biggest potential coincidence of all is a horrific one, when Margaret is pushed overboard into the icy Alaskan waters. The only witness to the murder is an Alzheimer's victim. But when Beau starts poking around (after mistaken identity issue number two, in which the captain conveniently assumes he's an FBI agent), he discovers that Harrison was himself the target of a conservative medical ethics group with a deadly agenda. As the ship moves slowly amidst the icebergs, Beau finds out that there's a lot hidden under these particular waters.
When Jance concentrates on the mechanics of her story, this Beaumont novel is perfectly entertaining. But when she strives for sentiment (or humor), her style tends toward an aw-shucks ham-handedness. Here's Beau talking about his partner, killed by an abusive ex-husband: "Her sons are orphans, and no amount of psychobabble from Dr. Majors is going to change that. No amount of talking it over and 'getting it out of my system' will alter the fact that Sue won't be there to see her boys graduate from high school or college. She'll never be the mother of the groom at a wedding or have the chance to cradle a newborn grandchild in her arms." If Beau is thinking about coming out of retirement, one hopes he'll stick to the basics. --Kelly Flynn --
From Publishers Weekly: Those who found Jance's previous suspense thriller, 2000's Kiss of the Bees, too strong to stomach can rest easy, as this latest is a crowd-pleaser featuring her series character J.P. Beaumont. The retired Seattle homicide detective has joined a luxury cruise to the Alaskan glaciers at the request of his honeymooning octogenarian grandmother, who fears there may be mischief aboard. The unattached middle-aged women at his table assume Beau is along to land a rich widow or divorce. Beau soon finds he has to be particularly wary of the group's formidable ringleader, Margaret Featherman, whose surgeon ex-husband has invented a procedure that vastly improves the lives of brain-damaged patients. When the ship's video monitor later catches Margaret falling to her death off the stern, the only witness is Alzheimer's patient Mike Conyers, who noticed that Margaret's mouth was taped shut. Beau starts a murder investigation centered on Leave It to God, a religious organization whose members believe that "God put sickness and disease on this earth as a lesson in suffering for everybody" and so disapprove of Dr. Featherman's work. When during a port call someone pushes Mike off the back of a mountain railway car, it seems more than coincidence. Jance, author also of the Joanna Brady series, uses the leisurely pace of the cruise for her hero to reexamine past wounds as well as to display his customary dry wit. Travel buffs and Jance fans are in for a great mini-vacation. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The Starfire Breeze steams its way north toward the Gulf of Alaska, buffeted by crisp sea winds blowing down from the artic.. Those on board are seeking peace, relaxation, adventure, escape. But there is no escape here in this place of unspoiled natural majesty. Because terror strolls the decks even in the brilliant light of day...and death is a conspicuous, unwelcome passenger. And a former seattle policeman---a damaged Homicide Detective who has come to heal from fresh, stinging wounds---will find that the grim ghosts pursuing him were not left behind--- as a pleasure cruise gone horribly wrong carries him inexorably into lethal, ever darkening waters.
A JP Beaumont mystery. The Starfire Breeze steams its way north toward the Gulf of Alaska, buffeted by crisp sea winds blowing down from the Arctic. Those on board are seeking peace, relaxation, adventure, escape. But there is no escape here in this place of unspoiled natural majesty. Because terror strolls the decks even in the brilliant light of day.........