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Until Proven Guilty (J.P. Beaumont, #1)
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Until Proven Guilty (J.P. Beaumont #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  6,905 Ratings  ·  480 Reviews
The little girl was only five, much too young to die -- a lost treasure who should have been cherished, not murdered.She could have been J.P. Beaumont's kid, and the determined Seattle homicide detective won't rest until her killer pays dearly. But the hunt is leading Beaumont into a murky world of religious fanaticism, and toward a beautiful, perilous obsession all his ow ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 1st 1985 by Avon (first published June 1st 1985)
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Mar 27, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
Because I respect the opinion of two of my librarian friends who love J.A. Jance's J.P Beaumont Series, I decided it was time to give one a try. With 21 in the series I won't lack for reading if this proves a hit.

Just as Beaumont says of his new partner, Peters "There's so much to learn before you can function as a team., I'm getting to know this new character. He works homicide (Detective) in Seattle. He's tall, 6'3", downs MacNaughton's like it's water, and if it's healthy he's not eating it.
Aug 26, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I have now read two mysteries by J. A. Vance, Hour of the Hunter and this one, Until Proven Guilty. While the former was different due to its setting in Arizona tribal lands and its use of tribal legends, Until Proven Guilty is a more straight-forward detective novel and high on the adrenaline meter. It has a interesting plot involving a religious cult and plenty of false trails that eventually lead to the surprising ending. I enjoyed the straight-forward style and Jance pulls off a nice thrille ...more
Nov 25, 2011 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The audiobook version of this detective story kind of threw me because the same man narrates Michael Connelly's superior Harry Bosch detective novels so my brain wanted to make J.P. Beaumont into Harry Bosch.

Not going to happen.

Not a bad start for the detective series, though. I liked the setting (Seattle) a lot and I liked the simplicity of the character who didn't have a lot of emotional baggage as so many characters do these days, but I dislike it when a character is introduced at being goo
Jul 26, 2010 Stormcloud rated it did not like it
Recommended to Stormcloud by: Library
It's more like a romance novel--strike that, Disney fairy tale with descriptions of sex and mentions and actions of murder and domestic abuse--and a sad ending, OF COURSE.

Somebody on Goodreads noticed that J.P. behaved and thought like a woman. I think that person was right, and that fact makes the narration . . . not work. I got tired of learning about why J.P. did weird things, like start his dishwasher once a week whether there were dishes or not. Boring details like that. I'm all for details
Sep 17, 2011 Mack added it
Recommends it for: parmecium
Recommended to Mack by: accident
Some names appear on the bestseller lists and every once in a while I decide to give a new author a shot hoping to discover somebody new and fresh. I have no illusions almost inevitably it falls into the guilty pleasure pile at best. But this book stunned me! I was able to finish the book because I was fascinated by the possibility that I might be reading the worst piece fiction ever created. I have no words for the juvenile level of word craft. It hurts to think back and to try and recapture th ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Missclimpson rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No
Although the narrator is a man, the book is obviously written by a woman, especially the sex scenes. I've read another one of her books that was much better. The book starts out well with the murder of a child and a religious cult but the appearance of the love interest ruins it, I think. The child's murderer appears out of nowhere with little or no preparation.
Richard King
Jan 27, 2012 Richard King rated it did not like it
One of the least believable mystery books I've read. A guy from the phone company solves the mystery but the gullible detective is too busy marrying a woman he's only known for a week to call the guy back. Total drivel!
Feb 05, 2009 Janet rated it it was ok
If this had been the first JP Beaumont book I'd read, it would have been the last.
Nov 16, 2013 Zaphoddent rated it did not like it
Damn! What a cloyingly, nauseatingly crap book! This is not a detective/mystery story, it's a gag-inducing, shut off your brain and shake your head at the stupidity, love at first sight crap story.

The detective instantly falls head over heels in love with a rich woman in a red dress and red car who magically appears at a funeral. First thing this hardened detective does? Well he tells her everything about the investigation! Then it gets better, after some really cheesy conversations, terribly c
Natalee Fox
This book was a bit difficult to get into. It seemed dated but i didnt read any reference of dates. I picked up this book for $1 on Nook and it was listed on B&N's "Top Choice" so I figured, why not? Half way thru is when i figured out that it was published in 1985!!!!! Now i understood the reason it was dated. The story was good, and since it centered around a polygamist cult, I just couldnt help myself! The story was like watching an episode of SVU or CSI so it kept my interest. There is s ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-p-beaumont
I had read her first two "Brandon Walker" books quite awhile back. I remember thinking that if I didn't know if J.A. was a male or female author, I would have guessed a male.
So, since then I've gathered quite a few of her long running "J.P. Beaumont" series, it was time to try one.
This was a very good debut, written 30 years ago. God, I'm getting old:). I put myself back in the mid '80's, Det. Beaumont, veteran of the Seattle police dept - feeling out his new partner. Good suspense, wit and I l
Aug 13, 2008 Allen rated it liked it
i think this is the first in the j. p. beaumont series. i've read some, including books from later in the series. from reading early and late, it seems this one series where the character develops over the series into a deeper, more complex character. that makes reading each new book, adds character development as well as a new plot.

i will continue to seek out and read other books in the series.

Apr 10, 2015 Cara rated it did not like it
This book is ridiculous. A supposedly smart detective marries a woman one week after meeting her despite the fact that there are practically BRIGHT NEON SIGNS pointing to her as the murderer he's looking for. I can hold my disbelief to a certain extent when the story is good but even I have my limits, and the story wasn't very good here. And my God, the sex scenes! I felt genuinely embarrassed for the author if that's what she thinks sex is.
Aug 15, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2012 Aimee rated it did not like it
Hmmm... a $1 NookBook and it wasn't worth much more. I guess it was written in 1985, so maybe the books written later in the series are better??? What can I say? I read it, it wasn't great and i wouldn't tell me friends to read it.
Hali Sowle
J.P. Beaumont is a detective in Seattle and we first meet him standing over the broken body of a little 5 year old girl in a Holly-Hobby nightgown. A girl he could too easily imagine as his own. Beau is a detective who is old school and been through the school of hard knocks. His wife left him and took the kids to a new life and a new husband 5 years back, he's breaking in a new partner and he isn't sure it's going to work, and he's got a local reporter who is after him for things that happened ...more
Nahiyan Asadullah
Jul 25, 2015 Nahiyan Asadullah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime, detective
You should never judge a book by its cover, they say? Read this, and you'll say you should never judge a woman by her looks. Anne Corley is probably the prettiest novel character there is. Yet she turns out to be not so pretty on the inside.

The protagonist JP Beaumont meets the richy rich Arizonian damsel, who turns out to be a widow, Anne Corley in a seemingly unrelated event. From that point onward, everything just happened too fast. After only a couple of days, they're sleeping and on their
Bruce Snell
Apr 05, 2013 Bruce Snell rated it liked it
Book number One in the J.P. Beaumont series by J. A. Jance - 3 stars. Beaumont investigates the murder of a 5 year old girl whose family is part of a religious cult. The easy suspect is the child's mother or the preacher - who teaches extreme physical punishment for personal sins, but in short order, both of those suspects have also been murdered. Now the child's father (mother's estranged husband) becomes the prime suspect and is arrested even though there is no evidence connecting him to the c ...more
Andrea Corley
For a more in depth review, please visit my blog, Chorley Chronicals, HERE!

This was my first J.A. Jance novel, and I absolutely plan to continue the series. It's not often that I read books where the main character is a male, but it certainly was a welcomed change. I enjoyed the testosterone of the story and hearing about a love-type story coming from a male's perspective!

J.P. Beaumont is one hell of a main character and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the book. It was not like any other plot
This is a good start to J.A. Jance's J.P Beaumont series. Although it was written in the 80's it isn't too dated to put the reader off. The reader is introduced to J.P. as a divorced Seattle cop with an arch-nemesis in the press, Max Cornwall. There is a child found dead off the side of the road and J.P is on the case. It turns out that the victim, Angela, is a child of a local cult member. Beaumont is thoroughly frustrated when he can't get a lead in the case. At Angela's funeral he meets Anne ...more
Jenna Steele
It took me longer than it should have to finish this book, but that's only because I dreaded this book from the very beginning. The book, to me, reads like a film noir movie which makes the book seem cheesy even when it is aiming to be serious. I found the story very predictable and formulaic which kept me from being surprised by the "twist" ending. The main character J.P. Beaumont came off as ridiculous to me, because he came off as gullible and I found his kind of dis-likable. I actually wish ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I read another mystery/thriller in which a male detective/cop/ex-cop turned P.I. refers to a woman as a “broad”, I think I’m gonna scream!! Is it the decade in which the book was written? The 1980s and early 1990s seem to be where I’m getting snagged by this dismissive, sexist attitude toward women (and minorities, and ethnic groups, and basically anyone who is not a white alpha-male). Maybe to our collective credit we've become a little more enlightened in the past quarter-century. Is it the ...more
Dec 07, 2010 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Betsy by: Sandy Sapienza
I usually don't care for fiction written in the first person, but this series was recommended by a good friend and I was convinced to try it by the setting in Seattle, where I live. I actually read Long Time Gone first and liked it well enough to come back to the beginning of the series, and ended up reading all books in the series, as well as the Joanna Brady series.

These books are easy reads; not complex sophisticated mysteries, but very accessible. J.P. Beaumont is a gruff, experienced detec
Elly Wendy
Sep 02, 2016 Elly Wendy rated it really liked it
4* Excellent. I have read or listened to nearly this entire series from my library, in random order as they were available. It's only now that I managed to get #1 and man, oh man, am I impressed. Sometimes the first in a series is a bit shaky and as the series progresses, the work becomes more solid. In my opinion, this one landed fully formed and is every bit as solid as its successors. Amazing. But then Jance is such a prolific, experienced author that I guess it should not come as a surprise ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Loretta rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2012 Darren rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheila Beaumont
This is the first book in J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont series. I've already been reading her Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds mysteries, set in Arizona, and I'm delighted to find that this series, set in Seattle, looks to be just as enjoyable as the others. I've heard that it's important to read the series in order, and after finishing this book, I can see why, as we find out who Anne Corley is and how homicide detective Beaumont can afford to live the way he does. It was a terrific read, with a fasc ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Shannah rated it really liked it
Got this book off the nook $.99 download section just for fun, and it was that -- fun. Skip the sex scenes, they do nothing for the plot, are full of cliches, and at times are just plain awkward. Ugh. Who wants to feel that kind of uncomfortable? But, the twist at the end is cool (though not unexpected), and the pace is great for a mindless summer beach read. I like the main character -- he seems like a stand-up guy, sort of an all-American cop who just wants to do right by the victims he encoun ...more
Nov 05, 2010 Natasha rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if I can try reading another of these books, even though so many seem to love them. At first I was really enjoying the tenor of the writing and then . . . . *groan* . . . in comes this very stupid love interest. I groaned every time they had a conversation or "more". Seems like the love interest was some kind of fantasy fulfillment for the author and I absolutely hate that in a book especially when it doesn't seem to enhance the narrative. Plus, I thought we were trying to solve a c ...more
Jack Forest
Sep 06, 2011 Jack Forest rated it did not like it
This started out great, maintained a high "really good"-- then plunged into the land of "piece of crap" in the last 40 pages or so.

It's a mystery; the reader, with any good mystery, should have a chance of solving the mystery before the characters do. They should be given the necessary information, then left to it, just like the characters.

Instead, Jance took the "last second revelation" path, and it turned out to be a character who was never even a suspect until that last second.

Dreck. Won't be
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Judith Ann Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

* J.P. Beaumont
* Joann
More about J.A. Jance...

Other Books in the Series

J.P. Beaumont (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Injustice for All (J.P. Beaumont, #2)
  • Trial by Fury (J.P. Beaumont, #3)
  • Taking the Fifth (J.P. Beaumont, #4)
  • Improbable Cause (J.P. Beaumont, #5)
  • A More Perfect Union (J.P. Beaumont, #6)
  • Dismissed with Prejudice (J.P. Beaumont, #7)
  • Minor in Possession (J.P. Beaumont, #8)
  • Payment in Kind (J.P. Beaumont, #9)
  • Without Due Process (J.P. Beaumont, #10)
  • Failure to Appear (J.P. Beaumont, #11)

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