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Queen of the Night (Walker Family #4)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,299 ratings  ·  192 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author brings back the Walker family in a multilayered thriller in which murders past and present connect the lives of three families

Every summer, in an event that is commemorated throughout the Tohono O'odham Nation, the Queen of the Night flower blooms in the Arizona desert. But one couple's intended celebration is shattered by gunfire, th
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published 2010 by William Morrow & Company
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Find Diane Walker working on her latest book and retired Brandon Walker trying to stay busy with TLC (The Last Chance). Spending most of his time going back and forth between ailing fellow TLC detective and longtime friend trying to find the answers to a very old case and his wife who seems to be having some struggles of her own. The newest of the murder rampages falls to Brian Fellows to look at with the help of the border patrol officer (Dan Pardee) that found the bodies. The four bodies were ...more
Apr 05, 2011 Terri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Queen of the Night: A Novel of Suspense is the fourth in the Walker family series. This series has always struck me as a bit darker and grittier than Jance's other series, but with Queen of the Night she seems to have written a more intricate suspense novel that takes the focus off of the evil deeds of the bad guys and places it on the connections between characters. The resultant beauty in those connections and the blessings that can come out of tragic events and circumstances is a major focus ...more
Well, written, and it made me sweat!!! I lived in Arizona for 1 1/2 years and worked in the heat, I could feel it. I do not normally read murder mysteries except for the Winspear Daisie Dobbs series. I thoroughly enjoyed her characters but it really bothers me that these murders actually do go on and I can only hope that no one is inspired by reading methods our talented writers think of. Strange line of thoughts I know, but I was married to a policeman and came to believe that people with troub ...more
This book started off way too slow for me. There were multiple character stories being introduced quickly in short segments that were not chronological. I felt like I needed to take notes on the dates, times, locations, and temperatures that headed off each segment. I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters or their stories at first.

Eventually, things picked up, some of the threads started weaving together, and finally the plot moved more smoothly.

There is one main thread that lin
Aug 30, 2010 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the American desert; Tucson, AZ; thrillers
Recommended to Richard by: I read all her work
This is Ms. Jance's best work yet. She has picked up the torch dropped with the death of Tony Hillerman. She successfully weaves a story of the Night Blooming Cereus (Queen of the Night) from an ancient Apache legend into a modern day crime spree.

The settings are realistically portrayed, the characters developed thoroughly, the dialogue believable. However, as impressed as I was with the story, I don't think 93 degrees Fahrenheit is high enough to get concerned with. I also had a problem with th
I enjoyed this book. I really like this author. Sorry, so details on the book, but I love the characters and story lines,
#4 in the Diana Ladd & Brandon Walker series. This may be the last book in the series with Ladd discontinuing her writing and taking up pottery (a traditional Indian occupation for old ladies) and Walker talking of this as his final case. Then again, the novel features adopted daughter Lani Walker, half-Apache border patrolman, and Lani's orphaned cousin rejected by the same tribal members who rejected her. Also featured is Brian Fellows, a homicide cop who was like a son to Brandon Fellows. ...more
J.A. Jance seems to have at least two writing styles. One is the action of J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady. The other is the style of Indian time such as with this book.

As I was listening to this book, I was wondering if I would be able to stick with it for the whole thing. However, in all but one other instance, I have stuck it out for the whole book, and did so in this case.

There were times when I thought abridgments might be good things, but the story picked up about halfway through after the
This is the first J.A. Jance book I have read. I would not recommend it as a first read for Jance. The book was heavy on character buildup for a lot of characters. I finally ended up writing down characters as they appeared and their relationship to each other so I could keep them straight. In addition the book was salted with information about the Tohono O'odham tribe traditions. I frequently found myself asking, who is this character again? Other then that it had a good story line and was inte ...more
"Queen" is a departure from Jance's more famous J.P Beaumont and Joanna Brady mysteries (and thankfully not another in the more "modern" Ali Reynolds set) -- it is the fourth entry in the Walker family series. Set in Arizona, shades of Tony Hillerman, to whom this book is dedicated, the light mystery is as much an excuse to illuminate the culture of the Tohono O'odham Nation (native Indians) as it is to serve up a mild police procedural. That the author reveals the perp about halfway through, an ...more
This is the fourth installment of J. A. Jance’s Walker Family series.

This may be my favorite Jance book to date. It has all of what has become a trademark of this series; a moderate build-up with a fast-paced climactic ending, great story telling, mixing of Papago mythology and culture and great character development.

The start of this story was unique in that three different crimes that happened decades apart are eventually intertwined and become related and relevant to the main focus of the boo
Cecilia Quick
I slogged my way through the end of this tiresome book hoping it would pick up, but it never did. It needed serious editing. Maybe I would feel differently if I had read the prior books in the series, but in my view, a book should be able to be read as a stand-alone, even if it is part of a series. I needed a flow chart to keep track of the characters, and this made it hard for me to get emotionally invested in any of them. The villain is a yawn, and not particularly clever or interesting. The e ...more
This is one of those books that I grabbed at random in the "books on CD" aisle of the library. I just finished reading a Jance book and liked it, so I grabbed another.

I have noticed in recent years that I have a difficult time keeping a story straight when there are more than 5 or 6 main characters. This book starts out with names upon names. I need a score card to keep them all straight, but by about halfway through, I had most of them figured out. One of the things that the author did, which i
Steven Schaefer
In all honesty, I started reading this book before having read any of Jance's other novels. After a chapter or two, it was clear the author expected you to have some prior knowledge of the characters - the typical "bring you up to speed" mini character bios common in later series books, just weren't cutting the mustard. A little bit of research identified my problem - 3 prior books in this series. Thankfully, Amazon to my rescue.

Now after having read the other 3, I restarted and found the book
Susan Erhardt
The announcement of the temperature at the beginning of each chapter was a little odd, but overall I liked the book well enough.

I found it really strange that Brandon and Diana immediately decided that she had Alzheimer's and practically had her in a home without even doing any investigating. They'd had experience dealing with someone who actually had Alzheimer's, making their assumption even more puzzling. Her symptoms would have indicated mental illness to me!
I hated the beginning of this book – choppy writing, too many characters introduced too fast, cliches (“Now that Geet knew it was curtains for him....”), too much overly dramatic writing with not enough actual suspense. Too much explaining what was happening instead of working it into the story. Nope, this one definitely wasn't my kind of book even though I'm a fan of mysteries.

If I weren't reading it for a book discussion group, an odd book to choose, I probably would have quit in the first 30
Mary Lou Webb
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have been a great fan of this author. Having lived in Tucson for 26 years and now in Seattle I have learned a lot from her earlier series'. This is the 1st book I've read in this series and found it very difficult to follow. I did not care for the way the, seemingly not connected, characters were developed and the timeline bouncing back and forth was difficult to follow and distracting from the plot. More JP Beaumont and Johana Brady please!
Deborah Balzotti
J.A. Jance, an award winning mystery writer, wrote “Queen of the Night” in 2010 and dedicated it to the late Tony Hillerman. Like Hillerman, Jance brings many tribal legends and contemporary Native American practices into her story about the Cereus desert flower known as Queen of the Night. The fragrant white flower only blooms one night each spring but this year it is also a night of murder on the Tohono O’odham reservation in Arizona.

Retired sheriff Brandon Walker is again solving murders past
This is my first J. A. Jance book, and I have to say I was quite impressed. It won't be my last. I went to her website and was delighted by her comments about the books she's written. I thought if her books were as clever I'd been missing out on something. I was right. This is the fourth in her Walker series, but she was able to catch me up so that I didn't feel left out. There are a lot of characters but she manages to pull everything together at the end. I want to go back and catch up with som ...more
Cyn Knight
I really liked this book. I listen to all the books I 'read' and I enjoyed the beginning of each part that tells the temperature. I loved the Tohono O'Odham Nation part of the story, enough so that I researched it on my own. The descriptions of the Arizona desert made me feel like I was there. Many characters but they all tie in.
This is a pretty complex story line where things happen in the past and conclude or tie to events in the present. I agree with the reviewer who said she felt like she needed to take notes to keep everybody straight. It's not really a murder mystery, although there were plenty of murders. It's more like a Mitchner story with families crossing paths throughout the years. Not bad.
I love this book and this series. Part of the Walker Family Mysteries this book is the fourth in a wonderful string of tales by Jance. She writes them sporadically but none have ever disappointed me and this one is no exception.

While the story Queen of the Night is very predictable, the characters and Native American lore are top notch! In the vein of Tony Hillerman, Jance makes us love the traditions and people of the Arizona tribes. As a resident of Arizona I probably find more pleasure in her
Listened to this book in my car, and it made driving a pleasure. I'm definitely going to look for more of J.A. Jance's books. This one was set on the Tohono O Odom nation, and I enjoyed learning about this culture. Jance's novel reminded me of Tony Hillerman's.
I liked the story although if you haven't picked up a previous Walker Family Mystery series, you might feel a bit lost as there's lots of inferred backstory.

FURTHERMORE, Jance seems to have a problem with the LDS church. This is another book that has a passing, very minor character portrayed as a "dirty" Mormon. This book had a rebellious teen raised in a strict Mormon family who got drunk and had a lesbian encounter. Character dialogue showed Jance's disapproval of the LDS church's stance on h
I have now read 5 of her books and I really like this author for two reasons. First, there is no gratuitous sex and the language is not too bad. I also very much like her personalities, their weaknesses and their strengths. I liked Trial by Fury about a woman detective a lot, maybe because I am a woman with strengths and weaknesses, but I am a woman who has accomplished a lot. This book I like the best, Queen of the Night, because of the little children, because of the Native American aspect, an ...more
I would give this 4.5 if I could. This is my first JA Jance book, though I recently read her short story "One Good Turn" in Vengeance is Hers, which I really enjoyed. While the book can be read as a stand alone, I should have read the Walker series in order. There are many characers in Queen of the Night who have appeared in previous novels, but it's confusing without the previous contexts. That said, I still recommend it highly.

As an adoptee rights activist I really liked the blood/adoptive ti
At this point with J. A. Jance having written a long string of mysteries in a few different series, I was looking for this new one to be a let-down. And in the beginning, the numerous characters did cause me to question whether I wanted to take the time needed to keep everyone straight. But the timeline style of adding segments kept me interested. The finish of the mystery was a bit predictable and toward the end, I was focused more on how Jance crafted this tale differently. I still think that ...more
This is a departure from Jance's 3 series. It is the first time I recall reading about the Walker Family although the fly notes indicate she has written about them before. Set in the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona it follows several individuals and families in background and life during a sequence of days, building up to a quadruple murder on the reservation. As the story progresses the separate groups begin to merge as history and relationships are revealed. It took a bit to begin to get the ...more
I enjoyed this one as I enjoy all of JA Jance's novels, or I wouldn't read them. I like mysteries and suspense, and she does them well, but it's not something that's going to stick with me long term.

Jance seems to do her homework on all her books, and with each one we usually learn something, and it's the same with The Queen of the Night. I appreciate the introduction to the Tohono O'odham Nation that this entire series provides, and I like the way this series has forwarded through generations
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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

Walker Family (5 books)
  • Hour of the Hunter (Walker Family, #1)
  • Kiss of the Bees (Walker Family, #2)
  • Day of the Dead (Walker Family, #3)
  • Dance of the Bones (J.P. Beaumont, #22; Walker Family, #5)
Desert Heat (Joanna Brady, #1) Until Proven Guilty (J.P. Beaumont #1) Fire and Ice (J.P. Beaumont, #19 / Joanna Brady, #14) Betrayal of Trust (J.P. Beaumont, #20) Partner in Crime (J.P. Beaumont, #16 / Joanna Brady, #10)

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