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Try Dying: A Novel (Ty Buchanan #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  403 ratings  ·  42 reviews
eBook Bonus Material: Video: "Watch Your Back" by James Scott BellPhotos: key landmarks around L.A. that are referenced in the text Two essays:"Why I Named the Character Ty Buchanan""Why I Write About L.A." Ty Buchanan is a rising star in his L.A. law firm, until the suspicious death of his fiancee forces him into the underbelly of the city to discover the truth behind he ...more
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Published October 24th 2007 by Center Street
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When I was a teen-ager, I thought I would never be like my parents, who just didn't keep up with some of the changes in the world. I was pretty cool, and thought I would always understand the culture of the day.

This book proved I was wrong.

"Try Dying" is a suspenseful story about a lawyer (one of the good ones) who loses his fiance' in a tragic accident . . . but was it the accident that really killed her? Getting to the bottom of that question in LA/Hollywood puts Ty Buchanan's life and career
A little too Christian at times for me, but I guess that wouldn't really be an issue for most people. I think I actually have more of a problem with the ending. It was super confusing how everything just came together at once, connecting all of the far reaching plot threads in one big plot lump. I'm still going over it in my head, trying to see how all of that happened.
Still, for all of that, it was still pretty readable, and I did slightly laugh out loud once. I don't really agree with the phil
Mahala Church
Having followed Bell’s career online—teaching and preaching how to write—I looked forward to seeing if he could do it - write that is. And the answer is Yes! He can. This dynamite story opens when a man shoots his wife, drives to a freeway overpass and shoots himself, dropping 100 feet on a Toyota Camry. The crash kills the protagonist, Ty Buchanan’s, fiancée, Jacqueline, the driver of the Camry. Ty is a young successful lawyer, who at the moment she is dying, is in what could be a career-defini ...more
C.J. Darlington
Ty Buchanan's beloved fiancé has just died in a freak Hollywood style accident, instantly spinning his world off its axis. Maybe someday he'll recover. Maybe someday he'll make sense of his emotions and get on with his life without Jacquelyn. Only someday doesn't come, and Ty watches himself become a man he never dreamed he'd be. An attorney sworn to uphold the law, he's soon breaking it to find out the truth about Jacquelyn's death. Was it really accidental?

In the vein of Brandt Dodson's Colton
May 27, 2008 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kelly by: Kimberly
Shelves: mysteries
This reads a lot like a John Grisham book (only without a lot of the technical legal jargon Grisham uses). It moves at a quick pace and most of the chapters are quite short.

I was hooked after reading the back cover (which is also the first chapter). Ty Buchanan tries to figure out why his fiancee was killed--was it really a freak accident or something more?
I have always enjoyed James Scott Bell's books...this was no different! Ty is an interesting character but frustrating and at times boring and until the last few chapters of the book you don't see him develop or grow. I love the wise and caring father Bob and the sassy basketball playing and comforting nun sister Mary these two character add depth into the book and actually give it life. I wish they where implemented earlier into the story.
The story itself is creative and intriguing with a few
Thomas Fredrick
I was hooked by the style in the first few pages. The writer describes a gruesome death--a man falls/was pushed off an overpass onto a passing car, killing the driver. We're swept up in that plot line for a time, never imagining that the main character's real interest in the death was that his fiance had been driving the car the man fell on.
That was a conversation stopper.
My only complaint was the "travelogue" of Los Angeles. Ok, I get it, the author knows the city. But I didn't want to be intro
Nike Chillemi
Try Dying is the first novel in the Ty Buchanan legal thriller series. If this is going to be the measure of the series, I can’t wait to read the next book.

Ty Buchanan is preparing a case involving repressed memories that might make him a partner in his posh L.A. law firm. Meanwhile, he’s dealing with some memories of his own he’d like to repress. Schoolteacher Jacqueline Dwyer, the fiancé he adores and a committed Christian, winds up in what appears to have been a freakish accident. A gang-bang
Jill Bratcher
I enjoyed this book eventually, but I admit that this was the third one out of more than a dozen Jim Bell books I've read that I had a hard time getting into, and I actually let it sit for over a week after reading about a third of it. (I still haven't finished the Darwin book started a long time ago even though I really liked the premise, and I'm probably 25% into "Watch Your Back" having a really hard time caring about its protagonist.)

As to why I liked this one:
Bell just kept throwing in plot
Oct 27, 2007 Annie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller/mystery readers
At first I didn't think I was going to finish this. I guess I have been reading too much of the same type of books. Anyway, I did keep on and the pace really picked up toward the end. I am looking forward to the next in the series.

From Booklist
Attorney Ty Buchanan is prepping a potentially career-making case involving repressed memories (he's defending a doctor who, after publicly criticizing a repressed-memory expert, is now being sued for defamation). When his fiancée is killed in what appears
TRY DYING (Legal Mys-Ty Buchanan-CA-Cont) – Poor
Bell, James Scott
Center Street, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 1599956845

First Sentence: On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West Forty-fifth Street home in South Los Angeles.

Attorney Ty Buchanan is preparing a case involving repressed memories and child abuse. While deposing a witness, Bonilla, after killing his wife, drives to a freeway overpass,
Victoria Allman
There is a reason James Scott Bell is a master of the craft of writing and Try Dying, the first in the Ty Buchanan series about a LA lawyer, is the perfect example of why. From page one, where we learn of the tragic death of Ty's fiancee, to the very last page where he tries to prove his innocence, Mr Bell creates intriguing characters and an exciting plot that the reader can not help but love and keep turning pages to find out who-dun-it.

This fast-paced mystery starts out strong and keeps raisi
Jill Williamson
Review by Jill Williamson

Lawyer Ty Buchanan is working on a high profile case when his fiancé is killed. The cops say it was a freak accident, but some strange occurrences lead Ty to believe she was murdered. As Ty investigates, his life falls apart. He trusts no one but an outcast priest and a basketball-playing nun.

Loved this book! I lived in Los Angeles for nine years, so it was really fun to know all the places the main character went. But that wasn’t what was so great about the book. James
You are introduced to a young talented lawyer, seemingly on top of the world, then wham - everything goes wrong. It seems miraculous if he can get through all that is thrown at him, and his determination makes it hard to put this book down. I will for sure look for other offerings by Mr Bell.
Linda Style
Good Read!

A fast-paced story with lots of twists and turns. Well-defined characters. I'm looking forward to the next Ty Buchanan novel. Good story...Good Read!
I read the 3rd novel in this series first; and liked that one more than this one. The story here is a little fantastic and the the 1st person narrative - thus the protagonist - is a pop culture cliche. I didn't like him, I didn't not like him. He lacked depth. Somehow, his basketball prowess (in High School?) was transferable to amazing street fighting skills. He doesn't drink, smoke dope, swear, nor "appreciate" beautiful women who "want" him. And yet he is extremely violent and reckless. Is it ...more
Heather Beasley
Such great mysteries!! I'm always surprised by "who done it"!! Bell writes so well and I love his main character, Ty Buchanan. I can't get enough of these books!!
This is the second book I've read by Bell. The first being Deadlock which I enjoyed. But the plot and characters of Try Dying were very hard to follow. Perhaps if you were to read the book straight through in a day or two you might have followed it but I am a slower reader. Almost every time a character resurfaced I'd have to go back and try to figure out who it was. I found Ty Buchanan to be unusually stubborn, always withholding information and failing to trust the people who could have helped ...more
C. Clark
As a follower of Bell's blog, I wanted to see if the man practiced what he preached to writers struggling to make it in this profession. I enjoyed knowing the teacher practiced his craft. The protagonist could barely catch his breath as chapters began whizzing by as problem after problem mounted on his head. I did struggle in spots keeping up with so many characters with a few of the secondary players not being very visual, but the plotting was spot on, the protagonist likeable. I'll be reading ...more
Linda Leigh Hargrove
Try Dying is unlike any other James Scott Bell novel I've read; or any other noir genre fiction I've read. Loved it to pieces. The book's hero, Ty Buchanan, is my kind of lawyer/detective/Christ seeker.

If you're looking for a read that's has a strong Christian message, try another JSB novel, don't Try Dying.

Lovely job, Mr. Bell. Can't wait to read the others in the series.
Not worth reading. Too many good books out there. This isn't one of them.
Mary Kjar

Interesting plot
I did not read this book in one sitting, so had to often go back a few pages to untangle the characters. Ty Buchanan seems on a mission to destroy himself but in the end to find himself.
I thought it was really touching how he never gives up on finding out who killed his fiance,but also it really shows how much someone will fight for someone they love even if they aren't alive. He went through so much he was almost convicted of a crime he didn't commit and yet he still seems to have the passion it never dies.
This is the first James Bell novel I've read and it was...okay. His protagonist reminds one of most of the other lawyer/private eye types in this genre and there isn't anything special to make him, or his story, stand out. Don't know what I was expecting, but this lightweight book wasn't it.
Mary G.
This was such a nice pleasent surprise. My sister met the author at a panel at Indianapolis Bouchercon and recommended the author. The story openned with a bang and kept going. Ty was a great character and the mystery interesting. I definitely will read the next entry in the series.
Stef Osborn
Good stuff. I got lost in it quote a few nights. It just took me in and would not let me stop reading until I literally had to turn the lights out on myself. Very enjoyable. A nice surprise. I will definitely have to check out more James Scott Bell.
It was ok. It holds your attention to find out what happened and why. It wasn't a deep, thought provoking look at life though. It's just a distraction. I did like the side story with the cake baking, basketball playing nuns.
An L.A. attorney's fiancee dies in a car accident, but when he learns that it was not an accident, he risks his life and career to solve her murder. Interesting, but not outstanding, story.
Brandon Nagel
3.5 stars. Good, not great. Slow at parts, but I really enjoyed the story and the characters were solid. I will invest more time with this series, but I am not running out to grab the next book.
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Jim is a former trial lawyer who now writes and speaks full time. He is the bestselling author of Try Dying, No Legal Grounds, Presumed Guilty, Glimpses of Paradise, Breach of Promise and several other thrillers. He is a winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Inspirational Fiction, and was a fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine. He has written two books in the Writers' Digest serie ...more
More about James Scott Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Ty Buchanan (3 books)
  • Try Darkness
  • Try Fear
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