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Until Proven Guilty

(J.P. Beaumont #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  10,716 ratings  ·  752 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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Ladyhawk I'd say PG. Depending on how graphic the director wants to get. The story itself is not very graphic. …moreI'd say PG. Depending on how graphic the director wants to get. The story itself is not very graphic. (less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  10,716 ratings  ·  752 reviews

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Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok

2.5 stars

This is the first book in J.A. Jance's long-running "J.P. Beaumont" mystery series.

Detective J.P. Beaumont (Beau) is a Seattle homicide cop who's recently acquired a new partner, Detective Peters. As the story opens Beaumont and Peters are assigned the case of a strangled five-year-old girl named Angela Barstogi.

The detectives learn that Angela and her mother belong to a secretive cult headed by Pastor Michael Brody - a fire-and-brimstone preacher who rules his flock with a whip (lit
The mystery part of this was good, but it was derailed by an unlikely romance that was featured more than I would have liked. I am not a romance fan and I don't like it when the book goes off on a tangent!

Four stars for mystery and two stars for romance averages a three star read.
Mar 27, 2014 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.
Jun 20, 2010 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
Aug 24, 2011 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
Jul 26, 2010 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
Deb Jones
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
As the first book in this author's J.P. Beaumont series, this one had the feel to me of a writer excited about her craft and her story, but in too much of a hurry to get it all into type. The premise of the crime was good, as was the reveal of whodunit, but along the way, there was just too much happening without allowing time for it to develop.

Still, I like the series' protagonist and will give this series another chance.
Richard King
Jan 27, 2012 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! ...more
Scott A. Miller
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Is it possible I found my Parker replacement in Jance? Beaumont was great in this. Jance is another author I’ve heard of forever but am very late to the party on.

The story grabbed me right away. The mystery was an easy one to figure out but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Beaumont had a serious blind spot for Anne, and she played him, but it was okay. You understood both Anne and Beaumont. This is going to be fun, and there’s a ton of books over I think three series to read. Looking forward to a
May 18, 2013 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
Sep 17, 2011 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
Nov 05, 2010 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
Apr 06, 2015 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. ...more
Dec 02, 2009 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. ...more
Eric Beheler
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I only got this audiobook because I was searching for Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher.

That being said, it wasn't a bad book to tide me over until my hold for Proven Guilty comes in.

This book is your typical detective murder mystery story, and almost is too cliche!

The plot was mad predictable, and I guessed what was going on fairly quickly.

The sex parts were hella cringeworthy! I mean bad!! To where I started skipping the sex scene parts all together. No lie it was like a creepy uncle describing m
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
I don't know about this series if this is the first book. Beaumont marries a lady only knowing her for a month while in the middle of a homicide of a child. That is as ridiculous as it sounds! As I was listening to the book, I was hoping for something that would make me overlook some of the romantic scenes in the book. But none prevailed even with the discovery of the the person who murdered the child was revealed and captured. This "mystery" book is heavily laced with romance and I'm not even s ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
2nd read - J.P., a homicide detective in Seattle, is presented with a wrenching case - a 5-year-old girl who's found discarded like the trash. Her mother is part of a strict religious group, bordering on a cult, so it seems reasonable that that's where the culprit/culprits may be.

Throw in a gorgeous lady who shows up at the little girl's graveside services, and you have a decent mystery that begins this series.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read and enjoyed many of J.A. Jance's series with Johanna Brady. These are located in southern Arizona, a place I'm familiar with as I have family that live in that area. This is my first of Jance's series featuring J.P. Beaumont, a police detective in the Seattle area. Beaumont is a more hard-boiled character, and the writing is much steamier. That's fine with me. I like Jance's ability to weave a good mystery. ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Not sure in what world this story would be believable, but that world is full of idiots.

I love books because they make the unbelievable believable. Wizards, faster than light space travel, dragons, people with a healthy understanding of their and other's feelings; all these and more become real when reading a good book.

But then there's the offenders who kill this illusion. Until Proven Guilty isn't the worst offender, but it doesn't make logical sense which took me out of the story too many time
Laurie Buchanan
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
New-to-me author, J.A. Jance, took me by delighted surprise in her book, UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I didn't see the twist coming. It was an exceptional blind-siding experience. I highly recommend this book. ...more
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Jun 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Ok, I'll try the next. ...more
3.5 stars. Intriguing story about homicide detective J.P. (Jonas Piedmont after both grandfathers) "Beau" Beaumont investigating the killing of a 5 year old girl, Angela "Angel" Barstogi. (view spoiler) ...more
3 no 7
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
J. A. Jance will be at The Book Carnival, 348 S. Tustin Street, Orange, CA 92866 in on Monday, September 11 at 7:00 PM to discuss the newest J. P. Beaumont novel, “Proof of Life,” number 23 in the series. With that in mind, this is a good time to look at J. P.’s first appearance in “Until Proven Guilty,” published in 1985.

“Until Proven Guilty” is a first person narrative by Jonas Piedmont Beaumont, called “Beau” by many, but he prefers to be called “J. P.” The easy conversational style gives the
Kris - My Novelesque Life
3 Stars

J.P. Beaumont a homicide detective in Seattle has a new partner and a new case of murder. A young girl is found brutally murdered and the first suspect is the religious group she and her mother belong to. At the little girl's funeral he meets Anne - a beautiful rich woman who is sociologically investigating young victims for her book. As Beaumont and his partner, Peters look into the murder he finds himself drawn to the young woman.

I have read Jance's Ali Reynolds novels and have found
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
Dec 15, 2009 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
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 sexua ...more
Jack Forest
Aug 28, 2011 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
Aug 13, 2008 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.

Aug 15, 2011 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.
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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

Other books in the series

J.P. Beaumont (1 - 10 of 24 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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