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Judgment Call

(Joanna Brady #15)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,626 ratings  ·  496 reviews
New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance brings back acclaimed sheriff Joanna Brady in an exciting and twisting mystery set against the beauty and isolation of the Arizona desert

Judgment Call

When Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise County sheriff's personal and professional
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,626 ratings  ·  496 reviews

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Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it

In this 15th book in the series High School principal Debra Highsmith is gruesomely murdered and her body is discovered by Jenny Brady, daughter of Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady. Jenny does a big no-no - she takes a photo of the corpse and sends it to a friend - and before you can blink the picture's all over the internet, along with nasty comments. Seems Ms. Highsmith was not popular among the high school crowd and some students seem to be likely suspects for her murder.

However, while loo
I've been reading this series set in Arizona for some time now and I find that my tastes seem to be changing. While the characters certainly are consistent with those of the books I've read before, they just don't seem multi-dimensional enough for me in this episode. The plot was interesting with some clever twists, but I found myself thinking about how I felt when reading James Lee Burke's Creole Belle just a week ago. Then I was excited and very engaged, wrapped up in the writing, plot and cha ...more
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked it.

I did read some of the criticisms leveled at the book here on Good Reads, and agree to some extent with some of them, but they are so trifling that I don't even want to bother addressing them. I know that when I finished the last page and closed the book it was with a sense of completion and enjoyment.

I liked the characters. I liked the way Joanna dealt with some of the issues facing her. I liked that her marriage was portrayed as strong and fulfilling. I liked that the family unit w
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Judgment Call by J.A. Lance is the 15th book featuring sheriff Joanna Brady. Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny comes across the body of her high school principal Debra Highsmith who has been shot dead. This is the first book that I have read by this author and did not realise that it was well into the series. I enjoyed it very much and it did not take long to become acquainted with the characters. I liked the way that the sheriff dealt with her family complications. Overall a solid mystery and inve ...more
Thomas Edmund
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Judgment Call, finds recurring hero Joanna Brady investigating the shock killing of a local high-school principal, and also confronting some ghosts of mysteries past when new information about her father's death is revealed.

The strength of Jance's writing is in her believable and fleshed out characters. Jance does well in avoiding cliché and stereotype (mostly) aside from a few generalisations about teenagers and older folk, there wasn't one character I thought couldn't be a real person.

Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Hard to believe this is #15 in the on going series about Sheriff Joanna Brady. Love coming back to visit her and family in Bisbee, Arizona. I am a huge fan of Ms. Jance and her different series, and I enjoyed this installment about Sheriff Brady very much. Great storytelling, complicated mystery/thriller that has you trying to figure it out until the very end. As Sheriff, Joanna is a "hard-ass" and I mean that as a compliment. She has paid her dues to be the first and only female sheriff in the ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall, a good, servicable Joanna Brady story. 3.5/5.0

There's a murder, Joanna jumps in, and there is a battle in the desert. (Not really a spoiler since that's how all the books go.) Overall one of the better books, but spoiled by Joanna's apparant complete lack of knowledge of the new-fangled "internet".

Some spolers will follow...

My complaints, nitpicky all, but they bugged me:
As punishment for releasing a crime scene photo, Jenny loses her texting service. Fair enough, but then there is dis
Luanne Ollivier
I've been following the trials and tribulations of Sheriff Joanna Brady of Cochise County, Arizona for many years. J.A. Jance released the first book in 1993 and the latest installment - Judgment Call - marks the 15th entry in this long running and much loved series.

Joanna's fifteen year old daughter Jenny stumbles upon a body while out for an early morning ride. It turns out to be the body of the local high school principal, who had been reported as missing. And with that discovery, her pe
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
J A Jance is one of my favorite mystery authors. She is known for two series, among others. The first is her Beaumont series set in Seattle. And this series, set in Bisbee, Arizona, featuring County Sheriff Joanna Brady and her rather interesting family and friends. These are definitely not "cozy mysteries." Jance can be pretty descriptive in her telling of a story. But she writes so well, with a mixture of humor and thrills. I have read every book in this series and I have enjoyed every one of ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sheriff Joanna is a pretty cool character and most of the characters in "Judgment Call" are well developed. Unfortunately the plot is pretty sophomoric. I stuck with it but wish I hadn't. The last quarter of the book was a true disappointment. Her brother was the killer? Give me a break. He was a Stanford prof specializing in facial recognition software because he was so obsessed with finding his sister who really didn't ever do anything to deserve any retribution for simply having observed her ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, I enjoyed this installment in Jance's saga of Joanna Brady's work as sheriff of Cochise County, AZ. Jenny, Joanna's daughter, becomes involved as she finds the body of her high school principal. Also, Joanna must learn to deal with social media and its impact on the case. And she faces her past and the death of her father, which brings surprising facts to light.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book on tape
Jenny found a body while riding. It was the principle at her high school. Sheriff Brady was on the case early!
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Couldn't put it down. Love how we learn new pieces of Joanna's life.....

When Joanna Brady's daughter, Jenny, stumbles across the body of her high school principal, Debra Highsmith, in the desert, the Cochise County sheriff's personal and professional worlds collide, forcing her to tread the difficult middle ground between being an officer of the law and a mother. While investigating murders has always meant discovering unpleasant facts and disquieting truths, the experienced Joanna i
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Keep in mind, 3 Stars means, "I liked it" and I did, enough so that I may one day pick up any of the other 14 books in this series. Admittedly, I didn't realize until after the fact that this is the 15th book in an ongoing series about Sheriff Joanna Brady.

I thought this was a solid mystery novel and I like the characters and the story itself. Throughout though I though it was somewhat heavy on random information about characters, but like I said, I didn't realize at first that it was because i
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another home run for J. A. Jance’s Sheriff Joanna Brady. Brady’s daughter Jenny discovers the body of her high school principal during an early morning ride on her horse in the dessert. The Sheriff discovers that the principal has lived her life off-line. There is nearly no digital record of the principal online. The principal did not email or call her family – she communicated by snail mail to a third-party address. Joanna finds that the principal is also using an alias. The principal’s few clo ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 stars for the first part, 3.5 for the last 1/4.

I have read every Beaumont title and now all in the Brady series, and have to admit I still prefer the Beaumont series. That being said, I thought for the most part this was a solid mystery with Joanna and her gang performing good thorough investigative skills.

The 3.5 stars comes in after the main mystery was solved and I realized there were still many pages left to read, which the author used to wrap up a personal mystery that started in the firs
Vannessa Anderson
When Jenny found her high school principal’s bullet ridden body lying on the horse trail; she called her mom Sheriff Joanna Brady. The case was baffling because Sheriff Brady just couldn’t come up with a motive but once she learned that the principal was living under a false identity, she knew that the first step in solving the crime would be learning the identity of the victim.

Judgment Call was a terrific read! Never was there a lull and it was exhilarating until the end. Hillary Huber was rig
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
J.A. Jance's mysteries offer little challenge, but that is what makes them perfect for a day at the beach. The Joanna Brady series is the one I enjoy most, maybe because of its funky setting in Bisbee, Arizona. Judgment Call follows the author's usual pattern: murder, investigation, twist (another murder), a sub plot that seems irrelevant but ends up helping to solve the first murder, some bumps in family life, and a new revelation about the past. Joanna Brady isn't one to make you laugh, but a ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is another in the series of Sheriff Joanna Brady stories taking place in Cochise County Arizona. I have read a couple of these before and enjoyed them. Sheriff Brady's teenage daughter, out for an early morning horseback ride in the desert, discovers the body of her high school principal. Of course she calls her mom and then to the regret of many she takes a cell phone photo of the body and sends it to her best friend. The photo finds it's way onto the Internet and Joanna starts peeling the ...more
Mary MacKintosh
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I like Jance's J.P. Beaumont character better than Joanna Brady, and I found myself irritated by all the detail woven into the story about Bisbee, AZ and its residents, but the story held my attention. I have heard J.A. Jance speak at two ALA conferences, and the way she can hold an audience raptly waiting for her next word is inspiring. She is a born story teller—on paper, and in person.
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all 15 books in Jance's Joanna Brady series. Most are full of suspense and hold your interest. This one just doesn't seem to come together as well as her others. Some of the action doesn't fit; at times the plot drags, and at other times the dialogue is awkward. The whole narrative seems a bit off, as if there are a bunch of good ideas, but forced together.
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it
The latest J.A. Jance mystery, one of her Joanna Brady series set in Arizona. Entertaining as ususal, although the motive for the crime seemed a bit far-fetched. Time to bring back Beaumont (set in Seattle)!
It is always hard coming into a series without having read any of the previous books. This series was easy to get into though. The book also had some good twists in the story. Overall I enjoyed it.
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great read :) could not wait to get home from work to finish it !!
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
3-1/2 stars
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
J.A. Jance may no longer live in Tucson full time, but you'd never know it from her novels. Yes, Joanna Brady lives in Bisbee, but the part of the state that most people ignore, Jance lifts up and makes fascinating--the mining history, the ugly parts of owners and miners--Jance weaves them into the story to create a rich, colorful background for the story.

Joanna Brady's daughter, out for an early morning horse ride, discovers the body of the high school principal. Because she's 16, she takes a p
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
This installment starts out rather abruptly as Jenny (Joanna's now teenaged daughter) finds a dead body. It happens to be the missing Principal of her school. She does a foolish thing(view spoiler) which causes a lot of trouble for Joanna. Facebook and other internet mainstays has become more common place in Bisbee now and this adds to the problem of notifications of next of kin. It also puts Joanna in an uncomforta ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a relatively new reader of J A Jance. I really enjoyed this book. There were two murders plus the old murder of Joanna’s father. I was kept in suspense in reading of finding the killer of the first murder then a second murder occurs which took me by surprise. Then I was in suspense how the two murders were connected. The book had not yet ended but the killer of the two murders was apprehended. I couldn’t figure out how this book was going to end. Then Joanna’s husband Butch reads Joanna’s f ...more
Sharon Lensky
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sheriff Joanna Brady has a doozy of a situation unfold when her teenage daughter finds a dead body down the road from their house...that of the high school principal who recently went missing. A second homicide follows. Joanna must also juggle her relationship with her often-difficult mother, who's embroiled in the cast of characters, and historical events entwined with one of the murders that involve her father, a former sheriff himself. This brings out the best and worst of many of the players ...more
Jennifer Brown
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good one in the series. I have to say that I actually liked that they took a break from having so much happening in one novel. Usually I have to pay attention to who is working what case or the names for each case. This one wasn't that bad. It had more than one thing going on, but I never got confused. I was a little surprised that her dad's death was a story-line. I guess I missed those clues in earlier books that it would come up? Any-who, almost caught up with Joanna Brady's books and ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Judgement Call 1 4 Nov 04, 2012 06:40PM  

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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

Joanna Brady (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Desert Heat (Joanna Brady, #1)
  • Tombstone Courage (Joanna Brady, #2)
  • Shoot Don't Shoot (Joanna Brady, #3)
  • Dead to Rights (Joanna Brady, #4)
  • Skeleton Canyon (Joanna Brady, #5)
  • Rattlesnake Crossing (Joanna Brady, #6)
  • Outlaw Mountain (Joanna Brady, #7)
  • Devil's Claw (Joanna Brady, #8)
  • Paradise Lost (Joanna Brady, #9)
  • Partner in Crime (J.P. Beaumont, #16 / Joanna Brady, #10)
“murdered.” “What if I don’t?” “I might be tempted to let it be known around town what you’ve been pulling all this time.” She had more ammunition than that, but for the time being, she held on to it. “Isn’t that blackmail?” “It’s more like exerting pressure than it is blackmail,” Joanna said.” 0 likes
“said. “The hotel, not the” 0 likes
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