J.P. Beaumont is the main protagonist of J. A. Jance’s mystery series. He’s a detective with the Seattle Police Department, a skilled investigator with a keen mind and a talent for solving complex and challenging cases. His full name is Jonas Piedmont Beaumont-simply call Beau by his friends-and he is a sympathetic but flawed detective who, as the series progresses, puts his life back together piece by piece.
Beaumont and his colleagues at the Seattle Police Department work to solve a variety of crimes, ranging from simple murders to more complex and mysterious cases.
How to read the J.P. Beaumont Series in Order?
Every entry in the J.P. Beaumont book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Until Proven Guilty – The little girl was a treasure who should have been cherished, not murdered. She was only five and Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont of the Seattle Police Department isn′t going to rest until her killer pays dearly. But Beaumont’s own obsessions and demons could prove dangerous companions in a murky world of blind faith and religious fanaticism.
- Injustice for All – J.P. Beaumont met the blonde on the beach. She was screaming. A dead man lay at her feet. It didn’t take Beaumont long to find out the man was murdered. Both the lady and the corpse were members of the State Parole Board. The killer could be seeking personal justice for one of the Parole Board’s fatal mistakes. The case was turning into a deadly mixture of politics and passion, a nightmare…
- Trial by Fury – The dead body discovered in a Seattle dumpster was shocking enough-but equally disturbing was the manner of death. The victim, a high school coach, had been lynched, leaving behind a very pregnant wife to grieve over his passing, and to wonder what dark secrets he took to his grave. J.P. Beaumont knows this case is a powder keg and he fears where this investigation will lead him.
- Taking the Fifth – There are many bizarre and terrible ways to die. J. P. Beaumont thought he had seen them all-until he saw this body, its wounds, and the murder weapon: an elegant woman’s shoe, its stiletto heel gruesomely caked with blood. The evidence suggests that savagery is not the exclusive domain of the predatory male. And the scent of a stylish killer is pulling Beaumont into a world of drugs, corruption, and murder to view close-up a cinematic dream at its most nightmarish… and lethal.
- Improbable Cause – A dentist who enjoyed inflicting pain was murdered in his own chair. The question is not who wanted Dr. Frederick Nielsen dead, but rather who of the many finally reached the breaking point. For Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont, the most damning piece of the murderous puzzle will shake him to his very core-because what will be revealed to him is nothing less than the true meaning of unrepentant evil.
- A More Perfect Union – A shocking photo screamed from the front pages of the tabloids. The look of sheer terror eternally frozen on the face of the doomed woman indicated that her fatal fall from an upper story of an unfinished Seattle skyscraper was no desperate suicide. J.P. Beaumont’s hunt for answers is leading to more death, and to dark and terrible secrets scrupulously guarded by men of steel behind the locked doors of a powerful union that extracts its dues payments in blood.
- Dismissed with Prejudice – The blood at the scene belies any suggestion of an “honorable death.” Yet, to the eyes of the Seattle police, a successful Japanese software magnate died exactly as he wished. Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont can’t dismiss what he sees as an elaborate suicide, however, not when something about it makes his flesh crawl. Because small errors in the ritual suggest something darker…
- Minor in Possession – All manner of sinners and sufferers come to the rehab ranch in Arizona when they hit rock bottom. For J.P. Beaumont, there is a deeper level of Hell here: being forced to room with teenage drug dealer Joey Rothman. An all-around punk, Joey deserves neither pity nor tears-until he is murdered by a bullet fired from Beaumont’s gun.
- Payment in Kind – In death, they were entwined like lovers-a man and a woman hideously slaughtered, then stuffed into a closet in the Seattle School District building. But what appears a cut-and-dried crime of passion, complete with an ideal prime suspect, goes deeper than investigating detective J.P. Beaumont could ever have imagined.
- Without Due Process – What kind of monster would break into a man’s home at night, then slaughter him and his family? The fact that the dead man was a model cop only intensifies the horror. But the killer missed someone: a five-year-old boy who was hiding in the closet. Now word is being leaked out that the victim was “dirty.” But J.P. Beaumont isn’t about to let anyone drag a murdered friend’s reputation through the muck.
- Failure to Appear – A desperate father’s search for his runaway daughter has led him to the last place he ever expected to find her: backstage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But the murders in this dazzling world of make-believe are no mere stagecraft, and the blood is all too real. The hunt for his child has plunged former Seattle Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont into a bone-chilling drama of revenge, greed, and butchery.
- Lying in Wait – The terrible death of a Seattle fisherman has raised more questions than answers, opening a Pandora’s Box of evil that was kept tightly closed for more than half a century. Now a dark cloud is descending over the dead man’s frightened widow, and she must turn for help to an old friend, Detective J.P. Beaumont.
- Name Withheld – There are those who don’t deserve to live-and the corpse floating in Elliott Bay may have been one of those people. Not surprisingly, many individuals, too many in fact, are eager to take responsibility for the brutal slaying of the hated biotech executive whose alleged crimes ranged from the illegal trading of industrial secrets to rape. Detective J.P. Beaumont is drawn into a corporate nightmare world of double deals, savage jealousies, and real blood spilled far too easily, as it leads him closer to a killer he’s not sure he wants to find.
- Breach of Duty – An old woman died in her home, torched to death by a fiend with an unknown motive. While Seattle is undergoing unwelcome upscale change, it is strictly on the surface, as the Grim Reaper still lives in the shadows of the city. And it falls to Detective J.P. Beaumont and his new partner, Sue Danielson, to get to the bottom of his latest handiwork.
- Birds of Prey – The Starfire Breeze steams its way north toward the Gulf of Alaska. Those on board are seeking peace, relaxation, adventure, escape. But there is no escape in this place of unspoiled natural majesty. Because terror strolls the decks even in the brilliant light of day … and death is a conspicuous, unwelcome passenger. J.P. Beaumont will find that the grim ghosts pursuing him were not left behind…
- Partner in Crime – This is a crossover with the Joanna Brady series. The dead woman on a cold slab in the Arizona morgue was a talented artist recently arrived from the West Coast. The Washington State Attorney General’s office thinks this investigation is too big for a small-town female law officer to handle, so they’re sending Sheriff Joanna Brady some unwanted help-a seasoned detective named Beaumont. Sheriff Brady resents his intrusion, and Bisbee, Arizona, with its ghosts and memories, is the last place J.P. Beaumont wants to be.
- Long Time Gone – J.P. Beaumont has been hand-picked to lead the investigation into a half-century-old murder. An eyewitness to the crime, a middle-aged nun, has now recalled grisly, forgotten details while undergoing hypnotherapy. It’s a case as cold as the grave, and it’s running headlong into another that’s tearing at Beau’s heart: the vicious slaying of his former partner’s ex-wife.
- Justice Denied – The murder of an ex-drug dealer ex-con seems just another turf war fatality. Why then has J.P. Beaumont been instructed to keep this assignment hush-hush? Meanwhile, Beau’s lover and fellow cop, Mel Soames, is involved in her own confidential investigation. Registered sex offenders from all over Washington State are dying at an alarming rate-and not all due to natural causes.
- Fire and Ice – This is another crossover with the Joanna Brady series. Seattle investigator J.P. Beaumont is working a series of murders in which six young women have been wrapped in tarps, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Their charred remains have been scattered around various dump sites, creating a grisly pattern of death across western Washington.
- Betrayal of Trust – At first glance, the video appears to be showing a childish game: a teenage girl smiles for the camera. All of a sudden, the girl ends up dead. It’s as bad as a snuff film can get, and what’s worse, the clip has been discovered on a phone that belongs to the grandson of Washington State’s governor. However, the boy swears that he’s never seen the victim before. Fortunately, the governor is able to turn to an old friend, J. P. Beaumont, for help.
- Ring in the Dead (short story) – One day, at the end of Beaumont and Pickles’s shift, a stop at the Doghouse restaurant quickly turns deadly. Not feeling well, Pickles steps out into the parking lot for a breath of fresh air and stumbles into a crime in progress.
- Second Watch – Getting old is hell. J. P. Beaumont is finally taking some time off to have knee-replacement surgery. But instead of taking his mind off work, the operation plunges him into one of the most perplexing and mind-blowing mysteries he’s ever faced. A series of dreams takes him back to his early days on the force with the Seattle PD, and then even earlier, to his days in Vietnam, reminding him of people and events he hasn’t thought about in years.
- Stand Down (short story) – Life has shifted for J. P. Beaumont. He accepts that he has left homicide detection behind at this point. He’s keeping busy with renovations on the new house that he and his wife, Mel Soames, have bought. But new fixtures and paint palettes can occupy only so much of Beau’s daily life, and Mel is encouraging him to return to where he is needed: investigating crimes.
- Dance of the Bones – This is a crossover with the Walker Family Series. Years ago, Amos Warren was gunned down out in the desert and Sheriff Brandon Walker made the arrest in the case. Now, the retired Walker is called in when the alleged killer, John Lassiter, refuses to accept a plea deal that would release him from prison with time served. Lassiter wants Brandon to find Amos’s “real” killer and clear his name. When Brandon discovers that there are links between Lassiter’s case and an unsolved case in Seattle, he comes to J.P. Beaumont for help.
- Still Dead (short story) – Since the disbanding of the Special Homicide Investigation Team, J. P. Beaumont’s biggest concern is pondering whether he and his wife Mel should finally get a dog. But one voicemail from his old friend Ralph Ames is about to change that.
- Proof of Life – Before he retired, J. P. Beaumont had looked forward to having his days all to himself. When his longtime nemesis, retired Seattle crime reporter Maxwell Cole, dies in what’s officially deemed to be an accidental fire, Beau is astonished to be dragged into the investigation at the request of none other than the deceased victim himself.
- Sins of the Fathers – Former Seattle homicide cop, J. P. Beaumont, is learning to enjoy the new realities of retirement. But then his past comes calling. When a long ago acquaintance, Alan Dale, shows up on Beau’s doorstep with a newborn infant in hand and asking for help locating his missing daughter, Beau finds himself faced with an investigation that will turn his own life upside down.
- Nothing to Lose – Years ago, when he was a homicide detective with the Seattle PD, J. P. Beaumont’s partner, Sue Danielson, was murdered. Volatile and angry, Danielson’s ex-husband came after her in her home and, with nowhere else to turn, Jared, Sue’s teenage son, frantically called Beau for help. As Beau rushed to the scene, he urged Jared to grab his younger brother and flee the house. In the end, Beaumont’s plea and Jared’s quick action saved the two boys from their father’s murderous rage. Now, almost twenty years later, Jared reappears in Beau’s life seeking his help once again-his younger brother Chris is missing.