Saturday, April 24, 2021

Book Review of The Ali Reynolds Series by J. A. Jance


Author J. A. (Judith) Jance is the best-selling author of 3 mystery series and four inter-related thrillers featuring the Walker family.


This review is about her Ali Reynolds series.


Characters


Ali Reynolds – Main Character


Ali Reynolds is the main character is this series of suspense stories. Once a well-known TV News Anchor in L.A., Ali returns to her hometown of Sedona, Arizona after her career and her marriage come to sudden ends. 



Bob and Edie Larson – Ali's Parents


Ali grew up in Sedona where her parents run the Sugarloaf Cafe, a restaurant started years ago by her grandmother and later inherited and run by her parents and her mother's twin sister. 


Ali's parents and the Sugarloaf Cafe play a large part in each book in the series. Some special culinary delights of the Sugarloaf Cafe are mentioned throughout this series of books. Interested readers may want to check out the 'Sugarloaf Cafe' section on the J.A. Jance author website for fun background stories and recipes. 


Christopher


Ali has a grown son, Chris, who is just finishing college as the series begins. Chris, who had been living in California with his mother, eventually also returns to Sedona and takes a job at the local high school as a teacher. He is also a metal artist.  As the series progresses, Chris meets a fellow teacher, Althena, falls in love and gets married. Thus, Althena then also becomes a regular character in the series. 


Other Regular Characters


Leland Brooks – an English Butler who is introduced early in the series and becomes an integral part of each subsequent story. Aged, but entirely capable, Mr. Brooks becomes Ali's personal assistant when she takes over the house where he worked as a butler to a wealthy lady and her daughter for many years. 


Dave Holman – A good friend of Ali's who works for the local Sheriff's Department.


Sister Anselm. A Sisters of Providence Catholic Nun who works as a patient advocate for severely injured or ill patients who arrive unidentified and/or are non-English speaking. Sister Anselm speaks a number of languages and helps translate needed information between patient and hospital personnel. She also helps locate the patient's relatives. Sister Anselm is introduced several books into the series and quickly becomes a good friend to Ali. Thereafter, she becomes another regular character in subsequent Ali Reynolds books.


Bishop Francis Gillespie.  Sister Anselm's superior. Introduced to the series in the same book as Sister Anselm, he becomes another favorite character in the series. 


Bartholomew Simpson – Computer Expert


B. Simpson, known simply as B. due to the unfortunate connotation related to his name matching that of a cartoon character (Bart Simpson), is an expert computer  programmer (and sometimes Hacker) who owns and runs a successful cyber-security company called High Noon Enterprises in Sedona.  When Ali needs help in one of her investigations, B. comes to her aid with his computer skills. As the series progresses, B. eventually becomes much more than just a friend. B's computer skills also often help solve crimes Ali becomes involved in. 


Other characters who start out in the early books in minor roles ,and soon become regular characters in subsequent books, include computer experts Stu Ramsey and Cami Lee of B's company High Noon Enterprises. 


Summary


Edge of Evil - Book 1 


In the first book in the series “Edge of Evil“ Ali finds herself caught up in an investigation into the death of her best friend. While evidence appears to point to the death being a suicide, Ali discovers that her friend was actually murdered. By the time Ali figures out who the murderer was, she is almost murdered herself.


The subsequent books in the series feature a continuing story.  Each book can be read as a 'stand alone' novel, but be forewarned that references in each book refer back to past stories. Thus, it is best to begin with Book One and read forward to understand who all the characters are and how they interact. Besides, the characters are as interesting as the stories themselves.  


The Ali Reynolds Books in Order


Ali Reynolds Books


Ali (Alison) Reynolds, a 40-something newscaster fired for aging by a Los Angeles TV network, who returns to her hometown of Sedona, Arizona, and takes up blogging (and subsequent crime solving):


  1. Edge of Evil (2006)
  2. Web of Evil (2007)
  3. Hand of Evil (2007)
  4. Cruel Intent (2008)
  5. Trial by Fire  (2009)
  6. Fatal Error (2001)
  7. Left for Dead (2012)
  8. Deadly Stakes (2013)
  9. Moving Target (2014)
  10. Cold Betrayal (2015)
  11. Claw Back (2016)
  12. Man Overboard (2017)
  13. Duel to the Death (2018)
  14. The A List (2019)
  15. Credible Threat (2020)



Ali Reynolds Book #16

NOTE: Ali Reynolds Book #16 – due out June 1, 2021

I highly recommend this Ali Reynolds series, and any and all of the books by J.A. (Judith) Jance to mystery readers everywhere. Especially for those who enjoy having a woman as the main character. 


Related Links:



The Ali Reynolds Series by J.A. Jance – book series review by (c) Wednesday Elf






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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9 comments:

  1. Oh Elf, these do sound like a mystery series I would enjoy. Thanks for the recommend. I've put the on my to read list.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you would enjoy this book series, Mary Beth. And the location descriptions of Sedona, Arizona are as interesting as the stories.

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  2. This sounds a series full of interesting characters and mysteries! I can understand why you recommend starting with Book one to gain understanding of all the characters and how they develop and interact.That sounds like a good plan!Thank you for great review.

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Jasmine. I know I really enjoyed reading each book in order and discovering new things in each subsequent book about the characters.

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  3. In the past, mystery was not my first choice, but thanks to you and some of the other Review This Reviews contributors, introducing me to mystery books with a real plot and without descriptive violence, I find I do enjoy reading a good mystery. This series sounds perfect for me! Thanks for the recommendation.

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  4. Wow, my favorite genre of books list is just getting to be so long that I fear I will have to stop everything and just READ! These books sound amazing to me and yes I love a woman in the lead role! What I like even better is a great cast of characters that keep you on your toes trying to help solve the problems at hand. Thanks Pat! My list is long, but at least I know where to find a great book when I need it!

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  5. Another terrific recommendation to add to my list. Sounds like an interesting series - and of course, I know my mom would like these - hmmm, great mothers day gift <3

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  6. In the past, my murder mystery reading was limited mostly to the J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) “In Death” series featuring New York police detective Eve Dallas and set in New York City after the fictitious Urban Wars, and the occasional cozy mystery, like the Agatha Raisin series by M. C. Beaton (Marion Chesney). But this sounds like a murder mystery series that doesn’t contain gratuitousx graphic descriptions of violence, and one I would quite enjoy. I love getting to know characters over the course of an extended series, so that reading each new book is like seeing old friends again. So, I’m excited to see that there are already 16 books in this one. Thanks for the excellent review and introduction to this series and its core characters.

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  7. A fascinating review Pat, I do love a good mystery and it seems like this is a perfect series of books that I would enjoy. Thanks.

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