St. Martin's Griffin
On Sale: October 22, 2013
Featuring: Kinsey Millhone; Wendell Jaffe
Paperback / e-Book
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"J" is for Jaffe: Wendell Jaffe, dead these past five years.
Or so it seemed until his former insurance agent spotted him
in the bar of a dusty little resort halfway between Cabo San
Lucas and La Paz. "In truth, the facts about Wendell Jaffe
had nothing to do with my family history, but murder is
seldom tidy and no one ever said revelations operate in a
straight line. It was my investigation into the dead man's
past that triggered the inquiry into my own, and in the end
the two stories became difficult to separate." Five years
ago, when Jaffe's thirty-five-foot Fuji ketch was found
drifting off the Baja coast, it seemed a sure thing he'd
gone overboard. The note he left behind admitted he was flat
broke, his business bankrupt, his real estate gambit nothing
but a huge Ponzi scheme about to collapse, with criminal
indictment certain to follow. When the authorities soon
after descended on his banks and his books, there was
nothing left: Jaffe had stripped the lot. "Given my
insatiable curiosity and my natural inclination to poke my
nose in where it doesn't belong, it was odd to realize how
little attention I'd paid to my own past. I'd simply
accepted what I was told, constructing my personal mythology
on the flimsiest of facts." But Jaffe wasn't quite without
assets. There was the $500,000 life insurance policy made
out to his wife and underwritten by California Fidelity.
With no corpse to prove death, however, the insurance
company was in no hurry to pay the claim. Dana Jaffe had to
wait out the statutory five years until her missing husband
could be declared legally dead. Just two months before
Wendell Jaffe was sighted in that dusty resort bar,
California Fidelity finally paid in full. Now they wanted
the truth. And they were willing to hire Kinsey Millhone to
dig it up. As Kinsey pushes deeper into the mystery
surrounding Wendell Jaffe's pseudocide, she explores her own
past, discovering that in family matters as in crime,
sometimes it's better to reserve judgment. "J" is for
judgment: the kind we're quick to make and often quicker to
regret. "J" Is for Judgment: Kinsey Millhone's tenth
excursion into the dark places of the heart where duplicity
is the governing rule and murder the too-frequent result.
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