Deadly Stakes

Deadly Stakes

A Novel

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
Former reporter Ali Reynolds finds herself working against the police to add up the clues that connect one frightened teenager, two dead bodies, and $300,000 . . . with the body count rising.

Hired to investigate the grisly murder of a gold-digging divor­cée on behalf of the woman accused of the crime, Ali Reynolds is immediately drawn to the case of the secretive teenager who found the body. A. J. Sanders was in the Camp Verde desert to retrieve a mystery box buried by his absent father—a box that turns out to be filled with hundreds of thousands of dol­lars’ worth of poker chips. When a second body is found in the desert, it seems the three cases are more closely related than anyone could have imagined. Though Ali’s friends in the police department grow increasingly irritated by her involvement, Ali must stop a ruthless killer from claiming another victim . . . before she is lost in this game of deadly stakes.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451628692 | 
  • November 2013
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J.A. Jance explains her writing routine

In this thrilling mystery from bestselling author J.A. Jance, Ali Reynolds finds herself working against the police…with deadly stakes.

Read an Excerpt

Deadly Stakes Prologue
Even for June, it was ungodly hot as Gemma Ralston pulled into a nearly deserted parking lot and slid her Mercedes SLK into a spot just in front of the brick-and-mortar offices of Video-Glam. Despite the name, Video-Glam appeared to be anything but glamorous. The office was located in a mostly dead and partly repurposed strip mall at Indian School and Forty-third Avenue. Video-Glam occupied a single storefront at one end of the complex. At the other end, two units had been combined to serve as a... see more
Deadly Stakes 1
Several miles across town, Ali Reynolds sighed and looked at her watch. She had known when she had agreed to do the shoot at the Phoenix FOX affiliate that it would be the same day and time that her mother, Edie Larson, would be speaking before a luncheon meeting of local Sedona Rotarians as part of her run for mayor. Edie had done a number of informal coffee-hour appearances, but this would be her first major speaking engagement, one in which she would be going head to head with her thirtysomething opponent. As... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Deadly Stakes includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author J. A. Jance. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

When Lynn Martinson and her boyfriend Chip Ralston are arrested for the murders of Chip’s gold-digging ex-wife, Ali Reynolds is contacted to clear two innocent names. As a former reporter with police academy training, Ali is more than equipped to unearth the facts that underpin the increasingly complex case, especially with her connections in and outside of the police force. But danger may be closer than she thinks—and the cost of her involvement with the case could be deadly.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1.In Deadly Stakes, Ali has to trust her gut instincts in order to untangle the tangle of lies that surround Gemma Ralston and James Sanders’s murders. For instance, Ali has met Lynn Martinson only once before, but she feels convinced of her innocence. What were your initial impressions of Lynn Martinson? Molly Handraker? A.J. Sanders? How accurate were your first judgments, and how did they change throughout the book?

2.Why do you think that Ali is so hesitan see more

About the Author

J.A. Jance
Photograph by Mary Ann Halpin Studios

J.A. Jance

J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, as well as four interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota, and brought up in Brisbee, Arizona, Jance and her husband live in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit her online at JAJance.com.

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