Janice Beattie was a district nurse who worked at St John’s Medical Practice at the time of Dr. Margot Bamborough’s disappearance. When Strike and Robin meet her, she is described as “a short, silver-haired woman” with blue eyes and “a round pink and white face…. The naturally upturned corners of [her] mouth and the dimples in her full cheeks gave her a cheerful look even when she wasn’t smiling.” Janice wears a single piece of jewelry, a wedding ring (Troubled Blood, chapter 20).
Dr. Gupta praises Janice as being “the best nurse I ever worked with” and “well liked” by patients. According to Gupta, Janice and Margot got along well, “being able to disagree without taking personal offense,” regardless of the disagreement between the two over Margot examining Janice’s ill son without her permission. On the day of Margot’s disappearance, Janice was “at the practice until lunchtime, but off making house calls in the afternoon, which was quite routine” (Troubled Blood, chapter 8). Her last house call of the day was in Gopsall Street, about ten minutes from the practice by car. Janice and her friend and coworker Irene Bull had plans to see The Gambler at the cinema that night, but Irene cancelled, saying she wasn’t up to it after a dental procedure that day. Janice says she then saw the film alone. Current day, Janice and Irene are still good friends, with Janice often attending to Irene’s many digestive illnesses.
During the initial investigation, Talbot interviewed Cancerian Janice more than any other witness or suspect, a total of seven times. His first three interviews centered on what Janice knew about her Percival Street neighbor Steve Douthwaite. After that, Talbot asked Janice if she’d ever been hypnotized, asked her to keep a diary of her dreams and to list her most recent sexual partners (Troubled Blood, chapter 19), inappropriate to say the least.
Janice was born and raised in poverty as an Eastender. Her mother died in childbirth when Janice was eight years old, and her father was abusive. As a single mother, Janice raised a son named Kevin, who currently lives in Dubai with his wife and children. She never married Kevin’s father, who left the family, but she later married Larry, who worked as a builder for Irene’s husband, Eddie. Larry died years previous to the events in Troubled Blood. Currently living in Nightingale Grove, Janice watches Say Yes to the Dress and collects cheap glass ornaments and obituaries.