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Celebrity in Death

March 12, 2012
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Since my first child was about a year old, I’ve traded books with my friend Amy and her mother, and a series I discovered that way was J.D. Robb’s “Suspense in Death” series, featuring a NYC police officer of the future named Eve Dallas. Robb (a pseudonym for Nora Roberts) writes about one of these each year, and I always look forward to reading the newest one. Her latest, Celebrity in Death, is as good as any of the others in the series, and adds the twist that Dallas and her partner Peabody are investigating a murder on the set of a movie about them, and the murdered person is the actress who was playing Peabody.

As usual, there are amusing romance elements, like that Eve doesn’t care what she wears and her rich and handsome husband buys her beautiful clothes:
“He handed her a short, translucent coat. Over the dress it looked like a film of stars.
‘Did I already have this?’
‘You have it now.’”

The best clothes-giving sequence (there are three in this book) is when the husband gives her a leather jacket with body-armor lining that he’s been working to develop ever since he met her:
“’It will block a stun on full, though you’ll feel the impact. It’ll protect from a blaster, though the leather would suffer. And it will block a blade—though again, pity about the leather.’
‘Seriously?’ She pulled her weapon again, offered it. ‘Try it.’
He had to laugh even as he thought: Typical. Just typical. ‘I will not.’
‘Not very confident in your research and development.’
‘I’m not firing a stunner at my wife in our bedroom.’
‘We can go downstairs to the range.’

There is also Dallas’ habitual disregard for what anybody else thinks about how she does her job. In this book, though, her police department PR adviser likes the way she expresses this disregard:
“’Identifying the individual who caused her death, bringing that individual to justice is what I’m sworn to do as an officer of the NYPSD. Period. Now fuck off so I can do my job.’
‘Perfect. If you’d just think that last part rather than verbalizing it, perfect.’ He gave her his big, white-toothed smile. ‘I’m having a hard time understanding why you’re considered such a difficult assignment to my colleagues.’
‘Because most of them are assholes. So far, you’re not.’”

Dallas has a very urban point of view, and she likes to make pronouncements about her perspective on the world. I liked this one, about why she doesn’t want a boat:
“’Looking at the water—it’s nice. Being in the water—a pool, the beach—all good. Riding on it where you might end up in it way out there with things that live under it and want to eat you? Why go there?”

In the end, of course, Dallas and Peabody catch the murderer and Dallas says:
“We closed two murders, and one attempted, and are well on the way to closing seven other murder cases. And nobody tried to punch me in the face, stab me, stun me, or blow me up. I think it’s a record.”

This book was a fun and fast read–just the thing for a spring break.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2012 10:38 am

    Ha, the comment about the water makes me laugh. I’ve never read JD Robb…mostly because of my anti-Nora sentiments after 6 years working in a book store. The back cover of one of them (it’s called Remember When I think…the one that says “written by JD Robb and Nora Roberts”) shows a pic of Nora in Nora mode and Nora in JD mode, side by side, and the blurb says that they both live and write together and share a husband. Creeeepy. 🙂

    • March 14, 2012 12:14 pm

      I would hope that the blurb is quite tongue-in-cheek; there seem to be a lot of romance novel fans who don’t know she writes these futuristic murder mysteries.

  2. March 12, 2012 12:21 pm

    Oh that sounds like a fun read.

    • March 14, 2012 12:15 pm

      I can see you liking these–they definitely explore the dark side. Of the future.

  3. March 13, 2012 8:44 pm

    Fast and fun read … just the ticket when you’re done a heavy book and need a break.

    • March 14, 2012 12:17 pm

      I tend to think of them as like going to a movie–it’s going to take a couple of hours and be fun while it lasts. I just saw John Carter, which was kind of based on the first of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series, and enjoyed it hugely (no surprise, since the movie is written by Michael Chabon).

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