Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: Festive In Death

Festive in Death (In Death, #39)Author: J.D. Robb
Series: In Death, #39
Released: March 19th 2015
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 496 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

The kitchen knife jammed into his cold heart pinned a cardboard sign to his well-toned chest. It read: Santa Says You've Been Bad!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!
It's Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind.
The victim - personal trainer Trey Ziegler - was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey's sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn.
Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth. 

I’ve been reading these slightly out of order, which I wouldn’t normally do, but J.D. Robb makes it very easy for me to enjoy them regardless of the number on the cover. In Death series is one of the most popular series in the world and with good reason. Just days ago, I sung Nora Roberts’ praises to all of you, and I still stand by my every word.

The series takes place about 45 years from now, which is highly unusual for the detective/mystery genre, but I love that Robb never makes a big deal out of it. Mostly it’s the technology that’s new. The people and their lives are very much the same. The changes in our world are subtle, which I suspect they will be, and everything that’s available to Eve and Roarke is very easy to imagine being available to us in 2060. In a weird way, the futuristic setting makes sense. So many of my favorite long-running series (like Kay Scarpetta) run the risk of becoming outdated. In fact, reading those first Kay Scarpetta installments is a bit funny now, with all that old technology and crime investigation techniques. Robb faces no such challenge. Her futuristic gadgets will always be new and interesting.

In this installment, Eve and Peabody investigate the murder of a fitness trainer. By all accounts, the victim was a bastard and a criminal, but Even wouldn’t be Eve if she didn’t give it her all. There are far too many suspects in this one, dozens of people with excellent motives and even opportunities. Eve will have to rely on her considerable experience and sometimes her husband to find the murderer.

As always, Peabody and McNab provide some much needed comic relief, and Eve’s attempts at Christmas shopping are simply hilarious. While she’s investigating, Roarke is preparing for their huge Christmas party and Eve is somewhat lost and trying to ignore the whole thing. Our heroine is still adorably clueless in social situations (which reminds me of Sherlock Holmes sometimes), but she’s improved considerably and she is, as always, very much aware of her shortcomings.

Eve and Roarke are still an amazing couple, that’s all that needs to be said about them. Robb uses their wonderful marriage as an asset, and never as a source of drama. There’s plenty of drama with Eve’s cases and there’s absolutely no need to add to it by creating unnecessary romantic tension. These two work together as one and I adore them for it.

You don’t need me to tell you how wildly popular this series has been from the start and you definitely don’t need me to recommend it. Obviously it’s something everyone needs to read. I’m still working my way through it, having missed several along the way, and every one is a special treat. A J.D. Robb book is a sure bet if ever there was one.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I must have been hiding under a rock somewhere for sure because I have totally missed this series, but with a female Sherlock and a wonderfully strong relationship with no drama and fantastic mystery cases, this really sounds like my kinda thing!

  2. I have followed the lives of Eve and Roarke from the first in Death novel, before we knew for certain that Nora Roberts was indeed J,D. Robb. There is not one that I haven't loved from the first page. They do not get stale, and I so completely enjoy seeing how all of the characters mature, change, adapt and grow throughout the novels. You could take away anything on my bookshelves - but do not touch my in death novels.

    Marsha @

  3. OMG OMG OMG OMG. Girl, you just sold me on this, seriously. I am on my way to binge-reading this one and bought all the digital copies that I could on my Amazon account (hah). I want a female Sherlock so bad!!! Maja, if I get too addicted in this series, it would be your fault and I wouldn't blame you for it ;)

    Faye at The Social Potato

  4. You are obviously a much more prolific reader than modest yours truly :) I never really ventured into murder-mysteries, though I have been reconsidering my choices since I began reading blogs and came across intriguing reviews, such as yours. I agree with your assessment of what the world might look like in fifty years - I believe the greatest difference will have to do with VR devices and afferent applications. So I like it that the author has obviously given the aspect some thought and decided on the non-ridiculous avenue :) Wonderful and compelling review, Maja.

  5. You summed up this series quite well. :) I am happy to hear that there are dozens of suspects as I like it when we don't know from the start who the killer is. I like it to be a surprise, to work it out with Eve.

    Your comment about the tech was interesting as I just finished reading Thankless in Death and found that she's incorporating more current day tech. The tech in the series feels less futuristic to me than it did in earlier books. She's falling behind was how it read to me. Interesting to read your take on it.

  6. I really need to pick up a J. D. Robb title! This summer I will have no excuse whatsoever so I'll definitely be reading these! :)

  7. This really is one of my most favorite series and I love that it is still as good as it was in the beginning!!

  8. I think I have 10 of these books, but not the first of the series. I'm still looking for it. Heck, one of these days, I'm just going to bite the bullet and buy a (gasps) Kindle copy.

  9. I see these books everywhere - I think it's time I took the plunge and started - although my ODC-tendancies mean I HAVE to read them in order.

  10. I have long wondered about this series, when a series gets that long, I have a hard time believing it is still good and fresh, but obviously Robb (nora) has no trouble. I don't know how she does it.

  11. I'm behind in this wonderful series, but like you mentioned-it never seems to disappoint me and it is always great to get back to Eve and Roarke. I'm glad this was a great read for you, Maja :)

  12. I've "read" the first three or four (?) in audio version, which I highly recommend. Nice to know that the series is still going strong after 39 books! Wow! :)


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