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From The Blog
November 17, 2017
Man Flees Police, Hides Under the Covers, Claims He's "Just Sleeping"
Adam Wagner
November 16, 2017
Back to J. D. Robb's Future
Janet Webb
November 16, 2017
Writing the Private Detective vs. the Police Detective
T.R. Ragan
November 16, 2017
Why the Time Is Ripe for the Farming Cozy
Wendy Tyson
November 15, 2017
Q&A with Jessica Keener, Author of Strangers in Budapest
Jessica Keener and John Valeri
Showing posts tagged: In Death series click to see more stuff tagged with In Death series
Thu
Nov 16 2017 5:00pm

Back to J. D. Robb’s Future: How the Futuristic Technology of the In Death Series Has Fared in the Present

The dichotomy between the head (futuristic technology) and heart (the prime directive since the world began) informs J. D. Robb’s In Death series: “It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.”

J. D. Robb published Naked in Death in July 1995. Secrets in Death, the 45th book in the In Death series, came out in September 2017—22 years later. The pertinent number, however, is 63—because in 1995, Robb imagined a New York City 63 years into the future. What did she foresee? Was she prescient? What did she envision that hasn’t happened?

[Read more about the technology from the In Death series!]

Wed
Sep 6 2017 11:00am

5 New Books to Read this Week: September 5, 2017

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!

John le Carré's first George Smiley in 27 years and the 45th In Death novel from J. D. Robb highlight an incredible week of books! See what else we're reading:

[See this week's Top 5...]

Mon
Sep 4 2017 10:00am

Review: Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb

Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb is the 45th In Death mystery, where Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced (available September 5, 2017).

Take a visual tour through Secrets in Death with GIFnotes!

Some In Death books are thrillers with a race-against-time ride to the finish. Other In Death books are chilling suspense novels where the tension drips from each fast-turning page. And many In Death books are like Secrets In Death: a well-crafted police procedural that has you walking step-by-step with our heroine Eve Dallas as she solves a violent crime and proves, yet again, that she deserves her badge.

After 45 books, there’s a maturity to this series that makes it shine above most other long-running mystery series. Every book is as smooth as good whiskey, well-crafted, intriguing, and downright fun. Secrets is no exception. 

Our cop, Lt. Eve Dallas, is off-duty and dreading having drinks with Dr. DeWinter, a colleague she respects but doesn’t particularly like. Dallas is actually yearning for a call—this is New York, after all, there has to be a dead body somewhere.

[Read Allison Brennan's review of Secrets in Death...]

Tue
Aug 29 2017 9:00am
Excerpt

J. D. Robb Excerpt: Secrets in Death

J. D. Robb

Secrets in Death by J. D. RobbSecrets in Death by J. D. Robb is the 45th book in the In Death series, where Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced (available September 5, 2017).

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

[Read an excerpt from Secrets in Death...]

Wed
Aug 9 2017 2:00pm

Secrets in Death by J. D. Robb: A Visual Guide

GIFnotes: Giving you the basic plot summary of an upcoming book with the help of the Graphics Interchange Format.

This week, take a visual tour of J. D. Robb's 45th In Death novel, Secrets in Death!

[Like CliffsNotes, but more fun...]

Wed
Feb 8 2017 12:00pm

5 New Books to Read this Week: February 7, 2017

Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!

This was a huge week for crime fans! J.D. Robb released her 44th In Death novel, Kelley Armstrong continued her Casey Duncan series, and Chris Ewan delivered a superb standalone thriller! See what else to read this week:

[See this week's Top 5...]

Tue
Feb 7 2017 4:15pm

Who Is Your Favorite Supporting Character in the In Death series?

One of the things that makes J.D. Robb’s In Death novels such a success is the adept characterization of the supporting cast. Sure, Eve Dallas is the star, but her friends and makeshift family help create a world you feel a part of—even if it is set in a futuristic NYC of the late 2050s / early 2060s. 

With today’s release of the 44th In Death novel, Echoes in Death, we want to know who YOUR favorite secondary character is throughout the series? Could it be billionaire husband Roarke? Eve’s eventual partner and friend, Delia Peabody? Or maybe mentor and former partner Captain Ryan Feeney? 

Check out our review coverage of the entire In Death series!

[Vote for your favorite below!]

Tue
Feb 7 2017 3:00pm

My Top 5 In Death Novels

I discovered J.D. Robb before I knew she was Nora Roberts

My mom has been a long-time member of the Mystery Guild, and back in 1999 she gave me her booklet and asked if I wanted anything. I was looking for something new to read, and the description of Conspiracy in Death by this unknown (to me) author J.D. Robb sounded intriguing. The Mystery Guild booklet didn’t identify J.D. Robb as Nora Roberts, but I didn’t care—a futuristic police procedural? Sounded fun and different.

I remember reading this book and losing myself in the future world expertly built with lasers and AutoChefs and holos and designer drugs. Strong, independent cop Eve Dallas; sexy, former criminal turned mostly-straight businessman; insecure-but-determined partner Peabody; annoying-but-loyal Summerset; and, of course, Galahad the spoiled cat. And many more. No character is left two-dimensional, whether they’re continuing, support cast, or in only one important scene. We are immersed in the world and with the characters.

[See which In Death novels made the list!]

Tue
Feb 7 2017 1:00pm

Review: Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb

Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb is the 44th book in the In Death series featuring Eve Dallas.

As I read the first three chapters of Echoes in Death, I wondered if the book was written intentionally as a jumping-on point for new readers. It certainly reads that way, catching readers up to speed on the characters, their relationships, and the futuristic setting all in the first two chapters. 

Intentional or not, if you’re curious about the In Death series, yes, you can start with this 44th book.

The story opens from the point of view of a victim: Daphne Strazza, a young doctor’s wife. Injured, terrified, and convinced she’s been attacked by the literal devil, she stumbles into the street into the path of the limousine carrying Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke as they head home from a charity event. 

[Read Corrina Lawson's review of Echoes in Death...]

Mon
Feb 6 2017 4:30pm

The Pleasures of Reading J.D. Robb

When you find a mystery series that you completely enjoy reading, it’s as if you have found reading gold. Finishing each book is no longer an agony because you know your favorite main characters will come back in the next book in the series.

Readers of my Cate Harlow Private Investigation series have told me that they enjoy knowing Cate and company will return in a new book. I like that too, as each time I write a new book the character of Cate Harlow grows in ways that add to her fictional life.

One of my favorite authors is J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, who pens the absolutely superb In Death series featuring the steely-eyed, incomparable Lieutenant Eve Dallas. Eve is a fiercely dedicated cop who prefers to do things on her own. According to her way of thinking, this impacts both her personal and professional lives with fewer complications. Truthfully, she chose to be in law enforcement as a police officer so that she could have absolute control over her own life. Until the age of eighteen, she was controlled by others in a foster care system from hell. 

[Read more from Kristen Houghton!]

Mon
Feb 6 2017 1:00pm

Review: Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Janet Webb reviews #43, Apprentice in Death.

Apprentice in Death gives us J.D. Robb at the top of her game. Each In Death book juxtaposes a methodical, futuristic police procedural with the ever-evolving relationship of New York City’s Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke, her gazillionaire husband.

The setting of Apprentice in Death is decades into the future, but the vagaries of murder are, unfortunately, timeless. There’s a shooting at an outdoor skating rink: “Three shots in roughly twelve seconds, three dead—center back, gut, forehead. That’s not luck.” No, those are skilled shots.

Eve knows immediately that she has a LDSK on her hands. According to the Urban Dictionary, the initials represent “Long Distance Serial Killer; a serial killer that kills at great distances via a sniper rifle or other weapons.”

[Read Janet Webb's review of Apprentice In Death...]

Fri
Feb 3 2017 3:00pm

Before Jessica Jones, There Was Eve Dallas

When Jessica Jones premiered on Netflix in 2015, it was met with critical acclaim for its portrayal of a rape victim seizing control of her life, all tossed with an extra slice of “fight the partriarchy.” “Groundbreaking,” critics said.

For all the praise, one would think the show contained the first character in pop culture to have this kind of character arc or feature this kind of heroine.

See also: Jessica Jones Review: Season 1, Episodes 1-4

But before there was Jessica Jones, there was Eve Dallas, who came to life twenty years before. Dallas is the lead character of J.D. Robb’s (aka Nora Roberts) In Death series. The first book in that series, Naked in Death, was published in 1995. And even if you’re counting the comics—which I don’t because the versions of Jessica Jones were different—Eve Dallas is six years older than Alias (which introduced Jones).

[Read more from Corrina Lawson!]

Fri
Feb 3 2017 1:00pm

Review: Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Angie Barry reviews #42, Brotherhood in Death.

Eve leaned forward, just a little. “You can kiss my ass.”

Color flooded Mandy's face. “How dare you. You can be sure I'll contact your superior and report your behavior.”

“That would be Whitney, Commander Jack. Cop Central.” Eve took out her badge. “Make a note of the name and number. I cleaned up some of your husband's blood in that ridiculous old house today—you think about that. You think about that and the fact that you can't find him. And you remember Dennis Mira ended up unconscious on the floor, shedding some of his own blood, because he tried to help. And you—”

“Eve,” Roarke murmured.

“No, not done. And you think about the fact a cop came to your door to inform you, to gather information in the investigation of your husband's whereabouts, and you stonewalled. As a cop I'm now looking right at you, right straight at you as my chief suspect. You got anything hiding in your closets, sister? I guarantee I'll find it.”

In the 42nd installment of her In Death series, J.D. Robb makes things decidedly personal for Lieutenant Eve Dallas. 

[Read Angie Barry's review of Brotherhood in Death...]

Thu
Feb 2 2017 4:30pm

Nora Roberts: One of Literature’s Most Underrated Authors

I initially conceived of this article as a way to convince readers who dismiss Nora Roberts with a wave and an eye roll of her considerable writing skills. But I put that article away because my words, no matter how eloquent they might be, wouldn’t cut it. The best supporting evidence for Nora Roberts is Nora Roberts’s own words.

Instead, I pulled short excerpts from Roberts’s stories and juxtaposed them with bestselling or acclaimed works by authors who don’t receive the same unearned, unwarranted, and unnecessary look of disdain.

[See why you should be reading Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb...]

Thu
Feb 2 2017 1:00pm

Review: Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Allison Brennan reviews #41, Devoted in Death.

Buckle up for Devoted in Death because this story starts with a bang and does not let up as two love-struck killers travel from Oklahoma to New York, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.

One of the fun things about being a fan of J.D. Robb’s In Death series from the (almost) beginning is that there’s such variety in the stories throughout the series itself while still holding true to the characters. Some books are deeply emotional and story-changing (New York to Dallas); others are almost a straight-up police procedural (Survivor in Death); and others are a bit lighter and fun, at least as fun as murder and mayhem can be (Fantasy in Death). Devoted in Death is a genuine crime thriller, a race-against-time Bonnie-and-Clyde story.

[Read Allison Brennan's review of Devoted in Death...]

Wed
Feb 1 2017 2:00pm

4 Reasons You Should Read J.D. Robb ... According to My Mom

As you may have noticed, we—the reviewers here at Criminal Element—are happily gorging ourselves on J.D. Robb’s In Death series in preparation for the upcoming release of Echoes in Death. But there’s an important voice you need to hear if we’re going to talk seriously about J.D. Robb: my mom’s.   

When you walk into my mom’s house, you go straight into the living room (it’d probably be called a “formal living room” if my mom was a “formal living room” kinda gal … which she isn’t), and the first thing you see is a large entertainment center. You see the normal entertainment center kinda things: television, the entire series of NCIS, and other movies/shows that don’t star Mark Harmon or Michael Weatherly. 

But one thing you will notice very quickly is, along the top shelf of the entertainment center, the entire series of J.D. Robb’s In Death novels on full display—from number one to number whatever-number-J.D. Robb-is-up-to-by-the-time-of-this-writing. (That’s 44 in February once Echoes in Death comes out.)

[Mom knows best...]

Wed
Feb 1 2017 1:00pm

Review: Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, John Jacobson reviews #40, Obsession in Death.

Obsession in Death marks the 40th official title in the In Death series. After reviewing Festive in Death, I managed to avoid feeling series burnout because of Eve Dallas’s continued improvement as a character. Obsession in Death took those feelings and amped them up a few notches. This installment is much more about the mystery, following a serial killer that kills with the belief that they are Dallas’s friend. It’s a compelling mystery arc that also gives the reader a lens to look back on Eve’s career—a smart authorial decision on Robb’s part that makes this book work both as a standalone mystery and as a later installment in an ongoing series. 

Getting called to a grisly murder scene is day-to-day work for Lieutenant Eve Dallas, even if it is just after the Christmas holidays. Eve’s latest job has something she’s never seen before: a note from the killer addressed directly to her.

[Read John Jacobson's review of Obsession in Death...]

Tue
Jan 31 2017 1:00pm

Review: Festive in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, John Jacobson reviews #39, Festive in Death.

At book 39 (wow) of the In Death series, Festive in Death is a great way to look at the evolution of Robb’s work. My last review was of Rapture in Death—one of the earliest books in the series. The differences between the first few stories and the later books are readily apparent, but, as a fan of Robb’s work, I have to say that I find them the sign of an expert in her craft.

Festive in Death continues the work of characterizing Eve Dallas by looking at her relationship of giving to others, and it also makes a strong statement about the importance of identifying rape as rape. Robb’s continued quest to keep this series growing and relevant to contemporary issues is a worthwhile one, and I think In Death fans have a lot to still appreciate about later In Death books.

Trey Ziegler is a popular personal trainer in NYC with a strong client base and a reputation for being a lady’s man. Sadly, his physique and charisma don’t help him avoid being murdered with a knife straight through the chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas doesn’t like slick playboys such as Trey, but her professional desire for justice has her searching for his killer. 

[Read John Jacobson's review of Festive in Death...]

Mon
Jan 30 2017 1:00pm

Review: Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb

To celebrate the upcoming release of J.D. Robb's 44th Eve Dallas mystery, Echoes in Death, we're taking a look back at every single book in the In Death series. Today, Allison Brennan reviews #38, Concealed in Death.

J.D. Robb has a knack for first lines that immediately draw you into the story:

  • “Killing was easier than I thought it could be, and a lot more rewarding.” (Obsession in Death)
  • “Men, Sima thought, can’t live with them, can’t beat them to death with a nine iron.” (Festive in Death)
  • “A late-night urge for an orange fizzy saved Nixie’s life.” (Survivor in Death)

And, of course, the book I’m talking about today—the opening line of Concealed in Death totally rocks: “Neglect could kill a building brick by brick.” Neglect kills not just buildings, but people, and as the story unfolds, we see how this theme is played out in multiple ways.

[Read Allison Brennan's review of Concealed in Death...]