The Pleasures of Reading J.D. Robb

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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. 

Her life is shared with her husband Roarke, an extremely wealthy man with a shady past in Ireland who was once a suspect in a murder case. Their marriage is solid despite Eve’s innate hesitancy in getting too close to anyone. Roarke breaks down her barriers with charm, love, and sex. Lots of sex. The erotic scenes are very nicely written!

One of the pleasures of reading this detective mystery is the futuristic setting of New York City in the late 2050s/early 2060s. It’s interesting reading about law enforcement practices in the future. It’s also fun to see Dallas get a “tube” of Pepsi from a vending machine and read about how she and Roarke spent their honeymoon on an Earth satellite. Slightly otherworldly and definitely excellent new settings for a crime novel.

The supporting characters in the book—Delia Peabody, Ian McNab, and Feeney, to name a few—add wit, humor, and insight into the world inhabited by Eve Dallas. A nice touch is Eve’s ongoing war of sarcasm with Summersett, Roarke’s major domo, the man who makes all run smoothly in the couple’s home. Underneath it all you sense a certain grudging respect for each other, though neither one will admit it.

The In Death books are an excellent series that can also can be read as standalones, but I recommend reading each one consecutively. The pleasure of going from one Dallas adventure to another is part of the fun.

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


Kristen Houghton’s new novel, Unrepentant: Pray for Us Sinners, book 3 in her best-selling series A Cate Harlow Private Investigation, is available at all book venues.

She is the author of nine top-selling novels and is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own. Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories which appear in popular horror anthologies.

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