Celebrity in Death

J.D. Robb
February 2012, Futuristic Romance
Putnam, $27.95, 400 pages, Amazon ASIN 0399158308
Part of a series

Grade: B+
Sensuality: Warm

This was a relief. After the dark intensity of the last book, the opening chapters of this book read almost like a cozy mystery set in the future. In addition to its lighter tone, all of the characters Iíve come to know and love - mostly MIA in the last book Ė are back. I enjoyed this one a great deal.

Itís been said before but bears repeating: If you havenít read the series do not start here. In addition to missing all of the character development that has occurred over the series, this caries forward numerous threads from previous books.

Nadine Furstís hit book about the Icove Murders (Origin in Death) is being turned into a movie featuring all of the key people in Eveís life. Eve is less than thrilled to have to put in an appearance on the movie set while Peabody is almost giddy.

Eve is rather unsettled when she meets the actress playing her; sheís at times a bit too close for comfort. Peabodyís excitement is dampened somewhat when she meets the rude, arrogant actress (or Fake Peabody as the real Peabody and Eve call her) who is playing her. Fake Peabody suggests that the real Peabody needs to take an assertiveness class unless she always wants to be an underling. Fake Peabody has also tried to change the script to get more of a starring role.

Although theyíre called away from the set to work on a murder, Eve is soon back with the movie crew. She and Roarke, as well as most of their friends, attend a special showing of outtakes at the directorís home. The party atmosphere soon changes when Fake Peabody is murdered. With a whole party-full of people who despised the dead actress, Eve isnít at a loss for suspects.

Iím normally not a fan of romances featuring Hollywood types, but the actors are presented as real people with flaws and foibles. And letís be honest, in this world, Roarke Ė and now Eve by extension Ė is far glitzier than any of the Hollywood types.

This book brought a return to many of the things I enjoy about the series. Thereís humor interspersed with the seriousness of the investigation. I enjoyed watching Eve and Peabody interact as they work together to solve this case.

There are a number of minor adjustments and changes in long-standing relationships. Eve and Roarke are treating each other with care after the horrors they went through in Dallas in the previous book. The events surrounding the death of Fake Peabody cause Peabody and Ian to examine their relationship. And Eve and Peabody look at their relationship a bit too, in the midst of the open hostility Fake Peabody had for movie Eve.

I had a few minor problems. At times Eve and Peabodyís extensive use of acronyms pulled me out of the story and left me scratching my head. Once the full extent of the murdererís past was laid out, I found it a bit odd that the killer hadnít previously been a suspect.

Despite these minor problems, I really liked the book. It was a pleasure to visit again with all of Eveís friends and colleagues. After the intensity of the last entry in the series, this one was a delight.

-- LinnieGayl Kimmel

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