Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building. Now she’s at the center of a crime scene-and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster and step into the role she was born to play: cop.
As always, when Eve Dallas is around, sooner or later there has to be a murder. The pace of Celebrity in Death, the thirty-fourth book in this series, is a bit slower, there’s less cop rough and tumble than the usual “In Death” stories. I think that Eve’s still trying to deal with what happened to her in the city of Dallas (New York to Dallas, book number thirty-three), as always trying to come to terms with her violent childhood. Eve is surrounded by her usual team, from husband Roarke to the uber-major-domo Somerset. The marriage of Eve and Roarke has grown deeper; their emotional and physical need for each other still a bit racy to read, at least for this grandma. If they ever make a movie of this series, I’m not sure who could play Roarke. No human being can be that hot. It just ain’t possible.
I love this series, but Celebrity in Death’s plot is weaker than usual, less detailed than most of her other Dallas books. I think it’s the timing of the story; it seemed rushed to me, like Robb was in a hurry to get her book finished. The answers came too soon for me; Robb is usually an artful dodger when it comes to stringing her readers along until she’s ready for us to know what’s up. I’ve seen this happen with other popular book series, when the stories are hotter than chili peppers and the author has to keep cranking out books to keep fans happily buying. The dialogue of this book is, as always, sharp and witty, especially when Eve’s interacting with Peabody. And watching Eve interact with the rich and famous is a nice change from her usual perp’s.
The character of Eve Dallas still has me hooked, because author J.D. Robb has allowed her to grow, mature, and tackle her demons as she takes down the baddies. In just a few years, Eve’s life has changed from a lonely workaholic existence to one filled with love. It’s obvious that Eve has been changed, for the better, by the people she has allowed into her life. But it’s also clear what she’s given to them. This ongoing love story between Eve and her circle keeps me salivating for the next book in the series to be published. And I love murder mysteries.
I’m giving Celebrity in Death 4 stars, an excellent book worth being in your library. And I’m begging J.D. Robb to slow down, just a bit, as I know she is hard at work on book thirty-five.
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