ORDER A COPY: Celebrity In Death
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publishing Date: February 21, 2012
Hardcover: 389 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Talented but rude, and widely disliked, K. T. Harris had made an embarrassing scene during dinner. 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, to step into the role she was born to play: cop.
In this 34th book in the In Death series, we join Lt. Eve Dallas on the movie set of The Icove Agenda. When her friend, reporter Nadine Fuerst decided to write a book based on Eve’s most famous murder investigation, Eve never expected the hype that surrounded the book’s release and now a movie based on that book.
It is disconcerting to watch your life played out before your eyes. Eve is overwhelmed by the feeling of déjà vu standing outside of herself and seeming to watch her own cloned copy and that of her partner, Det. Delia Peabody reenact their murder investigation of a year ago. Now she is watching her life played out before her and she’s standing on a set which looks identical to her own bullpen, the only thing missing is the smell of coffee and sweat…and cops.
Although, Marlo Durn, the other Eve, is very pleasant in person, K.T. Harris, the other Peabody, is nothing like her friendly and stalwart partner. K.T. has not made any friends among her fellow cast members. She actually seems to go out of her way to make everyone uncomfortable. Even going as far as being confrontational with Eve during a dinner party.
When someone steps out of the party just long enough to help K.T. take an unexpected swim in the roof pool, Eve quickly learns that there are worse things than watching your life played out before you, and that’s looking in the face—the lifeless face—of your best friend and partner. K.T. Harris looks so much like Peabody, that it strikes a nerve in the always steady Dallas.
It seems that K.T. has been spending her time doing more than learning her lines. She has been obsessed with learning the deep dark secrets of her co-stars and blackmailing them.
Eve needs to work past her distress and find a murderer among a room full of actors, professional liars whose job is to be something they are not, especially when every one of them has a motive to be rid of K.T. Harris.
Even though this book #34, I am still excited to go back to the world of Lt. Eve Dallas, and her gorgeous husband Roarke. The last novel, New York to Dallas, which was released last Fall was a very dark novel, dragging Eve back into the nightmares of her childhood. We also most of that story in Dallas, TX without Peabody, Feeney, McNab and the rest of the gang. It was nice to be back in New York, and although murder is never lighthearted and this one involved the murder of a Peabody double, which brought some distress to everyone in the story, it was not such an emotionally shocking story.
Although it is daunting to look at a series with 34 novels with various short stories connected to it and decide whether to give it a try, most of the In Death novels can be enjoyed on their own for just the murder investigation, and you might decide you like the characters enough to stick around and try a few more.
Received an ARC courtesy of Penguin Group. Thank you.
She stalked over to the closet, opened it. And scowled again.
“What am I supposed to wear? There are too many choices in here. If you’ve got one thing, you don’t have to think about it. You just take it out, put it on. This is too complicated. Peabody hounded me about this until I wanted to pull her tongue out and wrap it around her neck. Between her and Trina, my brain’s fried.”
Amused, he walked over, stepped into the closet. “This.” He lifted a dress off the rod.
Short, she noted, with a kind of drape to the skirt from where it was caught at the side of the waist with a flower in the same material and color as the dress. Not really blue, not really green, with a kind of shimmery overcast. She eyed it, the wide scoop of neck, the thumb-width straps.
“How do you know this one?”
“The little black dress is a classic for a reason, but often expected—especially in New York. So you’ll go with color, rich color in a soft sheen. It’s feminine without fuss, sexy without trying to be.”
She took it, turned it around, and lifted an eyebrow at the deep plunge in the back. “Without trying.”
“Very hard. You have shoes to match.”
“You do, yes, and go with diamonds. Leave the color to the dress.”
“Which diamonds? Do you know how many you give me? Why to you do that?”
The aggrieved sound of her voice amused him nearly as much as giving her diamonds. “It’s a sickness. I’ll get them for you once you’re dressed.”
She said nothing, and stood where she was as he selected a dark suit from his forest of suits, a slate-color shirt, and a stone-colored tie.
“How come you don’t wear color?”
“The better to serve as the backdrop for my beautiful wife.”
She narrowed her eyes. “You had that one ready.”
“The truth is always ready.”
She jabbed a finger at him. “That one, too.”
“Such a cynic.”
I used to love all the J D Robb books–they were fast moving, had humor and lots of in-depth characters that interacted well with each other. Eve was edgy and passionate, and it was wonderful seeing her and Roarke develop their relationship over the years. She also had wonderful and complex stories that kept you turning the pages well into the wee hours of the morning.
This story, like too many of the recent JD Robb books (except for Treachery in Death), slow down with too many conversations between Eve and Roarke that I’ve heard many times before in so many of her other books, and with what I consider “filler” as these conversations about her child abuse just go on and on with the same conversations, and nothing fresh. It seems that more and more of these same conversations are added, and it really takes away from the books. It almost seems like she is turning these books into a rehash of her other books, which I don’t read anymore, instead of continuing with the fresh and exciting plots from the JD Robb books. If this continues, I will have to give up on this author, as so few of the recent JD Robb books have held my attention and are what I consider “keepers”, to be added to my bookshelf and read over and over again.
Not fast-paced, not a constant thrill ride, yet nevertheless a satisfying addition to the Eve and Roarke story that showcases a softer side of both characters.
Have a nice day,