Review by Gregg E. Brickman

J.D. Robb’s Celebrity in Death is the forty-fourth publication, including short stories and novellas, in the In Death Series, which started in 1995.  The series features a futuristic NYC setting and Eve Dallas, the murder cop, who is married to Roarke, the richest man in the universe.

An actor in a vid (movie) about one of Dallas’ case dies during a dinner party.  Since no one came in or left the house during the evening, there is a short list of suspects, all of whom were present at the party.  The investigation tangles in money, power, and politics.  Dallas makes skillful use of her alliances and her husband to solve the case.

I’ve read the series in order from the beginning.  Written in the romance/mystery manner, it offers in murder, love, sex, power, politics, money, and futuristic toys.  It is predictable and based on a formula.  I find it diversional and entertaining, and I like the characters, which she has developed in true romance fashion.  It’s a welcome break from the crime fiction I favor.

This particular novel, in my opinion, is like a so-so haircut I might get from my regular hairdresser.  It’s not bad enough to find a new salon, but it’s not what I expected either.  Some of the usual features are missing.  For example, there is no vertical driving (which is very cool), little about the snobby butler Summerset, no mental flashes as Dallas solves the crime, the sex is boring, there is nothing about Roarke’s computer stuff, magical door entry skills, and super electronics.  All of which for me are staples of this series—predictable, entertaining, and satisfying.

Will I read the next one?  Of course.  I hope I’m happier with the experience.  I recommend the series and suggest the reader starts at the beginning when the characters are established and come to life.

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