TITLE: CELEBRITY IN DEATH
AUTHOR: J.D. ROBB
Details: # 34 Eve Dallas & Roarke
The murders she routinely investigates rarely scare Eve Dallas. They anger her and spur her on, but facing brutal killers doesn’t make her nervous.
When she has to attend a Hollywood dinner party during the shooting of a movie about her most famous case though , Eve would rather be anywhere else. Not only does she not like the social occasion, she finds it very disconcerting to be in the same room with people who look exactly like her and those closest to her as well as her husband and friends, the originals. But Eve copes and it appears that she has safely made it through the night when the body of the obnoxious actress playing Peabody is found face down in a roof-top pool.
Interviewing all the dinner guests soon proves that everybody present had good reasons to dislike or hate the actress, but doesn’t point towards one particular suspect.
With the media breathing down her neck while she’s dealing with Hollywood actors who are very skilled at pretending, Eve isn’t sure how she’ll ever get to the truth.
Then a private investigator is murdered and lots of potential evidence turns up missing and Eve realises that she’s facing one very cold and very sophisticated murderer; a murderer who may have been killing without detection for a long time; a killer who has made a habit out of literally getting away with murder; a murderer who will get away with it again unless Eve can outsmart him.
After 34 instalments I’m still delighted every time I get my hands on a new Eve Dallas book. I continue to take huge pleasure in the characters in these books. The interaction between Roarke and Eve is, as ever, delightful, the friendship, despite their differences, between Eve and Peabody never fails to put a smile on my face and Eve’s slow but steady progress towards “normal” social interactions remains fascinating.
This book is maybe a little less steamy, as far as the intimacy between Roarke and Eve is concerned, then most of the previous books and although I did miss the excitement, it did make sense in the setting of the story and given the events in the previous book (New York to Dallas).
Robb opted this time for an almost classic mystery format. The murder during the house-party is as close to a locked room mystery as you can get, and the fact that this limited the amount of possible suspects considerably makes it more fun for the reader to try and figure out what might be going on. Having said that, I didn’t have a clue who the murderer was until that fact was revealed.
I sometimes wonder if there will ever come a moment when I will have read my fill of books by Robb (and/or Roberts). As things stand at the moment though, I can’t see that happening. The way Robb/Roberts writes her stories and her characters never fails to bring me huge fun, and will hopefully do just that for as long as she continues to write her books.