Monday, February 1, 2010

In Death Challenge ~ Review: Missing in Death

Missing in Death/ The Lost anthology
J. D. Robb
Romantic Suspense
In Death series/Book 36 (including novellas)
Jove/December 2009

*Mild spoilers for previous books*

From the back cover ~

While investigating a woman's disappearance on a New York City ferry, Detective Eve Dallas wonders... if she didn't jump, and she's not on board, then where in the world is she?

Very short blurb for a very short story. The investigation takes Eve and Peabody to a ferry in the harbor. There they find a lot of blood but no body. They need to find out who the blood belongs to and where the missing person is. On a ferry with over 3000 passengers, conducting a search proves to be a lengthy task. And with no obvious way off, Eve and Peabody are at an impasse.

I like these little novellas about my favorite detective. It's like a day in the life type of read. They usually take place over a day or so and are quick, sort of check-in type of stories. Just to see how everyone is doing along with a murder mystery thrown in. Are Peabody and McNab still co-habing? Yep. Is Summerset still driving Eve crazy? Check. Is Eve still parking her police issue vehicle out front to drive Summerset crazy? Check. Is Roarke still as hot as ever? Major check! :D

The shorter format doesn't allow for any real external subplot. It's all about the police work. It's a nice change. Eve is as smart mouthed and bossy as ever. The relationship between Eve and Peabody continues to grow. At this point in the series, Peabody has made detective and is now Eve's partner. Peabody is still learning the ropes with Eve's help but she's not as intimidated by Eve as she was at first. She's still got that hero-worship thing going but it's balanced out with their mutual respect and friendship.

The murder mystery plot was interesting. This time around we didn't get the anonymous viewpoint of the killer. That's not to say the murderer wasn't revealed fairly quickly. It was the why and how of the missing woman and murder that proved to be the real mystery. Peabody gave her free-ager take on how no one saw the murderer or the body leave the ship. Eve, of course, shot that idea down but still kept an open mind when nothing else seemed plausible. I like that about Eve. She very direct and usually has a good idea of how things happened with regard to a crime scene but is still open to ideas.

As per usual, Roarke and his unregistered computer system get involved. I do wonder how long it would take Eve to solve the crimes if Roarke wasn't there to circumvent the law by obtaining data through other means. She's very smart but all the red tape would slow her down. Kind a bugs me at times when Roarke has to come to the rescue with his unregistered.

Another thing that we only got very briefly was what I've come to think of as Eve's "red light scene". These are the scenes where Eve flashes back to her childhood in Dallas where her father beat and raped her. There's a red light outside the grimy window of the room she's in. When listening to the audio books I've gotten in the habit of fast forwarding those scenes. Mostly because they are in almost every book and I've heard them enough. It's just not something I want to hear about again.

Okay, it almost sounds like I don't like the series but I really do! Love it in fact. The above are the two points that can bug me at times. But otherwise, this is a fantastic series with murder, mystery, hot sex, good friends and witty dialogue. What more could you ask for?

Rating: B+

*I'm running late on writing up my last few challenges for January. I'll blame it on Jill Shalvis and her newest release, Slow Heat, which is very hard to put down. :)


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Leslie :D I thought it was a solid and interesting story for a novella.

    did you read the other stories in this anthology? I did try, but nothing really appealed to me :(

  2. I didn't read the others. Patricia Gaffney is the only one I've ever read before. I might read her story before taking it back to the library.

  3. Uh oh. A murder on the Staten Island Ferry. Looks like things haven't changed in sixty years. LOL! Kidding!!!!

    I keep debating on whether or not I should pick this one up... you know ... so I have it ready when I catch up in 2011. ;o)

  4. Christine ~ I think it's safe to say you can hold off getting it for a little while. :D