Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Calculated in Death

Calculated in Death
J. D. Robb
In Death/Book 36
Putnam/February 26, 2013

On Manhattan's Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.

A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn't seem the type to be on anyone's hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta's murder was the work of a killer who's trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence. 

But when someone steals the files out of Marta's office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke's world of big business to figure out who's cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer's violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . .

I always look forward to spending time with Eve, Roarke, Peabody and the rest of the crew and Calculated in Death simply reminded me why.  These characters have become such a part of my reading history, I can't imagine being without them.

Dallas and Peabody catch a case which on the surface looks like a mugging but there are too many clues that point to something more sinister than a mugging gone wrong.  One thing that stood out for me was the depth of character of the victim, Marta Dickenson.  I felt we really got to know her through her family, friends and coworkers.  That doesn't always happen but rather we get the basics and maybe some emotions from those that are grieving.  With Marta there was a full picture of who she was and what was important to her.

The mystery surrounding Marta's murder wasn't much of a mystery.  Not to the reader or to the cops.  It was all a matter of building the case and pulling the bad guys out in the open.  There were moments when the case got a little too confusing for me with the multitude of potential suspects.  Dallas' murder board was getting crowded and I found myself wishing I had my own board just to help keep track of all the players.

We do get to see how Eve and Roarke's relationship has become a comfortable fit for both of them.  You really can't imagine one without the other which says a lot about Eve and how far she has come as a character.

Calculated in Death shows why this series has maintained it's fans and longevity.  

Rating: B 


  1. Hi Leslie! So happy to see you blog! :) Yay!

    I pretty much agree with you for Calculated in Death. I think it was another solid installment - does Ms Robb write any other kind? :P While I enjoyed it, I feel that the series is starting to wane a little... always the same, only the case changes. I think Ms Robb needs to shake things up very soon or start wrapping it up...

  2. Book 36 - can you believe it? She just doesn't stop!