Saturday, March 30, 2013

Book Review: Calculated in Death by J. D. Robb

Calculated in Death

Author: J. D. Robb
Publication: Putnam Adult (February 26, 2013)

Description: 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. . . .

My Thoughts: CALCULATED IN DEATH, the 36th book in the In Death series, emphasized the police procedural. This story was very focused on Eve solving the case of the death of an accountant, mother of two and happily married. She also happened to be the sister-in-law of one of Eve's favorite judges. 

This mystery finds Eve deep in the world of big business. Luckily, she has an expert guide in her husband Roarke who is the biggest of big businessmen. Eve has to follow the trail and untangle the threads that bind a number of companies together uncovering fraud, money laundering, and other scams while she is digging. Along the way another accountant is killed and one of the partners in an investment business too. Eve is pretty sure which over-privileged but not over-bright executive is pulling the strings but she has to set herself up as a target before they can catch the underling who is actually doing the killing.

This was a very enjoyable mystery and I loved the byplay between Eve and Roarke. This one showed how well they have come to know each other and how well they work in tandem. But I missed the contributions of the many characters we have seen in the series. The only other character who had a substantial role in this one was Peabody who was her charming self. We just had cameos by McNab and Feeney, Mira and Nadine Furst, and Mavis and Leonardo.

I liked the recurring references to the upcoming movie premiere and the necessity for Eve's appearance on the Red Carpet. You could just tell that Eve would rather be anywhere else. At least, she wanted to be anywhere else until she arranged to trap the killer there. I also liked that Eve was more nervous about having Trina do her hair and make-up than she was at the possibility that the killer would succeed in his plan to eliminate Eve and Peabody.

Fans of the series won't want to miss this one. I think it would also work for newcomers to the series as an entry point without having to read the previous 35 books. 

Favorite Quote:
"That's a lot of vegetables."

"It is, yes, and if you eat them like a good girl..." He lifted the silver lid on another plate, revealed a small pizza, with pepperoni arranged into a smiley face.

She tried to give him a stony stare, but the laugh won out. "You think you're cute, don't you, pal?"


"In this case, you can have adorable. Ow!" She managed the stony stare when he slapped her hand away from the pizza.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here


  1. Good review. I've some of these on my book shelves and its good to know what other readers think of them.

  2. I have to read some J.D. Robb sometime. I am sometimes in the mood for a good police procedural.


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