NESFA Members' Reviews

Eve Dallas Mysteries

Naked in Death; Glory in Death; Immortal in Death

by J.D. Robb, a.k.a. Nora Roberts

Berkley, [1995, 1995, 1996], ISBN 0-425-142829-7, 0-425-15098-4, 0-425-15378-9

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

These are the first three of Nora Roberts' sf/romance/mystery series featuring NYPSD homicide detective Eve Dallas, her lover (eventually husband), the wealthy and mysterious Roarke, and a slowly growing cast of regulars. The romance and mystery elements are well handled, as one would expect of Roberts. The sf elements seem to be mostly window-dressing until Immortal in Death, where extrasolar colonies, an alien plant, and a drug that confers youth, strength, and sexual vigor on its users until it kills them figure become central to the story.

Since I'm in a nit-picking mood, I'll mention a few details that did irritate me. The capital of the country is referred to as "East Washington." What does this mean? Is it east of present-day Washington? Not likely, considering what is east of present-day Washington, and the lack of any reference to large-scale, or even small-scale, off-shore settlements. New Los Angeles seems to be in the same place as old Los Angeles. These changes seem to have no purpose except to give the books a futuristic feel--a minor but surprising annoyance, considering that Roberts mostly gives us a world with a nicely lived-in feel and mostly-plausible social and technological changes. Somewhat more annoying is the bit in Naked in Death, where Eve Dallas is making plans to arrest the bad guy, and refrains from arresting him on the floor of the Senate only because her boss urges her to use some discretion. Discretion's good; remembering, or remembering to check, such little details as whether or not a member of the House or Senate can be arrested on the floor of the House or Senate is also good. There's also the little problem of the extrasolar colonies that are so important to the plot of Immortal in Death. It's only 2058; barely sixty years does not seem like enough time for us to not only invent an FTL drive, but develop an extensive and economically important network of extrasolar colonies.

All in all, though, enjoyable light entertainment.

NESFA homepage | Review Index | More reviews by Elisabeth Carey