Review: Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb

Calculated in DeathFormat read: ebook
Formats available: ebook, hardcover, mass market paperback
Genre: Romantic suspense
Series: In Death, #36
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Date Released: February 26, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

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 Review:

Calculated In Death is the semi-annual visit with Eve Dallas and Roarke in 2060. That’s probably the simplest short description.

There’s a new In Death story twice a year, and I lap them up. At their least, each entry in this series is a chance to visit with old friends, and find out what everyone has been up to.

At best, they’re gold. Calculated In Death is pretty solidly in the middle.

The mystery is a dive into the world of big money and big fraud. Unfortunately, it’s damn difficult to make accounting sound exciting. What is interesting is the lengths that people will go to in order to cover up their crimes.

In this case, murder. If someone weren’t dead, Eve Dallas wouldn’t be involved.

But because the murders center around the world of high finance, Eve calls on Roarke’s expertise at the very beginning of the case. It’s new for the case to rely on not just his expertise, but his word.

It’s a long way for him to have traveled. When he and Eve met, he still wasn’t completely legit, although he was getting there.

This was the first time that it wasn’t Eve’s case, with Roarke coming in as backup. This was their joint case from the beginning. Very cool. Or as Mavis or perhaps Peabody would say, “frosty”.

Escape Rating B+: Every visit with Dallas and Roarke is a good one. This story is not one of the gut-wrenching ones that delves deep into either one of their tortured pasts, and thank goodness for that.

It is a solid mystery, well-solved. The fraud case is a bit difficult to follow, but even in TV mysteries, the money cases are a pain. What was fun to see was that Eve couldn’t use her instincts to figure out who the guilty party was, because everyone was guilty of something! The question was who was the most or worst guilty.

The lovely bit of the story is seeing the relationships and the other characters develop. Not just Peabody and McNab, but that Trueheart is going up for his detective’s exam. Those touches that move the group as a whole forward in time. The noticeable changes in Eve’s relationship with Dr. Mira are beautiful.

And Eve and Roarke are still hot.

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