Promises in Death
Grade : A

I’ve been ambivalent about some recent entries in this series, finding them to be rather forgettable. But with Promises in Death, J.D. Robb is back for me. I loved this book.

Death strikes close to home, when Detective Amaryllis Coltraine is murdered. Amaryllis recently transferred from Atlanta to New York and became involved in a relationship with Morris, Eve’s favorite Medical Examiner. Both Eve and Peabody take her murder personally.

Amaryllis was murdered one evening while trying to leave her apartment building and it soon becomes evident that someone she knew probably committed the crime. As Eve digs into Amaryllis’ past, she finds evidence that the murder may have ties to Roarke’s and her own past and to an earlier book in the series. All of this may sound like nothing new – here’s yet another murder linked to Eve and Roarke, but this book is so much more than that. And yes, of course, Roarke gets involved in the investigation, but at a lesser level than in many prior books.

For me, this was like a visit with old friends during a sad occasion. We get to see a great deal of Eve and Peabody as they work to solve the murder, while also appreciating how deeply all of the regulars feel about each other. I enjoyed watching Eve realize – albeit reluctantly - that she cares for a lot of people, that they care for her, and that it’s caring that helps you get through tough times.

I appreciated the seemingly minor scenes that revealed how the characters are evolving and growing. Through a few brief interactions we get to see how well Summerset knows Eve and how much he cares for her. Eve showed growth as well by expressing genuine compassion for Morris and those who cared for Amaryllis. This time, Eve doesn’t just “stand” for the victim, she consoled the victim’s loved ones. She also showed some new understanding in her relationship with Roarke. There was a very sweet moment when she realizes that he lives on a daily basis with the knowledge that she might be killed in the line of duty.

Many of the series regulars make an appearance during the investigation. The best part of it for me was getting to know more about Morris.

This book is a perfect mix of the personal and the mystery, the funny and the poignant. Even in the midst of the sadness, there is time for humor. The wedding shower for Louise offered many chances for humor, both in the women’s celebrations and the men’s trip to Las Vegas. I particularly liked the “smart girls” confab toward the end of the shower where all of the key women tried to help Eve with the case. My favorite funny scene featured the following exchange between Eve and Roarke:

“I’ve seen you work, pal. I don’t want him calling for a lawyer because you put on Scary Roarke.”

“I’ve seen you work, pal. So I’d advise you to keep Lieutenant Kick-Ass under wraps.”

I just can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. I was touched. I was amused. I was happy the entire time I spent reading it. Although I finished it nearly a week ago, scenes from the book keep coming back to me. What does all that mean? A straight A.

Reviewed by LinnieGayl Kimmel
Grade : A

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : March 11, 2009

Publication Date: 2009

Review Tags: In Death series

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LinnieGayl Kimmel

My first memory is sitting with my mother on a blanket in our backyard surrounded by books and she is reading one of them to me. My love of reading was encouraged by my parents and it continues to today. I’ve gone through a lot of different genres over the years, but I currently primarily read mysteries (historical mysteries are my favorites) and romances (focusing on contemporaries, categories, and steampunk). When I’m not reading or working, I love to travel, knit, and work on various community projects.
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