Review: Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb

On the steps outside an empty office in New York’s financial district, a woman lies dead. It’s a bitterly cold winter and her coat and other items are missing, which initially seems to point to a mugging gone wrong, but Lt Eve Dallas soon discovers that the body was dumped at the newly-renovated property. Now she has to find out why.

Marta Dickenson was an auditor, so Eve has a host of suspects among those who were under her scrutiny, not ruling out the fact Marta’s sister-in-law is a famous judge. With the financial wizardry of Eve’s husband Roarke at her disposal and the faithful Peabody by her side – when not distracted by the upcoming premiere they’re all to attend – Eve starts the process of shifting through the motives of some powerful people to catch a killer.

Calculated in Death JD RobbPicking up an In Death book feels like coming home.  These reads are pure comfort reads for me.  Book 36 brings another murder for Eve.  There isn’t anything terribly different with the procedure followed than what we saw with the previous 35 books but Calculated in Death gives us an Eve a little more at peace with herself.  She is still having dreams/nightmares but in these she is finally showing progress towards reconciling her horrific childhood.

The blurb was a little misleading as I was expecting the murder to be in Roarke’s company and we would get to see Eve underfoot.  That wasn’t the case.  This was a corporate murder involving money and business and since there is nobody better than Roarke at those two things, he was heavily involved in the investigation.  I wonder why the blurb was phrased that way because we have never needed an excuse to have Roarke involved.  In fact, I would be highly disappointed if Roarke wasn’t smack dab in the middle of everything.

A lot of this book centered around the premier of the Icove agenda movie which was based upon Nadine’s book.  I love how that previous case has been so prominent even after about 15+ books.  I can’t help but wonder if any of the clones will show back up for another case.  It seems that the Icove theme just won’t drop.

Eve and her disastrous relationship with computers continues even in book 36.  One of my favorite parts of this series (Roarke being the #1) is listening to Eve trying to humanize a computer.  Whether it is the vending machine or a security droid she insists on thinking they are all out for her.  I find it hysterical that each time she tries to get something from vending she is reduced to kicking and cursing while Baxter swoops in to save the day.  For some reason, it just never gets old for me.

While the investigation portion of the book ran kind of slow there were some really gems between the characters.  Eve and Roarke had some great moments in this one.  Roarke didn’t make an appearance until chapter 7 but he made up for it after that.  Roarke has become the ultimate hero in my mind.  He does and says things that make me melt into a puddle of goo.  I can’t think of a more perfectly written man even if I tried.  Peabody is hysterical, as always, and continues to bring up sex with McNabb just to get a reaction from Eve.

I think what keeps my love alive for this series is listening to it on audio.  Had I been reading this one I think I would have graded it lower but because I can cruise down the highway after a long day at work and listen to Roarke whisper sweet nothings in my ear…well that makes me look past any slowness this book would have normally had. I highly recommend any fans of the series listen to it on audio.  Of the 36 books, I think I have actually “read’ two of them and all that made want to do was load my ipod back up for the next book.  And if you haven’t started this series?  Pick up Naked in Death in audio.  You won’t regret it.  Final grade- B

Two final things I think I missed (if they were there can someone point them out)- The button wasn’t mentioned and we didn’t have a candy thief incident!

Favorite Quote:

“Just FYI, if you let another man rub up against you, and I sniff it out, you won’t be able to buy me off with bacon”

Rating: B
Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb
February 26th 2013 by Putnam Adult
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  1. says

    You are right, no button or candy thief mentions this go around. I do love when Roarke reflects back to the memory of taking the button from Eve in book one -sigh- So romantical.

    Eve and Roarke and their scooby gang were my saving grace for this book, sadly it was not my favourite with it’s slower pace, but I too am intrigued with the whole Icove case, It would be so good if some of them showed up in future books, I think it was one of the cases that affected the main characters the most.

    Still heart this series like woah.

  2. says

    I second that! Audio is the only way to go for this series. Great review Jen and I love the quote. Who said it?

    No button mention? Awww, dang I get all gooey when Roarke touches the button.

    Roarke is epic. *sighs*

  3. says

    As usual, great review Jen. You hit all the points I needed to know about. I have never tried an audiobook; does the narrator SOUND like a Roarke? If so, I so need to
    “reread” all 35 books!!!

    • says

      Thanks! Yes, she sounds like Roarke. She talks with an Irish accent. Susan Ericksen is outstanding. Her voices are the best I have ever heard and I always have an audio book going.

      Catherine once pointed out how odd it was that we absolutely loved a man’s voice that is done by a woman. I hadn’t thought of it like that but it is odd. Roarke sounds like Roarke, to me.