Series: In Death #39
Format Read: Large Print Hardcover
Source: my local library
Release Date: September 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble | Wheeler Publishing
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Blurb from goodreads:
Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn't count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who'd been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler's enemies, she's also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband's upcoming holiday bash.
Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year's 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.
"Thankless in Death" was a bit of a disappointment but this was better. We don't know who the killer is or how he's choosing his victims. I had guesses, at one point I was certain I knew who the killer was, but I was wrong. Robb kept me guessing which I love.
"Festive in Death" is set immediately before Christmas. Holidays are stressful and violence typically increases. For Eve, the family aspect and the celebrating are stressful and we again get to see freak out over what to buy and preparations for the big holiday party that she and Roarke are hosting. The scene where she picks out presents for her female friends was sweet and funny and so very Eve. I liked that Robb incorporated a character who appeared previously and Roarke's shopping involved someone we met in "Thankless for Death" though we don't actually see him in this story. I love those little details, the reappearance of characters even if it's in a minor role. That adds depth and texture to the story and the series. And speaking of characters, it wouldn't be Christmas without all of the supporting cast.
Everyone is here: McNab and Peabody, Charles and Louise, Mira and Mr Mira, Mavis and family, Tina (who actually is involved tangentially in the mystery), Nadine, Crack, and even the cops from Eve's department and her boss. Phew, that's a lot of people and most don't get much screen time. Happily Peabody is around and I loved her reaction to her Christmas present and Eve's thoughts about her present for Feeney, her former captain and de facto father. It gets a little busy at times but I did enjoy seeing everyone and a party was the perfect excuse to bring them all together.
The mystery, as I said, kept me guessing. I actually kind of liked the killer, they seemed decent enough, initially anyway, but sadly, kill they did, repeatedly. The victim was a scumbag, complete trash, but Eve does her duty and diligently looks for his killer. This was a twisty story with lots of nice little touches. An entertaining mystery with a happy Christmas theme and some feel-good moments, but also Eve flipping out moments. I do like seeing Eve flip out or just be puzzled trying to understand little things like why some people care about clothes or dancing with her husband in front of her boss.
"You have such interesting areas of modesty. Couples routinely hold each other when they dance slow."
"Yeah, maybe, but I bet not that many of them have their commanding officer watching."
"A dance. I'm not taking off your clothes, Eve."
"I bet you are in your mind."
"Well, I am now, so thanks for the idea."
When she laughed at that, he caught her for a quick, light kiss. She responded by linking her arms around his neck.
"What the hell. It's a Christmas party."
"Festive in Death" is pretty much standard In Death fare but with tighter plotting and lots of little details. I enjoyed this one a lot.