Oh, Nora Roberts, why can’t I quit you? Change your name, “change” your genre, it matters not- I’m yours.
Ceremony in Death, the fifth in the In Death series, is perhaps the quirkiest of the series thus far. This time Detective Eve Dallas is thrust into a murder investigation involving black/white magic, a fellow officer’s death, and the occult. Oh, my! Unfortunately, she is also forced to keep her mentor/father-figure/friend, Fenney, at arms length due to an internal affairs investigation. That also means her charming, handsome, sexuality-oozing billionaire husband, Roarke, is more in the forefront as her information hacker (because, of course, that is who she married). The exploration of less mainstream religions throughout the novel are interesting; perhaps a little moustache-twisty/tree-huggy, but whatever. This is a romance novel dressed up as a whodunit- deal with it. And of course the final “twist” at the end is hardly a twist at all. Really more Scooby-Doo than Agatha Christie, but again, you’re in it for the fun and the sex, not the big reveal. Or perhaps it is just me.
Honestly, the plots and twists of these stories are occasionally so ludicrous you have to just laugh out loud. But the characters are very well fleshed-out and lovable. The friendships feel real, the sexuality is intense (though, come on, how can they both be such a-quiver all the time!), the humor borders on dry, and the side kicks are wacky, colorful and grounding. Even the lurking butler has a hidden soft side.
These books are terrific for a quick flight, a rainy day in, lounging on the beach, or when you need a break from the silliness of daily life. I listen to this whole series on audiobook, and the narrator is fantastic. She does Roarke’s silky Irish lilt, Peabody’s wry naive sensibility and Eve’s straight-ahead staccato to perfection. It’s a delight to listen to, and I highly recommend it.
I didn’t realize I would be in it for 30+ books when I picked this series up on a whim, but I will gladly delve in whenever I need a little escape, and a lot of sexy fun times with an Irish billionaire in future.