(Most of)* My biggest complaints about the recent Captain America: Civil War movie were that it was unnecessary. Unnecessary in the “why are you fighting right now” way, not in the “why is there another Captain America movie way”, which is never going to come out of my mouth. The largest contributing factor to why I feel it was unnecessary fighting is probably my addiction to MCU fanfiction. Because in fanfiction, everybody can live in Tony’s stupid tower and have movie nights on Thursday (Thor’s day), and the biggest thing they’re arguing about is whether or not Cap cheats at Monopoly. (Hint: Yes, yes he does.) I love these characters, and I want them to be happy. I want them to not have to be fighting every time I experience them. I want to see the damn road trip with Bucky, Sam & Cap all crammed into that little tiny VW Bug, bitching at each other about leg space and not have to worry about them having to fight amongst themselves and maybe murder each other. My niece and I have decided that the next Captain America movie is going to have to be Captain America: Picnic – “Where everybody gets along and is funny and no one tries to murder anybody else, and they all eat cake.”
I basically disprove every over-generalization about entertainment I’ve ever heard: “There needs to be drama to keep people interested;” “Nobody will watch if there aren’t enough explosions;” “You have to amp up the intensity with every sequel.” No. No. Nope… If I like your characters, I will watch them wash dishes. I will read about them having babies and gagging while they change dirty diapers. I don’t need any more drama in their stories than there is in mine – life provides enough, and a good writer will make even an ordinary day seem worth hearing about. I will read about them reading books, on opposite ends of the couch, one character digging their toes into the thighs of the other character, while s/he pretends to be completely unaffected and I will enjoy every single minute of it.
So, when it comes to series that I love and enjoy, even slightly less entertaining outings are still hits for me.
And so it is with the three most recent entries (that I read, because I am SO BEHIND, guys**) in the J.D. Robb In Death series. Concealed In Death is about a cold case murder mystery – actual skeletons in the wall style. There is, of course, the mystery of the found bodies to solve, and it wasn’t the hardest case I’ve ever seen Eve & co. tackle, but it was intriguing enough. But, like with Captain America, I came for the Eve/Everybody else interaction, and I’m staying for it, probably forever. Eve thinking about what happiness means to her as a person (personal growth!) and how she fits with the family she’s made for herself? That just makes me happy. Taken In Death is a novella, which makes me grumble because they are too short, usually, but this one fit just right. Wait, that’s the wrong fairy tale – Taken is a play on Hansel and Gretel, complete with two kidnapped kids and a would-be witch. There’s a lot more tension in this shorter, faster paced story, and I think, because it’s kids in peril, that just amps it up even more. Not enough Summerset, but there hardly ever is. (Yes: I know these two are out of order, but that’s the order I read them in, so that’s the order they’re going to be reviewed in.) And lastly, Festive In Death, a slightly more appropriate offering. In which Eve balances finding a creepy athlete’s murderer and hosting Christmas festivities for family and friends, and isn’t sure which is more terrfiying. Bonus points for excellent Eve/Peabody chit chat, Christmas parties being horrifying prospects, and hating on murder victims who deserve it, but still solving the case because that’s your job.
There, now I’m only six books behind in this series, hit my half-Cannonball with less than two weeks to squeeze the other half out (I’ve read them all, written half of them, but had no computer till recently, so …). Back to work.
*If you’re interested in a rambling discourse about ableism in the movie, or why it should have been called Avengers 2.5, because there’s not nearly enough Cap, Bucky or Sam in this thing, then you should probably be talking to me on tumblr or twitter, where those discussions happen. Often.
**Also, I’m not going to lie: Part of the reason I’m so behind is that I like to reread the In Deaths every couple of years, and I know it’s starting to be that time again, but I don’t have the time to do it right now, so I keep putting off the new ones to reread the old ones, and it’s a never ending cycle. (Don’t mention that she might eventually end up finishing the series. That won’t happen, in my head.)