"Memory in Death," J.D. Robb

Pros: Pure fun!
Cons: If you aren’t familiar with the series, takes a brief time to get your bearings
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Visit Nora Roberts’s website.


Naturally I’ve heard of Nora Roberts (and J.D. Robb, her alter-ego); who hasn’t? I just hadn’t gotten around to reading one of her books before now. When I saw one on sale in the bookstore the other day—Memory in Death—I decided it was time to fix that oversight. I wanted to know what the fuss was about, I suppose you could say.

Memory in Death is a part of J.D. Robb’s ‘in death’ series, a moderately futuristic crime series centered around detective Eve Dallas. Memory takes place in 2059, New York City. Trudy Lombard, a character from Eve’s haunted past, has come to visit her, setting off wretched memories and threatening to undermine the fragile peace of her newly-married life. She isn’t the real threat, however. Eve isn’t the only one with a grudge against her, and someone takes advantage of the timing to exact their own revenge. Despite her personal feelings toward Trudy, Eve’s determined to find the killer, if only to put Trudy’s grieving son at ease (not to mention make sure he didn’t do it).


While I found the identity of the killer to be relatively easy to figure out, I also found it didn’t matter that I’d figured it out. The real mystery wasn’t so much ‘whodunnit’ as ‘howdunnit.’ How was the murder carried out? How was it covered up? And how could it be proven?

I read some mysteries as a child, but I’ve only recently started getting back into them. It fascinates me that they come in such variety, and can be approached from so many different directions. Some mysteries are all about the whodunnit. Some are meant to be heart-pounding suspense or action/adventure novels. J.D. Robb’s series are character-driven stories, if Memory in Death is anything to go by. Rather than being filled with action scenes or gore, this story focused on the people. Most of the details came out through dialogue rather than action.

One of my first thoughts when I started reading Memory in Death was “wow, is this over-the-top.” That was quickly followed however, by, “and it’s perfect!” Roberts/Robb gleefully indulges in everything that makes over-the-top detective novels and mysteries fun, and infuses it with a dollop of romance for good measure. It seems clear that she’s writing for the fun of it and thoroughly enjoying what she’s doing, and as a result her books are equally enjoyable to read. The characters are fun, wacky, and larger-than-life; the mysteries are suitably labyrinthine; the setting is just futuristic enough to allow her to shape her world to her whim without making it alien to the reader.

While it did take me a few minutes to get my bearings in Robb’s world (jumping into the middle of a series is rarely easy), it wasn’t that difficult. While it would obviously be best to read the series in order, I don’t have any qualms about not doing so. Now I can’t wait to read more!

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8 comments on “"Memory in Death," J.D. Robb
  1. J. Kaye says:

    You’ve changed things up! I’m putting your book review link on my sidebar. That way, I’ll have easy access!

  2. Brandy says:

    I started reading this series a few years ago and now her books under the J.D. Robb name are an auto-buy. Read the first! *g*

  3. heather says:

    JK: I tend to go in cycles. I review some cookbooks, and suddenly companies send me lots of cookbooks for review. I pick a romance or mystery up, and then publishers send me those. I never know what’s coming next, but I always end up working my way back around between subjects. Thank you for the link!

    Brandy: Turns out that a friend of mine has the whole series, so she’s going to loan them to me a couple at a time. 🙂

  4. Darla D says:

    I love this series! It’s one of the few series I read regularly that I haven’t gotten to the latest book – mainly because I save them up for when I know I’m going to want something light, gripping and enjoyable (like when I’m on a plane). The characters are fun, and when I open up one of these books I feel like I’m going to visit old friends. I hope you do go back and read the series in order – it’s fun to watch the relationships progress!

  5. heather says:

    Darla: I agree, it’s a just-plain-fun series that’s wonderful for a read when you want to be ‘whisked away.’ I’ve started with the beginning now, thanks to that friend loaning me books. 😉

  6. I love the In Death series and Memory in Death was a really good read. I like that the book opens up with Eve dealing with her job with the police department and she suddenly gets a blast from her past. Trudy Lombard was one of my favorite characters in the book. I think that JD Robb deliver another great book.

  7. Janet says:

    I love all of the In Death books and I have read them all. I found this one just a bit disappointing. Her other books were full of such intensity that this just seemed like a quiet walk in the park. The series is fun to read though and I love the romance factor, but I really love that she doesn’t get lost in it. Keep reading, you won’t be disappointed in the series.

  8. Jackie says:

    My first read in this series was “Creation in Death”. My son bought me a hard cover for Christmas. He saw the name “Nora Roberts” and knew I read tons of her stuff. I was alittle dissapointed because it was part of a series..and worse, near the end ot the series, so I didn’t read it for about a yea, and only because I was out of reading material….I had never read any of Nora writing as J.D Robb.
    I was…riveted…loved the book..loved the characters..loved the style. I ended up buying book by book, used stores, yard sales..and even “New” if I had to. I even re- bought “Creation in Death” in paperback just so it went with the others.
    I absolutely love this series, and hope it never ends!

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