200 thoughts on “Dark in Death discussion thread”

  1. It got very meta, with the fictionalised crime and everything, but I really enjoyed it. I’d guessed most of the teasers correctly, except the mohair one, and that was a fun surprise! I love it when knitting and other fun crafty hobbies appear in books. Mavis, Leonardo & Belle’s cameo made me smile, she’s getting so big! And I loved the Eve & Roarke interactions in this one, especially when they were curled up in the library together. Also the little snippets into so many beloved characters’ personal lives – particularly Nadine’s (I’ve been wondering if something was happening with her and Jake and I’m psyched it is!) and that little conversation between Dennis and Mira was lovely. And Quilla is back! Which of course has been being teased, but am glad she is. Between her and Tiko (who I’m sure will turn up again at some point), I feel like the next generation is in pretty good shape.

    The crime itself was pretty fun, I liked the strong girl power thread running through it, and I liked the characters of Delano and her daughters. It was interesting that I felt as Eve was getting less frustrated and stressed about this one than normal. I’ll be interested to see if that changes for me on the second read through, which I might manage sometime today, though I have peach cobbler and shepherd’s pie to make first (and it definitely made me blink when the latter became a discussion point in the book). Ann’s motivation was interesting, and it made me think about how easy it is for obsession to twist. There was a lot going on in this one, by the nature of the crime, there were so many different scenes (rock, acting, craft, LC, tailoring) to explore which was interesting, though obviously that means you don’t get as much detail about any of them. I particularly liked Felicity. She reminded me of Ivanna actually, feminine women who aren’t what they seem, I feel like Eve admires them, but doesn’t understand them, and that’s a fun dynamic.

    Last few things; there were a lot of small winding through thread continuations in this, which I really enjoyed – the Oscars for one, and I really hope we see Eve there as it would be highly entertaining, the Taekwondo mention to show us that continued training is happening, and of course, Mexico for McNab and Peabody.

    Great fun, as ever, and gave me an excellent couple of hours last night, and I look forward to future reads!

  2. If Summerset is from Ireland why didn’t he cook the pork in cider rather than beer

    1. He emigrated from Ireland with Roarke, but he’s not a native of Ireland. I think there’s hints of eastern Europe in his background.


      1. I believe they refer to his accent is vaguely Baltic. Don’t ask me in which book.

  3. One word and I choked on my water, laughing hysterically and man did I get dirty looks. If they only new what they were missing.


    1. EVERY TIME Eve says something like that, I crack up. Then i get jealous that I didn’t think of it.

  4. I don’t remember Jake, Quilla, orTiko in any of the books. Can you help me? I just listened to most of the whole series again but nothing rings a bell. Who were they? Thanx.

    1. We meet Jake in Apprentice in Death (at MSG after the concert). Quilla steps on the page in Concealed in Death. Tiko shows up in Memory in Death and again in Festive.


      1. I just listened to concealed & Memory & still can’t place them. I still have to reread Apprentice & Festive. Can you please tell me more.

        1. Tiko is the young street vendor who directs Eve to an arrest in Memory. Quilla is one of the young women in the youth house in Concealed.


          1. Tiko is not in Memory in Death that’s Kevin who is adopted by the parents of the victim in naked in Death, Tiko first shows up in Strangers

          2. Kevin isn’t in memory. He’s in the story where Roarke’s past comes up. I think it’s Vengeance. Tiko was super minor in Memory. Led Eve to that place where they were stealing wallets and identities

        2. Tiko also helped Eve with her Christmas shopping last year; took her to the shop where she’d busted the bad guys after he pointed them out; now it’s folks selling handbags, etc, lots & lots of them. She described the person & they matched bags to the description; I coveted the hand-painted garden one for Mira! And Tiko kept bringing stuff from his “booth” to match. Then she had to haul it all in the front door, then bribe Summerset to wrap it… I laughed like a loon thru that one, and yep, blanking on the book name, but I loved it!

      2. Tiki makes an appearance in Strangers in Death, too. His Granny makes Dallas a lemon meringue pie.

    2. I just loved this book. I have read all of the series. There seems to be a maturity about Eve, perhaps it’s because Summerset wasn’t around. There was no emotional roller coaster. And Roarke seems more settled.
      What I really loved about it was the deconstruction of the crime novel. Fascinating. And I must confess the scene with Feeney is priceless. Jake and Nadine? Let’s hope. Thank you, JD for all your hard work and vision.

    3. Jake is in Apprentice, Quilla is from Concealed and Tiko is in two earlier books

    4. I like to search “Tiko” on my Kindle when I read Festive in Death. It takes me to one of my favorite Christmas shopping scenes.

    5. Quilla was in Concealed, a girl at the shelter. Tiko is the kid who sells bags, etc., on a corner; don’t remember which book he first appeared in but he did help Eve shop for Christmas gifts by taking her to a friend’s store.

      1. Tiko has been in, I think, 3 books now. I don’t remember the first book (it might have been Calculated in Death), but he was most helpful in helping Eve shop for Christmas presents in Festive in Death. Quilla was the badgering teen in Concealed in Death. I think Quilla and Nadine are going to make a great pair. Jake is Nadine’s new “boyfriend”. He is the leader of a band called Avenue A. He was first introduced in Apprentice in Death.

  5. Does J.D./Nora ever think “Thanks for your interest. Now fuck off.”? ? (I’m almost sure she’s said this many times but in definitely nicer ways, considering all the articles addressed to nagging and unsatisfied readers.)

    I’m deeply wondering if a lot of the writing processes in this book are autobiographical- and, does J.D. have a cop consultant? I can’t believe I’ve never wondered that before, considering the amount of cop procedures and jargon in the In Death series!

    I love all the girl power in this book! It definitely fits right in with current events! (Give or take some decades.) On that note, it was great to see Quilla doing well and I’m excited to see her journey in future books! Nadine and Jake- I really like Jake! Hide and seek scene- love it! Galahad being a jealous a*hole- love it! Feeney fanboying- love it! The teasers were right on! There was so much to love about this book that doesn’t take away any thrill or suspense from the case! I’m so excited to do the reread! Thank you, J.D., for another great read!

    P.S. I cannot wait to see what Roarke will do to the Nebraska property!

    1. I totally agree with you. I’m not finished with the book yet, but I really enjoyed the irony that Nora’s put in this book with regards to complaining /dissatisfied readers and ghost writers. 😀 That made me laugh out loud. Not sure if the digs were her intent or if it just read that way to me, but I loved it!

      It’s a very entertaining book. I believe that it’s going to end up being one of my very favourites. Good on ya Nora!

    2. you hit on all i was going to say. and yes, i was wondering how autobiographical it was. and then you brought up nebraska. i can hardly wait to see what he will do to that property and how eve will react when he wants to take her to look at it. great book. i love them all, but this was a couple of layers more enjoyable.

  6. OMG! I just finished. Another great Eve Dallas case investigated step-by-step to a satisfactory apprehension of the perp. Peabody is such a good foil/contrast to Eve -she’s gooey to Eve’s steel. The fan letters were mag – wonder if Nora used any that she actually received, tweaking them, of course. Fans can be so instrusive and rude. The characters rang true and the steps Eve took to solve the crimes were excellent. The bits of real life and humor were perfect – Bella repeating bad words, Galahad with sitting on Eve’s chest as it is time for food and hissing at the smell of dog, Peabody in the fabric/yarn store and the spritz of musky perfume, and so on. Makes for a solid well-rounded story of police work and Eve’s life. This one will settle as I look forward to the next criminal adventure of Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Mira, McNab, Feeney and company. Nora as J. D. Robb, you rock!

  7. I have just started the book and HAD to stop and write that I feel that p. 39-p.46 contains the most romantic scene that I have ever read regarding Eve and Roarke. There have been many memorable ones over the years but this embodies everything about their relationship. Just something about this scene that does it for me. Thanks Nora.

      1. Dottie, I think she’s referring to a scene in Dark in Death; starts with a game, ends with a dance and “so on”. It’s wonderfully Eve & Roarke! I chuckled & then sighed when reading it…

  8. I want a domestic droid to activate when I devour a new In Death book while eating dinner in my living room!

  9. Nice to see that Nora found an entertaining use for all the backseat writers and negative nonsense that comes her way. Only 1/2 way through but I cheer everytime Eve smacks down the “fans” who want Dark’s story to go their way instead of DeLano’s way. ❤️

    1. I just read a review of one of the trilogies where the blogger was saying awful NR books are now and that she must have a plot wheel of tropes that she spins.
      Shit you not, the author literally said “Moar Nora Roberts Hate plz.” to the others agreeing with her.
      Seriously? That’s what you do with your time? Complain about authors and books you don’t like?
      Then she went on to call her books ripoffs. Ummm you don’t know how against lifting work this particular author is, so maybe just be quiet.
      I get that not everyone is going to like the books and authors I like, but some of that is just not necessary.

  10. Finished it in one sitting yesterday and ready for the 2nd go through today. It was great seeing some previous peripheral characters. I’m also loving these latest installments that show Eve comfortable with her life and everyone’s place in it. She had a lot of growth and emotional work to do to get to this place and it’s satisfying to read her more at ease.

  11. Just finished it. Had some interesting twists. Glad to see Quilla.

  12. Loved it, as usual. Liked the comments from the author about fans with constant questions and unreal expectations!!?

  13. Ok – Galahad and the “Wake-Up Stare” is hiliarous! Next fav so far – “Wait! What?!? Dallas, Lieutenant Eve is WHERE?” Am so glad I did not have a drink in had, Poor Roarke – that one almost did him in, hehehe!
    Almost to the end – we still haven’t named the killer but are hot on the trail after the night at the dance club.
    Thank you Nora/JD!!!

  14. Just finished it. Had some interesting twists. Glad to see Quilla. Interesting separate plot line for Nadine.

  15. Now when readers say , “Why don’t (insert characters’ names) do ( insert action)?” you can just tell them to reread page 64 of Dark in Death. Really enjoyed the book!

  16. Loved it! Flying dwarfs!! I loved the way she lectured to people about how not to be a pain in the ass fan. I also hope nobody has ever gone really psycho on her.

  17. So I’m still in the process of listening to Dark. I just want to say JD’s brain with Susan Ericksen’s voice is my happy place. I am reuniting with my favorite side of the family and catching up with all the goings on. Thank you for making my happy place f’ing awesome!

      1. Annae, it’s a whole new world. I’ve listened to the series multiple times. Let me know what you think when you try it!

  18. I love how the author and Eve discussed some of the problems that writers go through with their readers. Characters not progressing how the readers think they should, books not coming out quick enough. I know that J.D. Robb has had to deal with these problems .

  19. Eve Dallas is the best female character in writing in my opinion. I was actually eating a beet/goat cheese salad while reading the new book on my kindle and I suddenly thought “What would Eve think of this? It looks like eating blood and guts! Nothing like pizza!” I was laughing and choking on my salad. Seriously, I want to grow up to be just like her, a strong, able survivor who thrives despite all life’s blows.

  20. My favorite part was Eve and Roarke in the library, especially liked her reading ahead as I often do the same. I was glad to see Quilla return and headed in a good direction. Also glad that Nadine has found someone truly special in Jake. Really liked the Dark character and didn’t DeLano remind everyone of Nora/JD in her approach to how her characters develop. My problem is I end up reading for hours to finish and everything else gets neglected. (Really OK as I hate doing dishes.) Thanks for another great ride.

  21. I loved it! I really liked hearing about Nadine and Jake, seeing Quilla again. Really enjoyed Galahad’s jealous reaction. So funny!

  22. Did anyone else see the parallel between Blaine DeLane and Nora? Although not exact it did sort of leap out at me.

  23. The love seane is the best yet! Eve is more relaxed and playful!! Again awesome book!! I have all and reread from time to time. Not done with Dark in Death yet. Trying to take my time and really really enjoying it! Thank you Nora Roberts!!
    Ever think about making a movie from the JD Robb series??

  24. I just finished the book and I loved it. I always devour the In Death novels the day they are released and this time was no different. Before I became a widow in August of 2015, as soon as I would finish an In Death book, I’d start it all over again. After my husband passed, I would still read it as soon as I had it downloaded, but I quit doing the re-read immediately afterward. The books weren’t bad or different. I was different. Dark in Death is the first since I became a widow that I want to go back and re-read right away.

    I think Ms. Roberts successfully accomplished something else with this book as well. It let us, the readers, know that while our devotion to the characters in these books is more than appreciated, our input as to things we would like to see happen just don’t make sense sometimes. While we might feel the characters belong to us after 46 novels, they actually belong to the author who generously shares them with us. I’m grateful that she does. In the meantime, I’ll be re-reading Dark in Death, probably re-reading other books in the series and not so patiently waiting for the next one. Thank you.

  25. Re-reading it. The scene in the vet’s office reminded me of an Irish Wolfhound I used to dog-sit for. His name was Shamus, not Sampson, but he’d get a goofy look every time he saw me and race up and plant his paws on my shoulders, I sometimes came home with paw shaped bruises!

  26. I just finished my first re-read of Dark in Death. On the 30th @12:05am, I downloaded from Barnes and Noble, then read through the night into late morning when I finished. I was too tired and achy from sitting in the same position so long, to think anything but Another great book and I love how comments similar to what we sometimes too avid fans post on FB and Fall Into the Story were in the book.
    After my re-read, it’s still a great story, glad for Quilla, Nadine, glad McNab has bounce back, and mostly glad Eve and Roarke have each other! Thank you Nora/JD.

  27. I just got my book a couple of hours ago. I just finished chapter two. I want to take my time reading it since I have to wait six months for the next book. It’s hard. I want to stay up all night to finish reading it. I love how Roarke just gets Eve. I’ve only read two chapters and you can already see it. She always makes me hungry. I want spaghetti and meatballs now. I plan on having a glass of wine tomorrow when I read! I love the way J.D. Robb writes because for me it’s like watching a movie reading her work. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book!!

  28. I think this may be a new favorite! Not so much because of the murder plot, but the interaction of so many of my favorite characters! LOVED seeing Quilla again – I hope she’s a regular from now on. I hope Jake and Nadine can make something together. So many other great moments, I can’t mention them all! Thanks, again, for another wonderful story! Now I’m going to plug in my audio version so I can listen to it while I catch up on the work I ignored to read the book!

  29. It’s really nice to see Eve settling into her life…and maybe having fewer traumatic flashbacks to endure (she’s out of bio-parents, thank gods). Examples of Eve’s progress abound…Peabody’s fiber-gift, multiple Roarke scenes, Feeney & Jake, Eve’s take on Nadine & Jake, Eve’s referring Nadine to Quilla…

    Now if it was only possible to fix the Morris (Morse) and Santiago (Sanchez) misspellings in so many past In Death tales…it makes re-reading them a challenge (from aggravation/frustration while snarling at the poorfeeders & editors past!) I’d volunteer to proofread for her because WAAAAY too many homonym errors creep in (toe the line/tow the line; take a tact/take a tack; troth/trough…)

  30. Am I the only one who was disappointed that there was not more interaction with the “family” that Eve has created for herself. Seems the last few books have had so much more detail about the crimes things I felt could have been left out and never missed; and replaced with more time with the characters we have come to love. Watching her interact with those who have become family and friends to Eve was why I started reading the series in the first place. One of the reasons I didn’t like Sue Grafton was because of all of the technical stuff and not enough every day life stuff. She didn’t even have Summerset to spar with in the book. The plot was interesting and that kept me going but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I have previous books because of the lack of interaction from all of our old friends. Normally I devour one of these books in a day- it’s taken me 3 this time. I know these are her books and she writes them the way she feels she needs to; but I just feel a little bit cheated.

    1. In the In Death world, Eve and Roarke just saw everyone socially three books ago in Apprentice in Death at Bella’s party. Yes, that’s longer in real time — but you’re not going to see non-work friends in every single book. Eve’s driven by the case at hand which in turn drives who shows up in supporting roles.

      Summerset was away for all of Imitation in Death — he leaves occasionally for vacation. We’d never see Eve scattering clothes throughout the house if he was there. And Roarke would never answer the burning reader question about house droids.

      Every reader will come at a book from a different perspective and set of expectations. And in the end, every reader will decide whether they want to continue on with the series or not.

      1. Well said. I think some readers forget how little time has elapsed since the first book – 2-3 years (I think). I forget the exact timing, but do realize it is sometimes just a day or two between books, maybe a week. I like when Eve’s family plays a role and there is always some of them in each book. As a reader, I am always greedy for more from my authors, but understand life and reality, which is why I read several different authors, and why I reread Nora’s books over and over again.

      2. It’s been awhile since I wrote it, but IIRC, we had a scene or two with Feeney, interaction with the squad. Mavis and Bella show up. We have Nadine, and we bring back Quilla, who appeared in Concealed. Summerset’s on his (annual in book time) winter vacation, but we had a pivotal scene with him in the previous book.

        So there is considerable interacting with characters who’ve become family and friends—just not all of them as that’s impossible in most books. Actually, pretty impossible in reality, too.

        If the primary reason to read the series is interaction with all characters every book, regardless of plot, you’re going to be disappointed. I hate having a reader disappointed, but this is an expectation I can’t possibly fulfill.

        1. I enjoy the In Death books, not for what I want but for the different world and the surprise of what can happen next. If you want character driven drama, watch a soap opera.

    2. I felt this book lacked verve and was a faded version of her usual writing. I was disappointed.

        1. This book was very good, and could see jd Robb in it and harder to figure out who the killer was. Really enjoy each one better each time. Also nice to see Eve I guess relax a bit more around her “ family”. Thanks!

          1. You may be ready, but she’s not!

            Plus, why is it important? She and McNab are pretty happy as they are.

          2. It was just a couple months before, I think, in Celebrity that they talked about it – agreed to put it on a back burner until they ‘grew up’.

          3. What is it about babies with you people? It’s a cop series, for Pete’s sake, with some really, really good recurring characters in their late 20s to early 30s, with projected lifespans of 120+ years. Young characters who work in high risk careers. Why would they want children so young, and anyway Nora’s said no, over and over again. Get a clue. Thank all the gods and goddesses that the series is staffed by a really awesome writer and give it a rest.

        2. My Gran used to say if there’s more than one person in the room, there’s bound to be a disagreement. Loved how this book covered so much ground in the characters, and the great ‘tour’ of the house, courtesy of the hide and seek game. I was looking up pictures of a Corot and hunt tables – lol. I love to paint, so always enjoy your color-filled descriptions!

    3. I felt this book had me mired down in the killers mind far too long. I was half way through the book before I became totally engrosed with the story! However, it has helped reading all the comments: everyone reminded me of all the stuff we love about Dallas and her world. The flying dwarf, Nadines new guy, a brief glympse of Fienie (sp) acting like a young teen, Mavis’ s family, R and D having sex in room after room…my favorite is the ball room! All in all, another great book! Loving your work, as usual! Can’t wait for the next!

  31. I have listened to the audiobook twice now, and I want to say that Eve Dallas is one of my favorite characters . I really like how Eve and Roarke have evolved into a cohesive unit. A good example is how she was worried about him when she got home ahead of him in the snow storm, and didn’t know it. I love the interaction of all the characters. I loved the vet office scene, and then Galahad’s reaction when she got home. I have a cat very similar to him. So I truly enjoy the scenes he participates in.

    I have never written a fan letter to Nora. I have thought of it a couple of times, but I realized she probably gets so many, and I didn’t want to make a pest of myself. I did wonder however, why there was no reference to Eve’s fan mail and some corillation to “Obsession” especially since that was only a couple of books ago. Even if it was just a simple reflection. Eve went through much the same type of thing (sifting through the letters and fan-based likes / dislikes) in that story as she did in “Dark”. There seemed to be some similarities.

    Anyway, kudos to Nora/JD. Another masterpiece.

    1. I was listening to the flying dwarf scene on my way home and the drivers around me must have thought I was crazy by the laughter at the dialogue between Dallas and Jake, “It happens”

  32. There have been several romantic scenes between Dallas and Roarke. However, my 2nd favorite is in this book. The ballroom scene in Chapter 3 is right up there with the gray button from Naked in Death. [Sigh]

  33. Love this series and eagerly await every new book. Would love to see something happen with Peabody and McNabb but will wait in anticipation for it. Bring on September

      1. Jeez, they live in an apartment, and have demanding jobs that keep them out of that apartment for the bulk of the day, and often at night. Who’d walk the dog, play with the dog, feed the dog?

        1. We’ve seen lots of people who live in apartments who have dogs. I also don’t mean now. Down the road.

        2. Me. Me. Me. Then I could live in Dallas world, and poor Nora would have to figure out what to do with me … Get serious, people. If you want dogs, read The Search.

  34. I was so excited to start reading I barely looked at the cover. As someone lucky enough to have been to Times Square, I just looked more closely- love it!! I see JD must be a huge fan of Kinky Boots 🙂

  35. It’s the little scenes that get me rereading the whole series, every time. From this new book – Baxter’s quick interaction with Bella, how the whole squad room jumps up to help Peabody after the flying dwarf, and the ‘we’re cops’ exchange. Go team! There are so many more, but those are the ones that come to mind right now. A great read, and it did get me through my sick day!

  36. I liked the scene with the dog and Eve (she is definitely an Alpha). With Summerset gone, I wondered if they have a droid that scoops the litter box.

  37. Excellent read as always. Interesting characters reentering this book. I’m thinking Jake reminds me a little of Roarke.
    Thank you Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb. You have a gift.

  38. I always enjoy anything Nora/JD writes but I have to say this latest In Death book had so many scenes that made me laugh, stop to think and enjoy the characters even more. Thank you Nora for all your hard work.

  39. Second read through and I just loved this book. Great fun with the author discussing readers/fans wanting things their way in books – laughed so much over that. I love how the books show a part of their lives, never knowing which way its going to turn. A new favorite!

  40. Loved, loved, loved it! No such thing as a bad In Death book, and this one may have kicked Origin out of my top spot….

    Couldn’t help but compare parts of this story to what JD deals with. People telling her how the story should go, getting pissy when things don’t go how they want, etc. Then the obvious, in my mind anyway, of Delano as JD, and Aubrey (Audrey? The mom!) as Laura. Made me wonder if NR/JD has had any borderline psycho fans. I’m slightly psycho about her books, but only as far as anxious for the next one!

    I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much through one of the In Death books before. So many giggle inducing moments! The dog at the vet, Galahad’s reaction, Felicity pulling out the back fist, and so many more! Keep the stories coming!

  41. Really enjoyed this one. Nice to see an openly bi character and a nod towards the difference between the killer dressing as men and women and someone who’s transgender.

    I’ve got to say though, I’m quite disappointed that words like “tranny” (and to a lesser degree “switch hitter”) were used. These are really offensive and I wasn’t expecting to see them in what is usually quite open minded and diverse writing.

      1. That might be cop talk now but it’s highly offensive. I hoped that in this series understanding of gender diversity would have progressed enough that the characters would be more informed. I don’t recall them ever saying anything racist, sexist (to this degree) or homophobic; I wouldn’t expect them to be transphobic or biphobic either.

        First time I’ve been disappointed with this series but I understand that you can’t please everyone all the time.

        1. Absolutely agreed. That comment took me aback when I read it. Felt completely unneeded for the story. I understand the need to represent a variety of characters who not all speak perfectly inoffensively. But this is not a historical novel which needs to be true to the time period. This is fiction, in the future.

          1. Yes, it’s fiction, and the characters within the fictional world must speak in a way that reflects the characters. These are cops, and for me, this was their shorthand rather than transphobic or sexist. When Eve or one of the other cops uses ‘skirt’ to describe a woman, it’s not meant to be sexist, but it could certainly be construed that way.

            I feel, and strongly, I’ve shown diversity throughout the series.

            Others make it known they find my characters ‘taking the name of our lord in vain’ offensive. Others are certain cops don’t say fuck and find that offensive.

            So no, you can’t please everyone, and you’re almost assured you’ll offend someone.

          2. Absolutely! Steven Saylor had a cat killed in one of his books and got lambasted from fans, some going so far as to tell him to change it for the paperback edition. To me, in mysteries, thrillers, crime novels, there is always something that is offensive or unlikeable. If it bothers the reader too much, skip it or don’t read that book. I love how you depict the future, showing the advances, but also showing that crime basically remains the same. Crime is ugly and the people who deal with it on a daily basis develop coping mechanisms, which includes offensive language. Keep writing your wonderful novels. As you said, you can’t please everyone.

          3. Who said if you don’t offend at least one person, you’re not doing it right? I had to stop laughing about the people who are sure cops don’t swear. They’re human, and by the nature of their jobs, they don’t always deal with grammar-perfect people. I never saw the verbiage you used as anything but cop shorthand. I’m sure when they met their local cops, they spoke respectfully and in a politically-correct manner, but seriously, no swearing? I was a rape-crisis volunteer for ten years, and in the room with the victim, they were perfectly correct and gentle. Once outside, they had plenty to say about what happened to that kid or woman in the exam room. NONE of it politically correct, all of it human. You’re spot on, Nora.

        2. obviously you have never been around cops when they are just sitting and talking. the air is usually blue and anyone who takes offence at the words should just leave. she is usually realistic about the cop mentality.

      2. Thank you Nora for pointing that out.

        Not everyone in life is “politically correct” and in everyday life we hear evidence of that fact and should be thankful you strive for reality in your books.

        To be offended by words is a bit petty when compared with the way things have improved for transgender people over the years.

  42. I just finished this book and have to say I loved it. I thought the whole concept of an author of a murder series, Nora, writing about an author of a murder series which comes alive to another wannabe author was really great. I could picture Nora sitting at her desk and looking over at her many books of her In Death series and getting this idea…..what if….and starting putting down the ideas which becomes this book. The comments about how people feel about what they think should and should not happen in a book is very real as it happens to her. I loved how Eve and Roarke have evolved into such a great couple. Their relationship has been an emotional journey that brings them to a great place. As always, I laughed out loud at the Peabody/Eve banter. And the Feeney rock star lover and how Eve handled that was really the best. Can’t wait for the next book and the next adventure!

  43. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Funny scenes, interesting premise. I liked the additional locations like Brooklyn. Fun read.

    The only other thing I would say is that the murderer didn’t feel as fleshed out as usual and maybe a little too similar to the villain from Obsession in Death.

  44. Silly question for all Veterans but what is the first book on the In-Death Series?
    I remember someone mentioning – too long ago to remember details – that the first book wasn’t named “in-death”.
    Sorry for the silly question Laura 😀 but I think I’ll surrender and dive into this series.
    Thanks in advance

    1. The first book is Naked in Death. The only title without In Death is New York to Dallas.


  45. Love the In Death books overall! Am a bit perplexed by the Dark in Death book because of the description of the suspect. On pgs 105-106 Peabody states Killer is female, no hair showing, partial on face. Then on pg 192 Dallas says the suspect is white, red hair with blue side dreds, with an orange dragon tattoo on right wrist. Where did that stuff come from? I’ve read several times trying to find out where this info came into the story but can’t find it. Is my copy of the book messed up or what?
    Have to say that I really do love this book & the series! Can’t wait for the next one! Thank you Nora Roberts!

    1. The suspect wore different disguises for each murder, so her appearance changed at each murder as she took on the appearance of the killer in the book she was mirroring. It’s pretty clearly outlined as it’s a key element in the investigation.

    2. Eve’s description of red hair, blue dreds and dragon tattoo comes from the character in Blaine DeLano’s book that the killer is copying.

    3. I had the exact same question about the dreds and tattoo. I am reading it for the second time and still missed where that was described. I figured it was from a character in the Blaine DeLano book. Maybe I will catch it when I read it the next time. JD Robb and Nora are ALWAYS my go to books!!

  46. I really like dark in death more than secrets in death.
    The best thing I like it your books is that characters grow as the time passes. It’s been a while since I’m reading and re rereading in death series and I love the fact that with time their relation ship is maturing.
    Plot was reallygood . Best part was I was thinking this was the killer. But it turned out someone completley else.

  47. Glad to see the Author on here chatting also. I love all the books, the characters are like old friends to me at this point and reading a new book is just catching up. They are funny, and often quite entertaining. JD writes them so clearly you can visualize them/scenes while reading. Love the series, looking forward to the next one! In the meantime, I’ll reread earlier books! Thank you JD/Nora!

  48. Feeney as a rock fanboy, was hilarious. Peabody in the fabric store… Galahad pissed over the dog.. Loved this one.

  49. Feel free to smack me, but I am listening to the book (I don’t have time to sit and read) and somewhere I missed what the term “LC” means. I have been racking my brain and searching the internet trying to figure it out with nothing. What does LC stand for? Thanks!

  50. This book is very entertaining, as usual. I laugh many times throughout the book. I have NEVER been disappointed with ANY of the books in this series. I don’t understand why anyone thinks this book should be written different than it is. They are thinking like the killer in this book, trying to rewrite it how they want it to be. I would not change a thing. It is my favorite series.

  51. Just finished the book on a cold, wet and rainy day in Maui. Loved it. Love when you bring back characters from other books. Had to stop and remember who Quilla was and Jake. I am re-listening to Apprentice in death now and Jake and Nadine just had a scene. Made me smile as I went back to read Dark in Death. Will have to re read Dark in death later and see what I missed. Your writing just gets better and better. Thank you for the hours of entertainment.

  52. My grandmother and my mother were avid readers of Ellery Queen and Agatha Christie…I guess now that I’m a mom and grandmother I started my own tradition with a great author’s books to pass on to my kids. Nora you hit that honor twice! I have almost every book by Nora and every book by JD Robb. September seems too far away until the next Death book…I guess I’ll just start over and read them all again…love them!

  53. Listening to audiobook during my hour each way commute. Almost done. ? “Dark Justice” made me laugh out loud. Love Peabody!?

  54. I’m around your age and have noticed there are a lot of people that are offended by the weirdest things. I don’t know how we managed to make it to our age. (Sarcastic face) lol 😉

  55. Dark In Death! My now go to book when feeling blue!
    This book had me snorting and grinning while on the treadmill at the gym. ( I got a few looks..).
    Is the song playing in the background at the morgue Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof?,or is there a newer song? Haven’t seen a newer Broadway play for a bit.
    The development of love Eve has for her circle is wonderful. She complemented Mira about being pretty. She use to feel awkward at expressing feelings.
    The ballroom, the clothes, the cat! Oh the Vets office! snort again.
    But what gets me mushy every time is the button.
    I get the meaning of the button. It goes deep.
    I listen on audible and as it is rainy, cold and dreary today, I will listen and Adult Color, because I do not have talent to make such beautiful knitting like Peabody.

  56. Dark in Death was so entertaining and fulfilling. I love reading the in death series. I think they are so heavy and serious and ‘dark’ that it makes me enjoy the breaks we get with the interactions with regulars. Thanks again for awesome book! Love reading these discussions also….pretty entertaining lol.
    I have to admit I wondered if any of this related to Nora’s real life experiences as a writer and relationship with readers. Whether it does or not still amazing talent.

  57. Dark is my new favorite of the series. I think it is the first book that I finished and immediately reread again. I love all of the characters in this series and feel sad when I have to say goodbye at the end of the book. So, I started back at Naked and am now reading Loyalty. 😀 (This is my third trek through the series.) It is wonderful to see how the characters change and grow through the series.

    Thank you, Nora, for writing about people and worlds that take us away to new adventures – not just In Death but everything you write.

  58. Thank you Nora for continuing the In Death series. It’s like visiting family with every read. Highly entertaining but comforting at the same time. Unfortunately, I must wait until my birthday to read the newest book. It’s a tradition that my husband buys me one of your new books for my birthday. March can’t come fast enough. ?

  59. Dark in Death– just finished, excellent!! On pg 4 a little more than half way down the page “Since Eve considered Peabody’s
    skinny,……..” she uses the word e-ace. Please tell me what it means? Thank You

    1. Eve is thinking about McNabb who is skinny and brilliant at technology, therefore an ace at electronics — skinny e-ace

  60. I will never be able to watch a Hitchcock movie again without giggling ! Hilarious!!!

      1. Thank you.. Though it was something like that just couldn’t work it out ?

  61. I always love all the In Death books. This was the first time i listened to any of these books and i had a hard time at first because the voices didn’t match what i hear when i read (especially Peabody’s). But as always, such a great story! At first i thought it may have been Delano, but only for a moment, i don’t know why i thought that ?

  62. The dialogue comes straight from the characters, and they will use shorthand like those terms at times. As Nora said in a comment up thread, “Yes, it’s fiction, and the characters within the fictional world must speak in a way that reflects the characters. These are cops, and for me, this was their shorthand rather than transphobic or sexist. When Eve or one of the other cops uses ‘skirt’ to describe a woman, it’s not meant to be sexist, but it could certainly be construed that way.”


  63. Need some help here!! As Eve is interviewing the “Skanks” she is giving a pretty good description of the suspect re hair color & tat… But… I can’t find earlier in the book WHERE she got this info? Was I reading half-asleep & missed it? Did I somehow skip a page? I’ve flipped back through the pages & still can’t find it…As I’m sure you avid readers know, this is making me NUTS!! Thanks for any help on this!!

    1. On page 135, eve says she’s reading Dark Deeds, the third book in the series. Om page 164 she describes the killer in Dark Deeds to Roarke. The killer is dressing like the killers in the books.


  64. I’m a huge fan of the In Death series and Dark in Death is another great addition. I’ve never been motivated enough to make a comment until now. Dark in Death hit a bit close to home for me.

    As a new author just starting out last year (2 books self-published so far), my biggest fear is someone claiming I stole their idea(s). I’ve taken great pains to not copy someone else’s idea or work but with so many books out there, I can’t read them all. I have borrowed concepts but done all I can to not copy them completely, making them my own.

    That is why I feel so much for the author in Dark in Death. Would I love it if Nora read my books? Sure. Do I expect her to? Of course not. i can’t help but feel this story was a bit personal for Nora.

  65. This book left me speachless and the best part is I don’t know what I liked the most, but surely one of my favorite parts was Feeney freaking out about Jake and also Eve and Roarke in the library, it was so soft and sweet ahhhh Peabody and Eve getting attacked by a dwarf made my day, I laughed so hard!

    I loved it so much it became one of my favorites from the in death series.

  66. Sandra, I don’t like conflict but I feel I must say if J D/Nora takes away the tough cop speak it would be just as bad as Eve and Roarke having a baby…it just wouldn’t be right. The whole dynamic would be turned upside down. As I’m not very articulate I’ll refer you to *Paula in Colorado on 2/9* she explained it best.

    1. To successfully write fully fleshed characters, an author — any author — has to let those characters speak naturally, i.e., not editing out the non-PC stuff.

      Your third sentence begs the question: if Nora writes a gruesome murder does she do the same in real life?

      In both cases, the answer is no.


      1. Sandra, “the author” might sound to as though she is “touchy”, but it was an eloquent and succinct response to an accusation that was way off the mark.
        Have you ever seen a film in which characters portray racists, abusers, etc? Do you think the screenwriter wrote that because they are those things? That the actors played the part because they were that way inside?
        The fact that you are so offended by dialogue between fictional characters is very telling, and you might turn the critical eye inward before speaking on things that you don’t understand – i.e. character development and believable behavior in a gritty murder mystery series.
        If the lines are blurring for you between the author and the story, perhaps you are better off with froufrou romance.

      2. She’s writing true-to-life…if she sugar-coated their conversation, it wouldn’t reflect the realism. In our world today, woman are referred to by unsavory names, while men can do the same things & not be frowned upon. It’s not right, but it’s real… if you want a nice, sugar coated read that’s PC, try some Young Adult books….Seriously, YA has several series that are intense & deal with real world/fantasy world situations but due to the age group are “lighter” on language so as not to offend. I’m actually surprised you read NR as you seem easily offended by characters reflecting real life.

      3. Oh for Pete’s sake, Sandra, give it up! You’re looking for a fight and you’re getting boring.

    2. Seriously? I write about vicious killers, rapists, racists, abusive spouses—does this mean I’m a killer, racist, or an abuser—or relate to same?

      Honestly, I can’t quite think how to respond to such an accusation. Yes, the words are mine—as reflected by how I perceive the character speaking/acting. I am not my characters. My characters are not me. If you’re offended by how the characters speak in the hard-edged world of the In Death novels, these books are not for you.

      And yeah, that’s just how cops talk when they’re talking to cops. Who, exactly, is going to rake them over the coals? It’s how my fictional cops have talked since the first book in the series. If you pay attention, males are often referred to in the same way in this series. Jeez, one of the recurring sub-characters is nicknamed Dickhead.

      And I can guarantee that’s not going to change.

      1. Nora’s completely on the mark. As I’ve already noted in an earlier message, there’s the way every cop in the States has been trained to talk (Officer Friendly) when in the public – respectfully and without swearing….much. Sometimes stress spills over. But between cops, or with medical/emergency/auxiliary staff they’re comfortable with? They absolutely talk just like other folks, and yes, sometimes that includes what could be considered swearing or the derogatory short-speak that they use amongst themselves – which is exactly the situations talked about. As Nora said, this has never changed from Naked to Dark, and I hope it never does. To me, it makes it that much more realistic.

      2. Nora, I’m 42 years old and I seriously want to be you when I grow up. You are smart, strong, beautiful and seriously talented. Ignore the haters and keep the books coming!

      3. An accusatory post–that got pretty personal–rates a touchy response.

        You’re calling me a sexist because of the way you’re interpreting fictional characters and dialog. And you’re not even getting the characters right. Peabody didn’t call the women they warned skanks because of how many people they slept with. When I write a character who wears cock and ball earrings, or has Sexy Bitch tattooed over her chest, skank is the term that comes to Peabody’s mind.

        On the male side, Baxter’s ‘middle name’ is Horndog.

        You’re on a very high horse here equating my personal views with the terms used by characters in a book–terms I felt reflected those characters in that situation. You don’t know me, but you’ve lobbed a very personal and offensive accusation.

        So yeah, I’m a little touchy.

      4. Yikes. I hope the hordes of us that love and appreciate your writing are enough to offset instances like this.
        All I could think when the negativity popped up was “bite me”. Moving on – ecstatic for the rest of the 2018 line up to be released!

    3. Sandra you obviously don’t know any cops in real life….I’m the daughter of a cop, and was raised around cops. I can tell you that in their “inner circle” they are not always PC…. This book does reflect the short hand, sometimes off color way that cops will speak amongst themselves. Read some other “cop” books, you will see this language reflected in many of them. THIS is what is true to life, it’s not always pretty or correct, but it’s REAL.

      1. Sandra,
        This is not just a discussion group, but the AUTHOR’S PAGE. Yes, we discuss, and no, not everyone agrees, but rarely are any of us rude.
        If you’re offended by works of fiction then that’s YOUR problem, not ours, and certainly not hers.

      2. This is not a reader only discussion page. It’s an author’s blog. There are differences of opinion of course. But when someone comes here, calls Nora’s ethics into question, receives a answer from her and continues to be rude, it’s over all lines.

        As moderator I tend to allow things to play out. No more, your replies are no longer allowed.


      3. Why is it people like Sandra always fall back on: The author only wants praise after they receive a response to a personal insult, and don’t like said response?

        The fact is, I responded to this person who had insulted me personally, multiple times, explained my reasoning, my stand as clearly and honestly as I know how. I did not insult her personally or make accusations.

        But I didn’t agree with her, or hang my head and take the insults. Therefore, I want only praise–and her rudeness escalates.

  67. Let’s talk language. I’m never offended when characters speak as themselves. Also, I wonders why readers offended at “sexist” language never get offended when a character calls a man a ‘prick’. Hmmm …

    1. Hypocrisy would be my guess, Carol. I’m with you in not getting offended when characters act/speak in character. Especially when it’s a fictional character and not a real person.

  68. I so loved the latest In Death book in the series. I’ve never been disappointed and cannot get enough to read from JD Robb/Nora.

    Regarding the discussion of offensive language, I think people take a work of fiction way too seriously. When did political correctness become a requirement for a work of fiction? An author cannot write herb story if she has to consider whether every word, phrase, scenario, or plot line will offend a reader.
    I believe the language used in Dark was just part of cop language. Could a different word than “skank” or “tranny” have been used? Sure. But should it have been? Nope.

    Now to the reason I originally came to the discussion. ?. In Dark, there was a store with a neat name and in my first read through I mentally marked it, but I’ve gone through the book several times and cannot remember where to find the name? Does anyone remember the name of the store I’m talking about? HELP!

    1. Eve and Peabody go to The Sewing Basket. In the conversation with Blaine Delano’s daughters they list City Kitchen and At your Leisure. There’s also mention of Dobb’s where Ann Smith worked.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Maybe it was The Sewing Basket. Is that the place that had all the yarn that sent Peabody into a yarn coma?

          1. I so felt Peabody’s exhilaration! I cannot afford alpaca either, so if I ever got my hands on some, I’d be over the moon. I wonder what Peabody will make with the yarn she was given.

  69. Sandra. Words fail me. Hopefully they will soon fail you. Fortunately, they don’t fail my favorite writer. Way to go, Nora! Down with trolls …

    1. You didn’t critique, you made a personal accusation, became insistent and rude, and have now escalated to attacking other readers for disagreeing with your style and substance. Oddly, you’re the only one who resorted to ugly language and personal assumptions.

      I really don’t have a problem, have never needed constant validation.

      Clearly, with your final message, you demonstrate the problem is very much yours.

      I imagine Laura is still sleeping. But when she checks the blog this morning, I’m asking she ban you from the site.

      For bullying.

  70. Wow! Ummm. Can I change the subject … to Cats! We are owned by cats, including, over time, two Alpha male 20 pounders (neutered of course) Never have we had one who followed us up, or down, the stairs. Even our current Very Old Cat, has to be FIRST. How do Dallas and Roarke get Galahad to behave on the stairs, from the nearly over run cat staff.

    1. Hi Carol, I imagine he learned his lesson back when Summerset tripped over him and broke his leg!

      1. Ok, I’m not going that far. I have been tripped, but not quite with such dire consequences. Love those cats…

  71. Loved this book so many wonderful scenes like the one in the library with Roarke and Eve. And so many, many humorous ones that still make me smile Keep writing what drives you Nora, and I will keep following as long as it works for both of us and I don’t see that changing any time soon I love your writing

  72. The only other book with a JD Robb story that didn’t have “in Death” in the title was Remember When, which is the book that started me reading the “In Death” books.
    Thank you Nora, for many years of pleasure and excitement. I enjoy them all and love seeing how Eve’s character evolves. Please don’t change her funny malapropisms, though. I love it when she comes up with some of them.

  73. I just read Nora’s Blog and Laura’s input and I must say some reader really must have gotten out of bed on the wrong side. I enjoyed Dark in Death. I think researching this book must have been fascinating. Did Nora actually go to one or more of the clubs like are in the book? I knew “skanks” as described in the book (actually had a friend who could have posed for either character). There have only been a few of the in Death books that I don’t re-read at least once a year. Are all of Nora’s books 5 stars? No, but fortunately there are few books by Nora that I haven’t been able to get completely though at least once. There has only been one book that she wrote that I refuse to have in my library (one of her earlier paperbacks). That is my choice. Thankfully, Nora writes enough different stories that I am satisfied and keep waiting for more. As for Year One, I haven’t read it yet. I find I enjoy the trilogies much better if I wait to have all the books so I can just zip through them all without having to wait. That gives me less frustration as a reader. It also means I buy the books and have to store them until the last one comes out. *sign* Another problem with Nora’s books–I have to buy the hardcover (or trade paperback) and then I have to buy the electronic version so I can read anywhere at anytime–there are times I just need a strong fix of Eve and Roark. I really appreciate Nora’s books and how they are constantly evolving. Thank goodness she doesn’t use the Barbara Cartland writing style, where only the names changed.

    1. Just as an FYI, Barbara Cartland’s early books have more depth. The later ones definitely just changed the names and the settings. I think some readers find comfort in predictability in there reading choices. Not Nora/JD fans, of course; we like the plot/topic changes and the wonderful extended Eve/Roarke family that we get to revisit and catch up with in each book.

      1. Yes, Barbara Cartland’s earlier books were historically interesting which makes her development into a mass plug in name, address and location a big disappointment.

      2. I’m also grateful that unlike Barbara Cartland, Nora doesn’t…write in…ellipses.

  74. I would love to know what Nora’s image is of people glides in the series. I can never picture it properly unless I think of the walking sidewalk in airports. In Dark, Nadine and Eve are getting on and off the glides in Central so those walkways could work. However, in other In Death books there have been scenes of vertical glides outside Roarke’s HQ skyscraper, people landing in the ER or the morgue after falling 10 stories off a glide, etc. I like to imagine how things could look while I’m reading the book, but glides always trip me.

    1. I would like also like to know what she pictures as a glide because in Reunion in Death, Eve and Julianna are in a fight and go off a 10th Floor Terrace and is “saved” by landing on a people glide at Roark’s Regency Hotel.

      1. They’ve developed some “glides” on buildings; mostly just from one story down to another or two. Basicly, just sit down & slide. They extend out from the building & I think the ones I saw info about were pretty high up. Along the lines of plexiglas tubes. I’m afraid I’ll look at them like I do the glass “walkway” out at the Grand Canyon; fantastic to look at but no way in heck will I step foot on it! Well, maybe when I’m older & not so concerned with continuing to live???

  75. So in light of recent incidents that have happened here, I want to try and bring a form of pragmatic criticism to Dark in Death.

    For the record: I DO NOT THINK that the book was horrible, there were a lot of scenes in the book (the ballroom scene for instance) where it was very well-written and very introspective.

    The problem I did have with it, is that it felt like you did a lot of plot-device grabbing from Obsession in Death to this book.

    That being said, I think Leverage in Death will be a dramatic improvement over this book and will obviously be a return to the high-tensity cases that have made for some of your great books.

    Again this is just me trying to be pragmatic here, because I think we’re lacking intelligent disagreements in the world right now and we need to start practicing it again.

  76. Chapter 20
    DOB March 14, 2018
    That’s today only … won’t be another.

    1. Ok, that made me look it up and giggle a lot! Well spotted!

  77. Nora you did a wonderful job on this book. Loved it all. Thank you for the wonderful stories and characters. Hugs.

  78. I’m currently plowing my way through “Dark in Death”, and I was wondering if there was a change in the stereo-gram inside the dust jacket. I was under the impression that it was the title of the next book, but my copy has a cat on it.
    I am having a blast reading it, and the stuff where DeLano talks about what she deals with as an author has me thinking that Nora did a bit of author-inclusion. Another of my favorite authors, Mercedes Lackey, did the same thing in a few of her Heralds of Valdemar books, where she shows up as Herald-Chronicler Myste. She’s really good if you like sword-and-sorcery fantasy.

    1. CLASSIC author routine – even Dame Agatha Christie did it; she even stated later on that Ariadne Oliver was her Mary Sue (so to speak). I’m loving it!

  79. New to Nora/J.D. great writin, but finding acronyms I can’t decipher: LC, EDD, e-toys,e-Ave,

    1. LC is licensed companion.
      EDD is Electronic Division Detective
      E-toys relates to EDD so e is for electronics.


  80. I could not figure out when and how we found out the killer had the orange tattoo. Anyone?

    I have reread pages trying to find it and it’s driving me crazy.

    1. As mentioned on page 135, Eve reads the third book, Dark Deeds and gets the description of the killer’s look for that murder.


  81. Great book so far. I am just finding myself irritated by the total over use of the word “vid”. I just don’t find it believable. I have never heard anyone in America refer to a movie as a “vid”. It makes the character annoying and unlikeable. IMHO.

    1. Well the In Deaths are set in the near future — Dark in Death takes place in the winter of 2061 — and terminology has changed in the fictional future. Considering the streaming services so many people use now, it’s not a far leap for 43 years from now.


      1. I love the new terms! Some make much more sense than what we have now. Like “vid” – with that, you only have to say (if necessary) that you saw it at home, or theater, etc. It explains it all. Humans have re-named so many terms over the decades, mostly to accommodate changes in tech, but also for style. It shows we’re always changing, re-inventing ourselves. I like it.

      2. Thank you. I figured that out after I kept reading. I feel kind of silly for making this remark now! Loved the book.

  82. Happen to read Remember When a few years ago and enjoyed it. So started at the beginning of the series. But then discovered the short stories and had to stick them in.

    Finally am up to Dark in Death. Loved the idea of a murderer using the books and recreating the plot but changing to her liking.

    Only problem was the use of the word sheers on p.353+ at the capture point. I believe that the seamstress would use shears to attack–I don’t think the sheers at the window would be very threatening.

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