When I first started reading J.D. Robb's In Death series, there were maybe just six books written in the series, and I had happened to pick up the second book. I loved it and went back the following week and bought all of the books available at that time. And have bought every one in the series since then. I love the world Robb has created, but what keeps me coming back is the characters. I adore the main and recurring characters in that series. I think of them as old friends. I actually miss them between books! The series does more than entertain; it can teach you, if you let it. Below are the top ten life lessons I’ve gleaned from the In Death series.
*Note: Beware of mild SPOILERS if you have not read the majority of the series*
1. Compromise really is the key to a successful relationship
At the beginning of the series, Eve is a no-nonsense cop with no tolerance for criminals. Roarke is a wealthy businessman with a dubious past and a healthy disdain for rules and authority, including the police. Over the series, Eve has strayed slightly from the straight and narrow and Roarke has become less shady. The compromise from them both has helped to strengthen their bond.
2. A criminal past will not necessarily stop you from achieving your dreams
Case in point, Eve’s best friend Mavis. When we meet her, Mavis is a lounge singer in a far from classy establishment. She and Eve met when Eve busted her for grifting. Now, though, Mavis is a mom and a rock star (no, seriously, a literal rock star) and is married to one of the hottest designers in the world! So don’t let a little blemish on your criminal record hold you back; get out there and be somebody!
3. Opposites Attract
Delia Peabody has a square face, has been described as “sturdy” & “chunky” with a “jelly belly,” she once had a bowl cut and has spent a lot of her time in the series in sensible shoes. Ian McNab is pale, has a skinny frame with narrow hips, wears a waist length ponytail and is considered pretty. When they first meet, they could not be farther apart in their looks and the way people regarded them. But that didn’t stop them for falling for each other. Peabody and McNab are the most fun couple featured in the series. And the most freaky. Because Peabody and McNab GET. IT. ON. Honorable mention in the Opposites Attract category? Just the main couple of the series, Eve and Roarke, the Cop and the Criminal.
4. Not every woman desires to look pretty and glamorous
I don’t have much in common with Eve Dallas, but I do share a lack of love for a lot of things considered “girly” and “feminine.” Eve breaks out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of getting her hair done and having make-up slathered on her face and does everything she can to avoid it. She’s even been known to hide. It’s one of my favorite things about her.
5. Having a partner with a strong Irish brougue can be beneficial…to your lady parts
Pretty sure you don’t need me to elaborate here. Just think of the whispered sweet nothings. UNF! Roarke also has a tendency to let his accent slip during intimate times. Be still, my panties.
6. There are benefits to marrying rich
Roarke is just about the richest man on and off planet in this series. He can give Eve anything she wants. He established a bank account for her, he buys her jewelry, clothes, cars…things she doesn’t even think she needs. But the best perk of having a rich man in J.D. Robb’s imagined not so distant future? He can afford to buy real coffee beans. It’s a pricey commodity in their world and he keeps his woman stocked with it at home and at work. Worth it’s weight in gold to Eve.
7. Prostitutes are people, too!
Ever heard the phrase “you can’t housewife a ho”? No? Oh. Maybe you hang in different circles than me. Ahem. Anyway, it means you can’t turn a prostitute into a happy homemaker. But this series proves that you can. Well, sort of. The series has turned male “licensed companion” Charles Monroe into a happy husband and that’s close enough!
8. Even at the top of your game, you can be bested
Eve is arguably the top cop of the New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD). She is a tenacious detective notorious for closing her cases. But, we are over 40 books and novellas into the series and she still hasn’t been able to ferret out the identity of the candy thief that plagues her. I love that someone continually challenges her, even in this small way; it keeps her from being too perfect at her job.
9. Friends can be family, too!
Eve and Roarke are both loners with not much family when the series starts. But they have built familial bonds with their friends that are, in a lot of cases, stronger than the bonds they ever had with their families. Eve has the mom, dad and sister she never had in Mira, Feeney and Peabody. Summerset would do and has done anything for Roarke and Eve. Their friends love them as much as they love their natural kin and consider them family, whether they want it or not.
10. Your past does not define your future
Both Eve and Roarke had childhoods that included abuse, loneliness, despair and crime. But look at them now! They have both fought to be more than their past, almost to spite their past. And they’ve both come out on top, which can be attributed in no small part to getting together.
The In Death series has spanned decades and may be daunting to try to tackle if you haven’t already started. But I will always recommend them. There’s so much to learn plus, they’re pretty darn good.