Sep 3 2014 3:30pm

First Look: J.D. Robb’s Festive in Death (September 9, 2014)

Festive in Death by JD RobbJ.D. Robb
Festive in Death
Putnam Adult / September 9, 2014 / $27.95 print / $14.99 digital

Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

In her thirty-ninth novel, J.D. Robb once again returns us to New York City as 2060 comes to a close. It is Christmastime in New York, with Drunk Santa singing carols and mooning all the passersby as they do their last minute shopping. Even Lieutenant Eve Dallas is enjoying this holiday season as she and her husband, Roarke, make plans for their annual holiday party. It is an event most look forward to for the drinks, the food and for spending time with friends both old and new. 

This year, Dallas made a deal with the devil, or the skinny skulking skeleton that lives in her house, and she has to be in charge of the holiday decorating of the house for this year’s party. Hell, with a staff full of decorators, caterers and whos-its, how bad can it be? 

Within ten minutes, with her head throbbing, she admitted Roarke had been right to tell her to leave her weapon in her office.

Really, she would have done a service for all mankind to stun the decorator and the florist.

Within thirty, she considered going back, getting the weapon and taking them both out.

It wasn't long ago that Dallas spent her Christmases alone. Now she has a loving husband, a fat cat, and friends who make up her family. It has taken her a few years, but she is becoming more comfortable with her role in life as more than just a cop.  She is getting a handle on the Rules of Marriage and she and her partner, Peabody, have become quite a team.  She’s even getting the hang of gift giving.

“Oh!”  She pulled out the gift, stared at it, eyes and mouth wide.  “It’s a magic coat.  It’s my own magic coat.  It’s pink!  It’s a pink magic coat.  Holy shit!  Holy pink magic shit, Dallas.”

“I can’t go around wearing coats with internal body armor when my partner’s not.”

Peabody stopped swirling.  She didn’t blubber, but a couple tears trickled down.  “It means so much to me, that you’d have it made for me.  For my safety.  That all by itself means everything.  But the rest?  It didn’t have to be leather, it didn’t have to be pink.  But you did that because you knew it would make me happy.”

“You get stunned or stuck or blasted, it’s pretty damned inconvenient for me.”  On Peabody’s watery laugh, Eve sighed.  “You’re…family.  That’s it.”

In fact, many think Christmas is all about gift giving. Others are even giving their presents early.  Someone has given Trey Ziegler his Christmas gift early this year, a lovely kitchen knife—to the chest, with a special holiday message “Santa says You’ve Been Bad!!! Ho, ho, ho!” 

Trey was a special guy who was always thinking of others…and what he could get out of them.  He’s an award-winning trainer at Buff Bodies. He’s also a user, a blackmailer, and a rapist.  Eve will always find justice for her dead, but this is one case where she’s rather be putting her victim in a cage than tracking down his killer.  Trey got off too easy with death.

“He deserved a cage, not a slab.  Maybe a woman who found out he’d given her a boost, maybe a husband or boyfriend who found out.  Maybe a woman who didn’t like him juggling her with the others, or a guy who didn’t like being cheated on.  A lot of variables.  Then you add in the money, so maybe blackmail, which never ends well.”

“And yet remains a classic,” Roarke commented.

“Secrets plus greed generally equals a slab for somebody.”

“Cop math.” Roarke lifted his wine.  “And usually accurate.”

Dallas and Roarke are getting ready for this holiday as they seem to do every year with a party, presents and murder.  Someone’s given Dallas her present early this year too, but trying to narrow down her Secret Santa is gonna be a killer.


Learn more about or order a copy of Festive in Death by JD Robb, available September 9, 2014:

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Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I stopped reading this series a couple of years ago. I may have to pick it up again as this sounds awfully appealing!
3. Katafer
You just reminded me to make sure my library has this on order - I'm #44 on the waitlist! Hopefully I'll be reading it by Christmas. :-)
4. rinib
I was wondering when Peabody would get her own magic coat .... woot!
Dawn Roberto
5. dawn_roberto
I just got it on my nook from a friend as an early bday present. I can't wait to dive into it.
Carmen Pinzon
6. bungluna
I just finished it and I did not see that coming! I'm can usually figure out who done it but this time the ending was tricky.
7. Salt
I was so in love with this series...up until around book 28, when Dallas issues became tiresome and her selfish ways got on my nerves and I began to wonder what actually Roarke saw in her and when would he be consulting a divorce lawyer?....Harsh, I know but it got to the point that the book series had lost its sheen for me, and I mostly blame it on the fact that I felt that everyone but Dallas had grown and matured and she was allowed to remain surly and belligerent, (which got old after a while) for my disenchantment...
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