A chambermaid is brutally beaten, raped, and strangled in a suite at the Roarke Plaza Hotel. The killer is quickly established, but Sylvester Yost is a killer of hire. Who would hire someone to kill a young, innocent chambermaid? But with the next body, the connection is suddenly clear. Someone has targeted people connected to Roarke and Eve fears he's targeted her husband as well.
The roles were slightly reversed in this one with Eve being the nurturing one, taking care of her husband in his grief, channeling his anger, letting him take swipes at her in his rage. It was a nice little change and rather heartwarming to observe how their relationship has changed, grown, and matured in just a little more than a year.
The initial mystery (who is the killer) was over and done quite soon, while the second part of it (who hired him and why), while longer and rather intriguing at the beginning, sort of fizzled toward the end once the true motive was revealed. I felt it was overkill, quite frankly. Too convoluted and complicated for the ultimate end goal of the "villain".
And yes, I saw through the ruse of the inside man rather early on, although that particular sub-plot ended on a satisfying note as far as friendship goes, while also providing some added gravitas and pathos to the story.
The Peabody/McNab part of the proceedings ended up being quite annoying and quite unnecessary to the main story arc, but since Eve and Roarke got along rather well in this one, some emotional and/or romantic drama was needed. It ended as it should have, with me cheering for McNab for actually standing up for himself, but Eve let me down a little for actually holding Peabody's hand instead of smacking the girl upside the head with the truth. I didn't particularly like Peabody in this one. I never particularly liked her juggling two guys at the same time without telling McNab the truth about her relationship with the LC.
While the story itself was solid and quite well-paced, the way it ended with the mystery/suspense fizzling out and the entire Peabody/McNab debacle not really gelling with the rest of the plot, I cannot say I'm satisfied with how this one panned out.
I like JD Robb. I don't like Nora Roberts. This book reads more Roberts than Robb, which just brings it down for me. One of the things I enjoy about Eve Dallas is how much her inability to innately comprehend things most people consider given, like why people use makeup or why someone would chose to live in the country with animals, affects people around her. Her straightforward view points out things that most people haven't considered.
" 'How the hell did she walk around in that?' Eve wondered. 'Looks like it weighs a ton.' He had to laugh. It was so Eve to see the inconvenience rather than the glamour." Things like this amuse me to no end. But since the book was uncommonly light on things like this, I was not amused.
After having some major upheavals this year, many involving my children, I need that levity in the books to keep them from cutting too close to the bone. I had trouble with this book because there wasn't enough escape for me. I'm re-reading it this time through and this is one of the books that I remembered all the twists to once I read the first few pages. I persevered because I prefer to read a series in order, but I really didn't get any enjoyment out of it.
Personal issues aside, the book itself seems rather bland compared to some others in the series. Eve's frustrations, Roarke's anger and grief, Peabody and McNab's jealousy all seemed rather two dimensional. I remember reading this through the first time and being fascinated with the steps taken to track down the murderer and the angles that I wouldn't have thought to follow. It's a very good thing I'm not a cop, cause I'd suck at it. Apparently that fascination was the redeeming feature of the book for me, and it's missing on a second read through.
If you're a fan of Robb I'd say read the book. It's not as bad as Ceremony in Death, not as good as Origin in Death. Really only good for a once through unless you HAVE to reread in series order.
This is one of my favorite series but this was not my favorite story. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood for it or if it was just to much gardening going on but I just couldn't get into this one as much as the others. :(
Pru has been invited to help with the Chelsea Garden for some Texans who have actually got themselves a place among the Brits. One of the ladies knew her and asked if she would mind getting things started for them since they wouldn't be able to get there until a few days later.
The President of the Austin Gardening club ends up later than planned and Pru isn't sure what she thinks about that but when she meets her they have an instant connection and Twyla starts talking about needing her help to fix things and really just sort of rambles about things but when she ends up dead, Pru can't help but keep thinking about what she said. Almost like she is haunting her Pru can hear her voice and she knows she has to figure out what happened so she can have peace of mind.
Christopher is now semi-retired police (work with the local police on occasion) and not an inspector anymore and the local Inspector doesn't want his help nor Pru's but that don't stop them from checking into things and there are a few things that come up to make her suspicious of a few people.
I love Pru and Christopher they are probably one of my favorite cozy couples. I liked the characters introduced in this one but I think I just missed the normal characters that are usually in it, but since they were in a different area Simon wasn't there and I missed him.
The mystery is pretty good though I did figure it out towards the end but it was nice to see that I was right. :)
Overall, it's a good one but there was just something there that was missing but I am not sure what. Like I said could just be my mood. :) If you like cozies though you should give this series a try.