Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review of Celebrity in Death by J D Robb and Q&A with the author

 Please welcome #1 NY Times Bestselling Author J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts

Ms. Roberts, thank you so much for taking the time out of your incredibly busy schedule to answer a few questions to celebrate the release of your 34th in the In Death series, Celebrity in Death.

1. It’s amazing to think that this is the 34th book in the series. How did you come up with the idea of a “futuristic police procedural?”

It started with a character. When the idea of writing as J.D. Robb came up, I didn’t want it to be the same sort of books that Nora Roberts wrote. I didn't see the point in doing straight relationship or straight romantic suspense under a different name. Years before this, I'd had a glimmer of an idea for Eve Dallas--a take-no-prisoners cop in the near future. At that time I didn't know what to do with her, but here was my chance to see where we could go.
I wanted to explore this woman and the people in her world book by book. Each book resolves the particular crime or mystery that drives it, but the character development, the growth and the changes, the tone of the relationships go more slowly. I enjoy that tremendously.

  1. Do you see the In Death series as open-ended, or are there a finite number of books planned?
There’s no end in sight.  I plan to continue to write them until there's nothing more to tell about the characters. Since I'm very, very attached to them, I expect I'm going to keep writing the series for a long time.

  1. In April, your 200th novel, THE WITNESS, will be published.  Did you ever think you had that many stories to tell or would attain this level of success when you started your career?
When I started out I just wanted to write books. I still do. It’s the best job in the world for so many reasons. I wanted the thrill of seeing my books on the shelves in bookstores. I still do. The idea of someone reading my work, enjoying it, was just amazing—and it still is. And as long as there are fresh stories to tell, I’ll keep on writing.

  1. Why do you think that readers enjoy the candy thief so much?  Do you have a personal favorite candy bar that you think is worth stealing?
I guess readers love the Candy Thief because whoever that person is, he or she continues to outwit Eve and her frustration can be pretty funny.  I’m not much of a candy bar person, that’s Eve.  Give me some M&Ms and I’m happy.

  1. What about Eve Dallas keeps you writing this series?
Well, it’s not just Eve Dallas anymore, is it? It's tremendous fun to go back regularly and visit characters I've become so fond of, and to peel off another layer in their relationships.
I don’t think Eve and Roarke are particularly easy people, but their relationship unifies them, and has--I think--made each of them better people. Not too good, of course.  Since I write the books with little time passing between each, I think that keeps the tension high as the relationship and the actions develop book by book.

  1. What personal or pop cultural interests play into writing Eve or any of the other In Death characters?
It can be a lot of fun to look back at what makes up pop culture today through the eyes of characters living 50 years from now.  But mainly it all depends on the story.

7.    The In Death series is set in the late 21st century and you’ve invented technology for the series’ futuristic setting.  Which of your inventions have come to pass or are current to similar technology?

I have no idea what might become reality, but I’d be first in line for an Auto Chef!

  1. In Celebrity in Death, a major movie is being made about one of Eve Dallas’ highest profile cases.  How did your experience on the sets of the Lifetime movies based on your books inform how Eve would react to the Hollywood actors and media surrounding the movie?
Well, I only visited one set – Montana Sky – for three very busy days so it’s not like I hung out and drank up the atmosphere.  From my own experience doing commercials and promotional videos, I know that there’s a lot of hurry up and wait on a set.  All that down time brings people together – or drives them completely apart.  I think you can see some of that in Celebrity.
But mainly Celebrity deals with Eve’s reaction to everything that surrounds a movie.  And since she’s not one for make believe or buying into hype, her reaction was pretty much par for the course.

  1. For years fans have imagined what it would be like to see Eve Dallas on “the big screen.”  What are some of your favorite big-screen adaptations?  
To Kill A Mockingbird.  For me, it’s the closest thing to a perfect book  and it was made in to a perfect movie.  Gregory Peck was Atticus Finch.

Thank you so much for answering the questions, good luck to you with the release of “Celebrity In Death” and in all your endeavors.

Review of Celebrity in Death
Celebrity in Death
J.D. Robb
400 pages
G. P. Putnam Son’s

Reporter Nadine Furst and friend of Eve wrote a book about the Icove case and now has caught the attention of the big screen movie moguls who’ve made it into a major motion picture production, near the end of filming it’s decided that a grand party is due and of  course the people who inspired the real life case have to be there too, which means that Eve and Peabody are in attendance when a death occurs. It at first appears perhaps accidental but soon becomes a murder investigation which turns into more than one murder investigation and soon Eve is up to her armpits in suspects but low on evidence.
With the help of her crack team of cops and her “civilian contractor” she puts together a cause and effect that may just become a movie of it’s own by the time all the facts are collected and the crime is solved.

When you’ve read 33 previous novels in a series there are bound to be a disappointment or two and this series is no different, but then you think of the accomplishment of it and you enter the realm of unbelievability. Number 34 is not a disappointment, in fact it’s astonishingly good. In her futuristic thriller series Ms. Robb takes us where Eve Duncan hates to tread into the glitter and sparkle of Celebrity as Nadine’s book about the Icove case comes to the big screen with big stars and big egos to match and of course in the course of the first few pages there’s a murder and it’s not the murder that stands out but the attention to detail this fabulous author goes into to catch this killer. We also get to as always catch up with the minor stars of the series who’s lives we’ve been invited into numerous times we also meet some new characters some you’ll like and some you won’t. The killer, you’ll meet him/her but you won’t know who he/she is until the author let’s you in. The love between Roarke and Eve is as always an integral part of the story because of it’s implausibility but perfection all the same. The narrative is flawless, the dialogue is all classic Robb with it’s hard edged and adult matter.
This fiery thriller will keep you on your toes and keep you entertained as you desperately try to solve the crime before the author let’s you in on her secret. It will appeal to both men and women and young and older adult audiences as well,
Thank you Ms, Robb for a trip into the future that was all that and more.

 Click here to purchase the novel, visit the author's website here.


  1. You have NO idea how happy I am to read Nora's answer to Question #2. Just yesterday on my blog, Allison and I were sharing our mutual stress about the day we get no more Eve. I almost can't put into words how much I adore these books. Thanks, Debbie, for a lovely and informative interview! :)

    1. Sarah, thanks for the post and yes I was punching the air when I read that answer too.
      There are very few long running series that trap me more than the In Death series.
      Loved your review on your site. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Kimba. I'm still pinching myself that she granted it to me.