J.D. Robb can never disappoint

Lezlie Patterson / McClatchy-Tribune News Service /

Published Mar 3, 2013 at 04:00AM

“Calculated in Death” by J.D. Robb (Putnam, $27.95)

It’s actually rather redundant to tout a J.D. Robb book as being ridiculously outstanding.

If you’re reading this review to see if this is the first of the 36 books the esteemed Nora Roberts (who uses the pseudonym J.D. Robb for these books) has stumbled with in this series, you can stop with the guarantee that it isn’t.

“Calculated in Death” is another wonderfully written and amazingly plotted story full of charm, wit, engaging characters, passion and Roarke.

Maybe not enough Roarke, but really, is there ever enough?

Part of the brilliance of Roberts’ series is that the 36 books have taken place in a two-year span, dating back to 2058 when Roarke met Eve as part of her murder investigation. That first book, “Naked in Death,” was written in 1995. Two book years, and 18 real years, later, Roarke and Eve are solidly married with a group of close friends who fit into their world.

“Calculated In Death” is a satisfying fix for those addicted to Eve and Roarke, without having any grand personal conflicts, revelations or a huge murder story.

It’s just life as usual for Eve and Roarke. Which, again, is part of the brilliance.

Eve and her team investigate the murder of an auditor, who seems to have been killed because of something she was working on. That leads Eve to tap into Roarke’s business expertise.

While they investigate, the gang gets ready to attend the premier of the movie made about one of Eve’s earlier cases (from “Origin in Death”) and while not of that caliber, the current investigation takes enough turns to keep it interesting.

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