Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Death Challenge Post: April 2010

Interested in joining the Challenge? Anyone is welcome to join in at any time. See the sign up post HERE.

This is the round up post for the fourth month of the In Death Reading Challenge. Congratulations to everyone who has kept up with the challenge and has read at leasts one In Death book per month since January! I, for one, am quite proud of myself for keeping up with the challenge. Let me say that it's not so easy to pick up a book from the same series every month that was published over a decade ago when there are so many new releases calling your name! Of course it helps that this series is so entertaining to read--wonderfully developed characters, realistic and varied relationships between the primary and secondary characters, and a decent murder mystery, all set in a futuristic New York City and other locations on and off planet.

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If you made a post on your blog whether it be a review or commentary, please grab the link to your post and enter in the Mr. Linky below along with your name so we can find each other's April In Death posts easily.

If you're just keeping a running list of the books as you read them, grab the link to your list post and enter in the Mr. Linky so we can recognize your success this month.

If you're reading or rereading without documenting it on your blog, let me know in the comments which book(s) you read in this month. This will also help me keep track of who's eligible for the challenge giveaway this month.

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As promised, I am going to do a little giveaway for the participants in this challenge. Since real coffee is so rare and coveted in the year 2058 and it happens to be Eve's favorite vice--and mine, too-- I thought it would be apropos to give away coffee. The easiest way for me to do that is via gift card, so I'm giving away a $5 gift card to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts to one randomly selected challenge participant. Don't worry--if you don't drink coffee, there are plenty of other vices to indulge yourself in at either of those shops. If you live in an area or country that doesn't have either of those shops near you, we'll work something out.

To qualify for the giveaway, you must do or have done the following:

1. Be signed up for the In Death Reading Challenge in this post HERE either with Mr.Linky or in the comments if you do not have your own blog.

2. Have read FOUR In Death novels between January 1, 2010 and April 30, 2010. Actually, let's make that by May 7, 2010 to allow any stragglers to catch up.

3. Have documented the In Death novels you have read for the challenge by:

Maintaining a running list somewhere on your blog ...
Posting reviews or commentary on your blog ...
Having notified me which book(s) you read in comments on any of the In Death Challenge posts ...
Any combination of the above.

Pretty simple. You read four In Death books, leave me proof, and voila! You're in the drawing.

I'll select a winner on May 8, 2010.

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Conspiracy In Death by J.D. Robb
Book 9

Conspiracy In Death starts out with Eve investigating the death of a homeless man on the streets of futuristic New York City in the middle of winter. The man's death is unusual because he was found dead in his own crib with his heart carefully and expertly removed in a surgical manner. While on the scene, Eve has a heated confrontation with one of the first officers on the scene, a female cop named Ellen Bowers who creates all kinds of trouble for Eve, including filing official interdepartmental complaints about Eve.

Soon another body is discovered, this time a licensed companion (legal prostitute) who is perhaps past her prime, is found with one of her vital organs also surgically removed. With the help of Eve's investigative team, other victims in other cities around the world are discovered and possible scenarios and leads are being explored. In the meantime, Eve and officer Bowers continue to cross paths with horrendous results, putting Eve's badge on the line and interfering with Eve's ability to capture the serial murderer.

I can see why Conspiracy In Death is a favorite by many fans of the series. Eve is under tremendous pressure in this murder investigation and exposes her vulnerabilities more than any other story so far. The murderer is most likely one of the world's best surgeons who most likely has the support of some powerful politicians. Making matters worse is this screw up of a cop Ellen Bowers whose goal is to make Eve's job and her life as miserable as possible--and she damn well near succeeds. It was fascinating to watch Eve deal with this pressure and these tremendous injustices that took a stab at the very core of what makes Eve who she is-- a survivor, a fighter, and a deliverer of justice for the dead. Not to mention how far she'd go to deliver that justice and solve these crimes. I was surprised about some of that, actually.

So far, each story offers a solid murder mystery--some a bit more transparent than others, but basically they've all been interesting and well paced, and each offering some new slant to futuristic crime. It's also simply so much fun to observe the various relationships developing between all of the characters. As their relationships get more established, their personalities are becoming more evident and Eve struggles with accepting that she now has a circle of friends who care about her... and for whom she cares as well.

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I hope you've been having as much fun as I have with this reading challenge and continue to forge ahead through your In Death reading list.

Have you noticed that nearly everyone who comes into Eve's office--whether it be her home office or her office at Cop Central-- takes advantage of the fact that her AutoChef is always stocked with real coffee.

If you had an AutoChef, what would yours offer in never ending supply?

NOTE: Please mark your comment with ***SPOILER*** if you are going to mention something about the characters, series or plot that may be revealing. There are some participants who are reading the first couple of books. Thanks! :)


  1. Hi, Christine!
    I'm really enjoying that we do these together! It's so much more fun to see what everyone thinks. Though I will admit, I have tons of trouble keeping it to one book a month!!

    AutoChef? Coffee & Chocolate. That's what it takes to get through the day (of course, after those come: Cheese-steak Wraps, then BBQ Kettle Chips, more Chocolate, some afternoon coffee... I'm starting to think I should cut back on salt...)

  2. I'm with Gina. Coffee & chocolate (together. my drink is a mocha *g*)

    I'm also really enjoying the challenge. So much so that I started early - like November! :)

    I'm just glad that I got my In Death mojo back. I had a really tough time last month.

  3. Gina, I'm so glad you're having fun doing the challenge, too! You can read more than one book a month if you want to... the idea is at least one, so go for it if you feel like reading faster!

    I think Eve has the right idea with coffee. That's what would be in mine, too! And chocolate... really good chocolate.

    All that other food you mention sounds really good, too! Have you tried Maui Onion Chips by Archer Farms? (Sold at Target) Ooo la la.

    Lori, I like my coffee and chocolate separate unless it is in ice cream form. Oh wait. That's not true. I forgot about chocolate covered espresso beans. Mmm.

    I'm glad you have your In Death mojo back, although I think you read yourself a nice cushion of books in previous months!

  4. I'm so glad you're enjoying the series Christine! I actually read an In Death book this month - Kindred in Death, which is IIRC the 35th book! Scary, huh *grin* I also have an anthology at home, which contains an In Death novella, and then I just have one more book to read before I'm up to date! Go me!

    My AutoChef would be stocked with CocaCola...the real stuff...nothing else tastes quite like it, but it would be a healthy version (and no, that's not Coke Zero :)

  5. I liked this one too. This is the one that we meet the oh so sweet Troy Trueheart. :)

    If I had an AutoChef and it was just for me? I'd stock it with Jack & Coke and Hawaiian Pizza. :D

  6. I'm not in the In Death reading group, but love the books. *G* In my autochef I'd have Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper. *G* And raisinets.
    It is funny how everyone entering her office hints around and even plain 'ol asks for coffee. What's even funnier is that someone keeps stealing her stash of chocolate and she, the mighty detective, has no idea who it is. *G*

    And now I'm craving raisinets....... Darnit!

  7. orannia, that's so cool that you're almost completely caught up! Maybe that'll be me someday. ;o)

    Real CocaCola is a great choice. But then we'll have to include pizza, too. Oh wait! Leslie's stocking pizza!

    Leslie, I hope that means we see more of the blushing Troy Trueheart in future novels?

    Jack & Coke and Hawaiian Pizza sounds like a winning combination. Although I might pick off some of the pineapple.

    Brandy, Please, by all means, comment away on these posts! The more the merrier, plus I think the interaction between new and seasoned readers of the series is fun! :)

    More soda! LOL I wouldn't have guessed that! But the raisinets... well that does have chocolate!

    I'm just getting wind of the chocolate thief. What a fun thing to include in this series.

  8. I'm with Leslie, I love Troy!

  9. Oh, I'm with Eve -- that AutoChef would have coffee, coffee, coffee. I'm a coffee addict.

    Ok, so for me this series is getting better on all fronts -- although characterization's still the best part. I just read the fourth book (Rapture) and besides Roarke and Eve, Peabody just really made the book for me. I'm loving her dry sense of humor.

    I'll probably read Ceremony early this month, I can't wait to read it. :D

  10. Please do not enter me in the drawing--I only drink coffee at home :-P as I'm a bit spoiled (espresso for me, made with Puerto Rican coffee)

    There's also the fact that, while I really love Eve and Roarke and the series as a whole, I'm struggling right now because neither Kindred nor Fantasy in Death hit the right note with me.

    Interestingly, it wasn't for the reasons some fans (KristieJ for one) give. In my case is a matter of continuity in the world building rather than character development. Go figure, huh?

    Still struggling to write something coherent on the topic, too...

  11. Hilcia, I'm with you! Coffee in the AutoChef is a must! I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Ceremony In Death.

    azteclady, espresso made with Puerto Rican coffee beans? Um.. what time do you brew in the morning? I'll be right over. ;)

    That's interesting about your recent struggle with the most recent two novels. Hmm.. and with the world building, too. That's not a good sign. Sometimes I can be more forgiving if the struggle with a series is due to the character's actions in that particular book, or even the conflict to an extent because those things are variable in real life anyway. The world building though... that is one element that MUST remain consistent. Otherwise my faith in everything else sort of starts to fall apart. I hope it is just a temporary glitch in Robb's writing. Either that or perhaps it's time for Eve & Roarke to have a baby. ;)

  12. What I find most interesting is that I haven't seen anyone mention the inconsistency yet... I wonder if my obsessive re-reading of the series is to blame, and normal people who read them once every year (instead of *mumble*times like me) just don't remark on it.

  13. I'm currently reading Missing in Death - the novella between Kindred in Death and Fantasy in Death and...I'm having an issue with Roarke. I want a flaw!

  14. azteclady, the other possibility--which I actually think is a very likely one-- is that other readers HAVE noticed the inconsistencies, but don't want to say anything because they feel they are betraying the author after being a fan for a decade or more. Or they don't want to say anything to offend other fans. You know even those virtual tomatoes hurt when thrown at you.

    orannia, I can totally understand that because I'm at book 9 and am already thinking Roarke is seriously unrealistic.

  15. I love love love this series- one of a kind! I'm currently on #11. RID is one of my fav too!

    I don't have any related coffee stuff at home since I only rely from starbucks store but if I ever have one then it would be filled with lots of starbucks diff flavors with my white mocha as the very first.

    Yumm! This diet thing I'm in to at the moment is making me feel weak Im afraid i'd give in soon with my mocha craving.

  16. With regard to the roarke conversation I agree to the flaw but I still feel like defending him. He's still my man! Lol. It's a typical hero character by Roberts/Robb -- strong and mighty, it's almost like creating a fiction God. Since I'm also jst on the 11th book I can only say much about Roarke till this part of the series.

  17. Didn't make it this month :/ Those intense studies I mentioned last time are still going on, but luckily they are ending this week and that is a reason for celebrating :) Also my grandmother passed away and things were a bit hectic because of all the traveling and planning. Everything is starting to be okay now and I hope May turns out to be a nice month. I still have those two next ID books waiting. Have to get back on track ;)

    My AutoChef would give away CocaCola. I drink it way too much! I've actually never drunk any coffee, but I like how they are loving it in the series :D

  18. Natalie, I'm so happy you're loving this series!!!
    As for your white mocha, can't you ask for it fat free and no sugar? Although that kinda defeats the purpose if you ask me! LOL

    As for the Roarke flaw topic, I think so many people feel the same way as you do. I just don't want it to interfere with the believability of their relationship if he ALWAYS does the right thing, you know?

    Maija, it's good to hear from you, although I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing. Even if she lived a long, full life, it is still very sad.

    I think an AutoChef with Coke would be wonderful. Ice cold, fizzy coke. Mmmm! Good choice! I hope you enjoy your upcoming ID reads! :)


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