Monday, May 30, 2011

In Death Series Reading Challenge: May 2011

Interested in joining the Challenge? Anyone is welcome to join in at any time of the year at wherever in the series you currently are. See the sign up post HERE
and join the fun!

The winner of the quarterly challenge prize is ...

Natalie and I live about six miles from each other with a Barnes & Noble conveniently smack in the middle between our houses. We figured this out a couple of weeks after "meeting" online when she joined the In Death challenge over a year ago. I think Natalie and I will meet at our local B&N one evening so I can treat her to a book or a coffee and scone. :)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Link up any In Death posts you made this month here. 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 latest 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!

REMINDER: In order to be eligible for the challenge giveaway in August 2011, you must have read four In Death books between May 1, 2011 and August 31, 2011 and have documented that you have either on your own blog, on goodreads [please leave a link to your profile if we're not already friends there] or you can let us know what you read here in the comments of the monthly In Death Reading Challenge posts. 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Remember When by Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb

This month, I read Remember When which is a collection of two connected stories, originally published in 2003?. Part One is a Nora Robert romantic suspense story and Part Two is a J.D. Robb In Death story falling at book #17.5 in the series. Coincidentally, both stories were recently reissued in 2010 in separate mass market paperbacks respectively titled "Hot Rocks" and "Big Jack."

The first story, Hot Rocks, is a contemporary romantic suspense story featuring Laine Tavish, the daughter of professional thief and con man, Big Jack. Laine Tavis has worked hard to make a clean life for herself as an antiques dealer in a quaint town in Maryland. Her efforts for good a life are instantly jeopardized when a multimillion dollar diamond heist that her father is involved in starts to go south, bringing stolen diamonds and murder to her door. It also brings private investigator Max Gannon, which isn't such a bad thing as Laine and Max fall in love while trying to recover the diamonds before someone else is murdered.

The suspense and mystery in this story was really great and meshed really well with the romance between Laine and Max. It's obvious that there's attraction and interest between the two and Max asks Laine out to dinner when they meet for the first time. Although the love between them develops over a short period of time, their romance is tender and their happily ever after convincing and believable. How does Nora do that?

The second story in Remember When is an In Death series short story called Big Jack that takes place about 50 years after Hot Rocks. Lt. Eve Dallas and her homicide team are investigating a murder that occurs in the apartment of Samantha Gannon, granddaughter of Laine Tavish and Max Gannon and great granddaughter of the infamous diamond thief Big Jack from the previous story. Samantha Gannon has written a book about the diamond heist in which her family was so closely involved and is away on a book tour when her apartment is ransacked and her friend and house sitter is found murdered. It appears that someone is after Samantha in order to find a pouch of diamonds that was never recovered more than 50 years ago and will stop at nothing--including murder-- to get them.

The murderer in Big Jack was fairly easy to identify, but it was exciting nonetheless to follow the sequence of events that led Eve and her team to solve the case and take down the murderer. Nothing too consequential in the relationships or personal lives of the cast, other than Peabody adjusting to life with her new badge.

I really enjoyed reading Remember When and sampling Nora Roberts' two story telling voices side by side. Whether writing a contemporary romantic suspense as Nora Roberts or futuristic crime fiction as J.D. Robb, the author's talent developing relationships between her characters with natural and engaging dialogue is definitely one of her biggest strengths. Roberts is also adept at tightly weaving personal stories within a suspenseful crime fiction plot, rendering the entire story arc wholly believable and of course, enjoyable.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I loved how this book is comprised of two stories from slightly different genres, but whose story arcs and characters are still connected. It's such a unique book, I think.

Can anyone think of any other author who has written a book or books like this?


  1. Yay me!! I finally read a couple! This month I read Kindred in Death and Promises in Death. I really liked both of them, but really understood in Kindred why many said that everyone takes for granted that Roarke will be participating in every investigation. Anyway, no reviews as of yet, but they're both noted on my May reads on Goodreads (

    I loved Remember When - it was such a great way to tie the two stories together. And, even more, it was the first NR I read in a long time that I really liked. Go figure.

  2. I haven't read these recently, but remember wondering how one author managed to have two distinct voices when writing. *g*
    As for an author who crosses genres with her books tying them together? Jayne Ann Krentz has done this in the past few years. She writes historicals under Amanda Quick and futuristic/paranormal under Jayne Castle.

    I hope you had a nice weekend!

  3. Brandy beat me to it :) I was going to say the Arcane Society series by Krentz... good series.

  4. Mariana-good to know another reader likes the series! (Sorry to hijack your blog for this comment, Christine! *g*)

  5. Lori, you're practically caught up! I am trying to just accept that Roarke will be involved in every darned case in this series. It's driving me a little batty NOW... if I don't accept it, I'll be BONKERS by book 30 or whatever.

    I have to say, I really, really enjoyed Remember When because the stories were different--Nora Roberts vs. JD Robb, but still connected. Fun stuff.

    Brandy, but does Jayne Ann Krentz ever connect the "worlds" of her historicals and paranormals with her books? That's kind of what I was looking for.

    Mariana, ditto to my comment to Brandy. ;)

    Hijack my blog to talk amongst each other anytime! I like it. :D

  6. JAK connects the worlds she writes in by ancestry and a common theme. Her latest, Quicksilver, was the second in her Glass Trilogy, the first was In Too Deep out last year and the third will be out in August under her Jayne Castle name-and will be a futuristic/paranormal. And those three are all part of a series written featuring the Arcane Society. *g*So, worlds within worlds within worlds.

  7. Oh that's so cool! That's exactly what I was asking about... I wasn't sure I was coming across clearly.

  8. Brandy - It's always fun to find someone else that's a fan of something you like :)

    Christine, I may have the first few books, I can give to you if I still have them... I'll look in my remaining boxes. Do you want? It's a good series and a great concept; which she pulls off.

  9. Congrats to Natalie!

    I didn't read any ID novels this month. I did continue with Salvation in Death and I had every intention to read it at the end of the month. But then I discovered Lietha Wards (lots of online reads for free) and read many of them. She writes almost like Diana Palmer: every book seems to have young innocent heroines and wealthy, older alpha males - one of my favorite themes, so I couldn't resist... Hopefully next month I'll finish with Salvation!

  10. Congrats Natalie. I haven't read an In Death book in a while...need to get cracking :)


Leave a comment! I love to hear what YOU think.
[I apologize, but I've had to disallow anonymous users to comment on my blog due to an influx of spam. I'll change it back as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.]