Eve Dallas, hard-as-nails cop in a futuristic New York City, has her hands full in this installment of the long-running mystery series. She is called to investigate a murder involving the deaths of two employees at a prestigious accounting firm. She can't help but be distracted, however, by the baby shower she is hosting, not to mention the childbirth classes that her best friend, Mavis, drags her and Rourke to. Eve and her husband Rourke have agreed - internally kicking and screaming every inch of the way - to be labor coaches for Mavis, who is nearing the end of her third trimester of pregnancy. The thought of attending the childbirth makes Eve's knees turn to water. She'd far rather contemplate the double homicide. At least with that, she is confident in her abilities to track down the murderer.
Further distractions ensue when Mavis's friend from childbirth class, also near to her due date, mysteriously disappears. Mavis begs Eve to find her. At first Eve thinks that there must be an easy, logical explanation for Tandy's absence from the baby shower. But soon it appears that Tandy was taken against her will. They are desperate to find her before she delivers the baby because they fear that, if the baby is the reason she was abducted, her life will be forfeit once the child is born.
The mystery was fairly interesting, but events in Eve's personal life were far more compelling to me in this installment. The grim events of the murders, and the depths to which people are willing to descend in order to obtain wealth and power are relieved by the humor and witty dialog portrayed in the personal side of Eve's life. There were strands of the mystery that seemed a bit too contrived for believability, but as usual, I was too immersed in the fun of the story to care very much about that.
As always, Susan Ericksen narrates the stories brilliantly, creating even more vivid images in my mind than when I read the books to myself. I love the accents and voices she does, particularly Eve's partner Peabody's - she just makes me want to give Peabody a hug every time she's in a scene. I did have to laugh, though, at the voice Ericksen gives Trina, as I believe I've mentioned before - it really brings to mind Roz from the movie Monsters, Inc. And Dallas's computer's voice sounds almost exactly like the voice of Plankton's computer wife in SpongeBob Squarepants. Yes, I'm totally mature and sophisticated. I suppose there's a good reason I'm a children's librarian!
I do enjoy the mystery element of this series, but it is the characters and their relationships with each other that have truly won my heart. Robb has created a wide-ranging cast of characters and brings them to life with consummate skill, so that over the years I've been reading this series, they have become very dear to me, and I look forward to spending time with them each time I open one of these books.
Books (and short stories) in the Eve Dallas series:
1. Naked in Death
2. Glory in Death
3. Immortal in Death
4. Rapture in Death
5. Ceremony In Death
6. Vengeance in Death
7. Holiday in Death
"Midnight in Death" (in Silent Night)
8. Conspiracy in Death
9. Loyalty in Death
10. Witness in Death
11. Judgment in Death
12. Betrayal in Death
"Interlude in Death" (in Out of This World)
13. Seduction in Death
14. Reunion In Death
15. Purity in Death
16. Portrait in Death
17. Imitation in Death
Remember When (spin-off book with section featuring Eve)
18. Divided in Death
19. Visions in Death
20. Survivor in Death
21. Origin in Death
22. Memory in Death
"Haunted in Death" (in Bump in the Night)
23. Born in Death
24. Innocent in Death
"Eternity in Death" (in Dead of Night)
25. Creation in Death
26. Strangers in Death
"Ritual in Death" (in Suite 606)
27. Salvation In Death
28. Promises in Death
29. Kindred in Death
"Missing in Death" (in The Lost)
30. Fantasy in Death (2010)
Born in Death (#23 in the Eve Dallas series) by J.D. Robb; narrated by Susan Ericksen (Brilliance Audio, 2006)
Also reviewed at:
Breeni Books: "Another witty Eve Dallas novel, Born in Death creates possibly the most humorous setting yet for the hardened cop."
Confessions of a Bibliophile: "I liked the way the cases wrapped up, and Eve’s discomfort with Mavis’s pregnancy is just icing on the cake."
Dear Author: "As always, there is a good police procedure story at the core. It’s a pleasure watch Eve Dallas unravel the mystery."