The In Death series of books by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym J.D. Robb is set in the mid twenty first century in New York City. They follow the career of Eve Dallas, a police lieutenant, and her husband, Roarke.
The stories regularly include other characters such as Captain Ryan Feeney, Detective Ian McNab, Detective Delia Peabody, and Dr. Charlotte Mira.
Starting in 1995 the series has become very popular and there are now 68 books in the series. Each book is a standalone mystery, but there are regular characters in the series, so character development does occur.
About The In Death Series
The In Death series of books by J.D. Robb began in 1995 with the first Eve Dallas novel called Naked In Death. Since then the author has produced multiple books each year.
The stories are romantic suspense novels but with a heavy leaning toward mystery crime thrillers.
The novels are futuristic, set in the mid 21st century, so there are some off-planet tales too. However, the series is mostly centered around the relationship between Eve and her husband, Roarke.
In Death Series Books In Order
A senator’s daughter is killed and the secret life she’s been leading is revealed. This puts Eve Dallas in the world of politics and high society.
When she starts to suspect Roarke, an Irish billionaire, she is torn as she also finds herself attracted to him.
- First in the series introducing Eve Dallas
- Fast-paced and entertaining
- Overuse of sex scenes
Despite technology wiping out violent hereditary traits through genetic testing, murders still happen.
Eve Dallas now has two murders to deal with. Both were beautiful and highly successful women who were well-known in the city.
As were their relationships with powerful and wealthy men which has given Eve a possible list of suspects.
- Well written
- Good plot lines and characters
- Scene movement is not clear from the writing
The third book from the In Death series sees Eve Dallas investigating the murder of a top model.
A woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted, even if that was another woman’s man. Eve Dallas risks everything to get to the truth.
- Solid characterizations and plot
- Story flows well
- Too much information crammed into one book
Three apparently unrelated suicides, all died with smiles on their faces.
Eve Dallas investigates the possible cause and finds evidence of burns on their brains. Her instincts are proven right she is led to the world of virtual reality games.
Can something used for fun also be used for more sinister purposes?
- Interesting storyline
- The relationship between Eve and Roarke develops
- Roarke’s sex appeal is overdone
Eve Dallas is investigating the death of a fellow police officer and is treading on dangerous ground. She has to put professional ethics before her personal loyalties.
A dead body placed outside her home gives Eve cause to think this is personal. This could be the most dangerous case of her career.
- Action-packed suspense
- Intriguing plot line
- Eve comes off as arrogant
The torture and murder of two male victims has Eve Dallas hunting a madman with the mind of a genius and the heart of a killer.
Quietly stalking his prey he strikes before the police can act despite sending them cryptic riddles beforehand.
Alarmingly these deaths seem to be somehow connected to her husband, Roarke.
- Action, intrigue, and love
- Excellent continuation of the series
- Graphic murder scene
A dating service that brings lonely hearts together, Personally Yours has been linked to some ritualistic murders.
Eve Dallas enters the world of people looking for their own true love while a killer is searching for his next victim.
The power of love also has the power to kill.
- Well developed storyline
- Easy to read
- Can be a bit predictable
Eve Cassidy has made it to a Christmas list, but this is not one she would want to be on. A serial killer that she put behind bars is out for revenge and has Eve firmly in his sights.
With her husband at her side, Lieutenant Eve Dallas has to stop the killer from exacting his vengeance.
- Well written novella
- Epilogue to Holiday in Death
- More horror genre than a murder mystery
A serial killer that operates with the precision of a surgeon has Eve Dallas involved in a cat-and-mouse game. But with few clues, it will be a struggle. And to cap it all suddenly her job is on the line.
Eve now has to fight for justice and her career.
- Lots of character development
- Shows Eve’s strength of character
Eve gets taunting letters from a ‘secret admirer’ who is threatening to blow up the city and wreak havoc on the ‘corrupt masses’.
When he threatens those closest to her, Eve fights back to protect her friends, her city, and her job.
Racing against time, she has to stop him before the city falls.
- Minor characters shine in this book
- Detailed plot
- Lots of sex scenes begin to feel like padding
In this story, Eve Dallas is both a witness to and investigator of a murder.
An actor is killed on the opening night of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, right in front of the audience. It doesn’t help that Roarke, her husband, owns the theater where it happened.
- A great addition to the series
- The characters are very believable
- The first half is a bit slow paced
A cop is bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat in an uptown strip club. The motive is a mystery and Eve Dallas is going to need all her skills to get to the bottom of this murder.
Her investigation uncovers a private club called Purgatory, and it’s not a pleasant place.
- The plot brings out some conflicts with the main characters
- Delves into Eve’s and Roarke’s past lives
- Not the best in the series
At the luxurious hotel owned by Roarke a maid is murdered, and strangled by a thin wire.
The murderer is Sly Yost, a hitman for the elite and someone Eve Dallas knows. But knowing the killer is not the same as solving the crime.
Someone else is involved, someone who may be targeting her husband.
- Well paced story
- More insight into Roarke’s past
- The ending leaves readers hanging
This time Eve Dallas is off planet, attending a law enforcement conference at a luxury resort owned by her husband, Roarke.
When a murder occurs she finds that the case is complicated by her personal history with the victim and her husband’s history with the killer.
- Original storyline for the series
- Well-written short story
- Lacking suspense
Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas is hunting a Casanova killer who has killed his victim with a date rape drug that is usually undetectable.
But it looks to Eve as if he didn’t actually mean to kill the woman but now that he has, will he do it again?
- Gripping story with twists and turns
- Engaging dialogue
- Nasty topic
A surprise birthday party ends in tragedy when a woman with red hair and green eyes hands the guest of honor a glass of champagne. Within minutes, he’s dead. And nobody at the party knows who the woman was.
But Eve does, and it looks as if they’re fated to have a reunion.
- Great ending
- Well developed plot
- A little predictable
A man who has spent three days staring at his computer screen flies into a rage when someone knocks on his door. He kills his visitor with a baseball bat.
When a second victim dies in the same way, Eve begins to think this is a computer virus that can spread to humans.
- Intriguing plot
- Good character development
- Dialogue is flat
The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster. Hours before a news station received a portfolio of professional photos of the same woman.
Nothing unusual about that except she wasn’t a model. And the photos were taken after she was murdered.
Eve is now chasing a murderer who is a perfectionist and an artist.
- Strong female characters
- More backstory on Roarke
- Plot seemed thin
A copycat killer is murdering women in the style of infamous murderers.
Dressed as Jack the Ripper he murders a prostitute, leaving a note for Eve inviting her to play his ‘game’. She now has to find him before he mimics another murderer and kills again.
- Lots of interaction with regular characters
- Good continuation of series
- Some plot holes
A story that spans decades. An antique dealer living in a different century is visited by an old associate of her con-man father with a cryptic warning.
Moments later he is run down in the street. The event will have consequences for Eve Dallas decades in the future.
- A different approach to the Eve Dallas series
- An intriguing mystery in its own right
- Could be confusing for those not familiar with the other books in the series
A former member of the Secret Service and later security expert for Roarke Enterprises is found with the bodies of her husband and best friend. What looks like jealous rage may not be the real answer.
Eve and Roarke work together to find the hackers behind a deadly computer virus.
- Evolving characterizations
- An explosive read
- A little convoluted at times
A body found on rocks near a lake has been placed in a ritualistic pose and with her eyes removed with surgeon-like precision.
Now more bodies are turning up with similar wounds and Eve Dallas is getting frantic.
When a close friend and colleague is targeted she has new motivation to find the killer.
- Good twist at the end
- Sense of urgency well conveyed
- Eve’s recurring dreams become repetitive
A seemingly ordinary family is murdered in their beds with military precision. State-of-the-art security technology was breached, but the killers made the mistake of leaving a survivor.
Now Eve Dallas has to protect this witness, a nine-year-old girl, and find her family’s killers.
- Fast-paced storyline
- Reveals some things about Eve’s past
- Child murder content
The death of a cosmetic surgeon with the precision of a professional killer has Eve Dallas searching for a woman seen leaving the building.
When the doctor’s son is also killed she begins to dig into the family’s past.
What she finds are men who were playing fast and loose with the laws of nature.
- Excellent interpersonal dialog
- Constantly developing characters
- Ending feels rushed
A woman from Eve’s past turns up and stirs up lots of demons for the police lieutenant.
Not least of which are her days as a foster child which left her traumatized. And this woman was the cause of a lot of that trauma.
When she is murdered, Eve must find out why with the help of her husband, Roarke.
- An interesting look into Eve’s past
- Predictable ending
When the owner of a purportedly haunted nightclub is murdered it spooks a lot of people. But Eve Dallas doesn’t believe in ghosts and is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Finding the bones of a famous missing singer behind a wall she has to find out who murdered both of these victims.
- An easy read
- Interesting storyline
- Not as exciting as others in the series
Investigating a double homicide Eve Dallas is asked by her friend Mavis to look into the case of a missing woman from her birthing class. Working on both cases she relies on the help of her husband Roarke.
- Lots going on in this fast-paced story
- Builds on character development
- Plot was a little weak
A history teacher is poisoned with ricin, added to the packed lunch his wife lovingly prepared for him.
Eve has to find out who would poison someone so pleasant and inoffensive. Meanwhile, an old flame of Roarke’s is back in his life and Eve is consumed with jealousy.
Can she focus on the case long enough to solve it?
- Thrilling storyline
- Engaging subplot
- Some gory scenes
A notorious It-girl, Tiara Kent is found dead in her luxurious Manhattan apartment. While seemingly impossible, the death looks like a vampire attack.
To stop hysteria from spreading Eve Dallas has to act fast. Finding Tiara’s secret lover is the first step to solving this mystery.
- Interesting plot line
- Departure from the usual storylines
- Tongue-in-cheek story
A body is found in the park, bearing signs of prolonged torture. This catapults Eve back nine years when four women in fifteen days were killed in a similar fashion.
Everything about this latest victim is somehow connected to Roarke, including the killer’s intended next victim, his wife Eve.
- Authentic page-turner
- One of the series’ creepiest villains
- Focused less on personal relationships between the characters
A prominent businessman is found strangled while tied to his bed. Meanwhile, everyone with a possible motive seems to have a solid alibi including the man’s wife and nephew.
Eve has to find out what they’re hiding from her and from each other to get to the bottom of this murder.
- Engaging plot
- A strong addition to the series
- Quite predictable
Nora Roberts’ pseudonym allowed her to reach a different kind of audience with the series of In Death books.
Previously known for her romance novels, her new persona of J.D. Robb provided her with the opportunity to develop new characters and write for a slightly different genre.
The police lieutenant Eve Dallas, her husband, and colleagues have proven very popular with readers. In fact, Robb often produces two or three of these books every year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many In Death Books Has J.D. Robb Written?
The In Death series of stories features 68 books to date. There are also some short stories and novellas which are occasionally presented as a single book.
Do You Have To Read The In Death Series Of Books In Order?
No, the stories can be read as standalone mysteries, but there is a development of the main characters throughout the series which would be missed by not reading them in order.
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