J.D. Robb discussion

Strangers in Death (In Death, #26)
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In Death Buddy Reads 2016 - 2021 > Strangers In Death - July 2018

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Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Our next In Death buddy read is Strangers in Death. Open discussion will begin on the 8th. Feel free to join us!

Synopsis/Blurb:
In 2060 New York, some murders still get more attention than others, especially those in which the victim is a prominent businessman, found in his Park Avenue apartment, tied to the bed—and strangled with cords of black velvet. Fortunately, homicide cop Lieutenant Eve Dallas's billionaire husband, Roarke, happens to own the prime real estate where Thomas Anders's sporting-goods firm is headquartered, giving her some help with access. Before long, she's knocking on doors—and barging through them—to look for the answers she needs.

But some things don't add up—and everyone's alibi checks out, from the wife who was off in the tropics to the nephew who stood to inherit millions. Was this a crime of passion—or a carefully planned execution? It's up to Dallas to solve this sensational case in which those who seem to be intimates sometimes guard secrets from each other—and strangers may be connected in unexpected, and deadly, ways. . . .

Timeline: Story begins on Tuesday, March 18, 2060.

Characters:
Eve Dallas
Roarke
David Baxter
Ryan Feeney
Mavis Freestone
Nadine Furst
Ian McNab
Charlotte Mira
Delia Peabody
Lawrence Summerset
Troy Trueheart
Jack Whitney
Galahad
Morris
Cher Reo
Harrison Tibble
Minor & Peripheral Characters:
(view spoiler)


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
After a novella last month, I'm looking forward to getting back into a full length story! Ready for more Eve & Roarke?? I know I am!


Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments It's already on hold for me at the library, so yes!


Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams (goodreadscomcookiew1801) | 1379 comments Will start it on 7 July. Can wait, love Eve and Roarke


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments I'm in.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (cruelshoes) | 526 comments have in on kindle ready to read


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
I'm going to start my reread by midweek. :)


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 992 comments I'm done. I enjoyed the investigation. Looking forward to the discussion.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Open discussion starts in 2 days! I'm finally into my reread.


Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments I have it, need to find a space/time opening to read it, perhaps on Monday. I'll catch up with discussion when I'm finished.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
This is now a Spoiler Zone. Feel free to openly discuss Strangers in Death.

There's a whole lot of relationship development going on in this one (which I love) and some major issues are faced head-on with characters taking pretty big steps forward. Share your thoughts.

The case is an interesting one to me in that Eve is sure of the villain early on from her uncanny "gut instinct", but she has to work through the case as she would any other and figure out the logistics of how the suspect pulled it off. How did the case play out for you? Who was your suspect & why?


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments In the relationship realm...

It is so realistic that Eve has feelings lingering regarding Magda-bitch. When she admitted that Ava reminded her of Magdelana. It feels like she doesn't want to tell Roarke. However, they are honest with each other so she had to admit to wanting the "revenge by proxy." I love when Roarke responded that he will enjoy some of the satisfaction as well and thanks Eve.

Also the up and down with Louise and Charles was an exciting subplot. The twist that Charles is uncomfortable with his profession and not Louise is interesting. Eve is more in line with the way I would feel. Love that Roarke offers his garden for the wedding. Eve's trauma over the responsibilities of maid of honor and her growing circle of friends and all it requires of her.


message 13: by Sandra (last edited Jul 08, 2018 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "In the relationship realm...

It is so realistic that Eve has feelings lingering regarding Magda-bitch. When she admitted that Ava reminded her of Magdelana. It feels like she doesn't want to tell ..."


I really enjoyed Roarke & Eve in this one. It feels like they took another giant step. Their differences on issues of money - Roarke's dismay over Eve "running short" when he owns most of the world - Eve's determination to earn her own money...it was good to seem them work through it and compromise.

On the issue of Charles & Louise - I'm solidly in Eve's camp on this one. No way I could ever handle his profession. It just feels like betrayal in the most intimate form. But I applaud Louise for treating it as a "profession" & not making it personal. Still - I loved seeing them move forward. Great story.

I also loved seeing Eve "mother" Feeney. It's a heart-touching scene as she bundles him up & has him delivered to a medical clinic. Interesting to me that even in the "future", their still isn't a "cure" for the flu.

Also have to mention Peabody & Eve. I love their evolving relationship, both work & friendship, & comfort level with each other. So many hilarious scenes when Peabody is involved - especially when she refers to her big a** (her words). lol I also loved Eve pushing her to do the interview with Nadine. Peabody was hurt for the couple of moments that Eve let her think she didn't bother to watch the broadcast...and she was beaming when Eve commented, "You didn't screw it up." Love these characters.


message 14: by Mara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 633 comments I am just about finished with STRANGERS IN DEATH. I got a few good laughs out of this book. In reading where Charles gave up his LC license in this book, I could have sworn in happened in a later book. I still love it when Charles calls Eve LT. SUGAR. To me it’s term of endearment on the friend side.

I so wanted to throw a cream pie at Ava’s ex. Such a slime ball. He tried to endear her with LT. SUGAR type, but didn’t come off as well as Charles’s.

Would love to see Tico and his Gma again.


message 15: by Lauren (last edited Jul 09, 2018 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 992 comments I enjoyed this one a lot and figured out the culprits from the start mainly because the title clued me in to the "Strangers on a Train" plot.

I enjoyed the relationship developments and agree that Roarke and Eve's discussion of finances was realistic and another step in the right direction for them.

Charles and Louise are so sweet together. I knew his issues had to do with wanting to propose to Louise. I love how she said she would set all his stuff on fire if he was dumping her, lol!

@Sandra - yes, I also caught the fact that there still isn't a cure for the common cold even though medicine has advanced so much. It's another fantastic nuance in the setting.

@Mara - Oh, I also hope we see more of Tico and his gran. I loved Tico and Eve's interactions. She is so good with the kids in the series.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "I enjoyed this one a lot and figured out the culprits from the start mainly because the title clued me in to the "Strangers on a Train" plot.

I enjoyed the relationship developments and agree tha..."


I, too, enjoyed the "Strangers On A Train" reference....the idea of 2 strangers killing "strangers" for each other is both unbelievable & fascinating. Loved following the case through Eve's mind as she unraveled it. She knew the "who", but had to figure out the "how". It really took off for her when Roarke referenced the "Strangers On A Train" to her.

I'm such a fan of Charles & Louise. Interesting that his profession bothered him more than Louise when it came to their moving forward & him asking her to marry him. He fumbled it big time, and she thought he was breaking things off. Also loved her telling him she had already planned to set his stuff on fire.

I'm a big fan of Tico & his grandmother. And I love lemon pie! lol


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments On the relationship question, what I like about the way Robb develops her characters is that their disagreements are realistic. For example, the argument between Roarke and Eve about money is understandable for what we know about these two at this point.

Roarke is a man who has so much and wants everything for the woman he loves. He gave her access to his safes, personal accounts, etc. but she does use it. My guess is he is hurt more than angry.

From Eve's perspective, she has come from nothing and needs to feel her independence. For too many years she had no control over her life. In addition, she hears comments that she married Roarke for his money. No matter how much he wants her it she can't let go of her freedom and take money from him. Like she said it wouldn't matter how much or how little he had, she needs to have her own. When they both have their say, talk it out, they see both sides and compromise. I love that.

It makes me crazy when authors (primarily romance) set up stupid fights that don't make sense for the characters they developed up to that point of the story and the characters reactions are over the top.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
And speaking of Roarke & all his wealth and the fact he wants to give Eve everything, I literally laughed out loud upon reading the last paragraph in this book:

"Roarke settled in her visitor's chair. He took out his PPC and amused himself by checking the stock reports on Anders. He thought it might be quite fitting to buy up the shares formerly owned by Ava Anders. And put them in Eve Dallas's name."

Imagine her horror!! HAHA


message 19: by Sharon (last edited Jul 10, 2018 08:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "And speaking of Roarke & all his wealth and the fact he wants to give Eve everything, I literally laughed out loud upon reading the last paragraph in this book:

"Roarke settled in her visitor's ch..."


LOL Yes. Didn't he buy a pizza place for her book too? Or is that in a future installment? I hope Eve finds out about all these little "gifts"


Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams (goodreadscomcookiew1801) | 1379 comments I don't have much to say about this story because it was fun watching the ups and downs up Eve and Rock finding out who who was the murderer. One of my favorite scenes is when Eva is taken care of of Feeney and she treats him like he is a baby and she's afraid of getting his cold.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 12 comments Barbara "Cookie" wrote: "I don't have much to say about this story because it was fun watching the ups and downs up Eve and Rock finding out who who was the murderer. One of my favorite scenes is when Eva is taken care of ..."

Rock? Is Dwane Johnson in this one? Does he battle biplanes from the top of Roarke's midtown office?


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13740 comments Mod
Kirsten, Cookie uses the app that doesn’t allow for editing. This is obviously a typo.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Barbara "Cookie" wrote: "I don't have much to say about this story because it was fun watching the ups and downs up Eve and Rock finding out who who was the murderer. One of my favorite scenes is when Eva is taken care of ..."

That's one of my favorite scenes too, Cookie. I love Eve with Feeney and liked how we hear her thoughts about him being a father-figure to her in this one.

Always love Roarke & Eve working together. It's beginning to seem and feel very natural for Eve to include him (the civilian) in her investigations now. And Roarke really seems to like using some of his "old skills" to help her solve cases.


Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams (goodreadscomcookiew1801) | 1379 comments I did this on my iPhone have to learn how to use my new computer.


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan (cruelshoes) | 526 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "Sharon wrote: "In the relationship realm...

It is so realistic that Eve has feelings lingering regarding Magda-bitch. When she admitted that Ava reminded her of Magdelana. It feels like she doesn'..."


This was a major thorn in my side. the fact that she does not use Roarkes money when she is short. I felt so bad for Roarke as he has worked so hard and feels the most love to provide for Eve and she just ignores it. I understand she wants to stand on her own two feet but come on Roarke and she had nothing and now at least Roarke has all the money he could ever use and is furious when Eve goes dry in the wallet. To me that is a snub in the fact to Roarke. I do not believe there was a compromise. In the end she will pay him back???? She has to give a bit in this and take when she needs it. She does not seem to mind when she finds gloves mysteriously appearing in her coat pockets. Perhaps Roarke now has to add a bit of scratch to the pockets as well?? Sorry I rambled but I just felt so bad for Roarke in this.


Patty | 521 comments I always think she has to be making pretty good money in her job and what does she spend her money on that she would run low? I run low because I have a house payment and car payment......I don't think Eve has any of those expenses. Roarke seems to pay for everything. This always runs in the back of my mind when she talks about running low on money. Maybe in one of the books there is some info on what she does with her paychecks and I just don't remember.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 12 comments Jonetta wrote: "Kirsten, Cookie uses the app that doesn’t allow for editing. This is obviously a typo."

I was just having a little fun.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 12 comments Patty wrote: "I always think she has to be making pretty good money in her job and what does she spend her money on that she would run low? I run low because I have a house payment and car payment......I don't t..."

The problem with Eve is she has bank accounts she doesn't know about. Also, in one of the books, we discover that she gets anything made by Roark Industries for free.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments Patty wrote: "I always think she has to be making pretty good money in her job and what does she spend her money on that she would run low? I run low because I have a house payment and car payment......I don't t..."

I believe they are talking about cash money. She has money on her cards but the weasels don't take credit or ATM cards. It made sense to me that she didn't have time to replenish her cash as 9 times out of 10 I only have cards too. When we have donations at work I always have to say, I'll get back to you tomorrow. I refuse to pay the "not my bank" fees with the bank close to the office even though I can afford the $2.50. It is the principle.

Roarke likes to travel with a roll of cash. I think that is his thing.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 12 comments Sharon wrote: "Patty wrote: "I always think she has to be making pretty good money in her job and what does she spend her money on that she would run low? I run low because I have a house payment and car payment...."

Only $2.50? They're getting ever more expensive here. Can't remember the last time I used an ATM. I usually just ask for change at the grocery store.

You're right about Roarke and the cash. Most rich people like to have a wad.


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan (cruelshoes) | 526 comments my wad is $20.00 in one dollar bills makes my wad look bigger that it is. LOL


Phrynne | 323 comments I just finished this one and loved every minute of it. So many lovely moments, mostly between Roarke and Eve but then there's the engagement too which was beautifully done.
As to the money, it is one of the biggest causes of disputes in marriages so they do well to raise it and reach some sort of a compromise.


message 33: by Sandra (last edited Jul 10, 2018 03:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
I agree, Phrynne. Money is probably one of the top issues in marriages. Also, this is just my opinion and take on it, but I didn't feel that Roarke was angry about Eve not asking or accepting his money so much as "hurt" by it. He wants to give her the world and she wants to make sure it's clear she doesn't & never has wanted him for his money. Plus, even with all her love for Roarke, she has a need to provide for herself. He has a need to provide for her. At least, they are able to talk issues like this through now.


Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams (goodreadscomcookiew1801) | 1379 comments Every woman deserve a Roarke in their life. Someone who want to get them everything. The money means everything to Roarke but nothing to Eve. So sometimes they will fight about it. It's better to fight about have money then not have it.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "I agree, Phrynne. Money is probably one of the top issues in marriages. Also, this is just my opinion and take on it, but I didn't feel that Roarke was angry about Eve not asking or accepting his m..."

I agree with your take on the money issue Sandra. What I meant by arealistic argument is money, too much, not enough, who manages it, who spends it, etc. is a real issue for couples. All of us in a relationship have this discussion throughout our relationship.

So many books (I've read 3 recently) resort to the local gossip or the known troublemaker stops by to tell one or the other character that s/he were caught with an ex or something similar and the main character runs off without a discussion. To me that isn't real. At a minimum I would need to call my SO a jerk to his face. They forget how important communication is in any successful relationship.

Robb always has Eve and Roarke talk through their problems even if it takes most of the book to get there.


message 36: by Mara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 633 comments With the rereading of the IN DEATH series, I am learning things that I missed the first time.

I can understand why Eve wants to live off her salary, rather than ask Roarke for money when she runs short It's the matter of pride, even when Roarke practically owns most of the universe. I can understand why Roarke was upset with Eve for not asking, he doesn't want to see that she without. It hurt his pride that Eve wouldn't come to him.

I think that in each book Eve learns how much money she has in her own private account that Roarke set up for.

I think in one book where Eve wants Louise to her help her, and Louise was hesitant. Eve turned to Roarke asked how much money she, Roarke told, she just about fell over. She told Louise she was donating so much money to the clinic Louise ran on the poor side of town. Then she had second thoughts and wondered if that wasn't a bribe. But she gave Louise the money anyway for the clinic.

Are Louise and Charles ever going to get married????? J.D. is drawing this out about as long as she drew Mavis's pregnancy out--FOREVER!!!!!


Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments I was sure that Eve was at least going to question Charles' output of money for a house because of his connection with Ava. I was sure he was guilty of nothing on Ava's behalf, but was surprised Eve didn't take him aside to inquire.

I did like to see Ava crumble; the drama that was set up at Headquarters had a cast of dozens! I enjoyed that, but still didn't expect Ava to crack that fast.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "I agree, Phrynne. Money is probably one of the top issues in marriages. Also, this is just my opinion and take on it, but I didn't feel that Roarke was angry abo..."

I agree, Sharon. Money issues & all that entails is a huge thing to work out in many marriages.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 992 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "I didn't feel that Roarke was angry about Eve not asking or accepting his money so much as "hurt" by it. He wants to give her the world and she wants to make sure it's clear she doesn't & never has wanted him for his money. "

This was my take as well. I didn't get the impression that Eve was rejecting Roarke's money so much as not wanting to give the impression that it played a factor in her decision to marry him.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 992 comments Sharon wrote: "So many books (I've read 3 recently) resort to the local gossip or the known troublemaker stops by to tell one or the other character that s/he were caught with an ex or something similar and the main character runs off without a discussion."

I despise these lack of communication and silly misunderstanding tropes. It is one of the reasons I stopped reading CR for many years. Now I avoid these and read books that don't use them.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 992 comments One thing I would like to have seen in the book is Ben's reaction to the revelation that Ava killed his uncle. This plot point lacked closure.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "One thing I would like to have seen in the book is Ben's reaction to the revelation that Ava killed his uncle. This plot point lacked closure."

I agree. I was expecting a scene with Ben's reaction. Maybe even a scene where he has a chance to confront Ava.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments I expected a final scene with Ben too as Ava killed his surrogate father and grandfather then played him.


Barbara "Cookie" Serfaty Williams (goodreadscomcookiew1801) | 1379 comments I didAva was to cool, she think she can talk him into help her and that it was someone else and Eve was wrong and hate her because she was a better person


Phrynne | 323 comments I thought it was strange that Ben just disappeared from the action too!


Sheri Morell (smorell22) | 2165 comments Have most of the audibles of this series but for some reason I apparently don't have Strangers in Death. will hope to get this one read soon.


Karen ♐ (kmk1214) | 779 comments Just finished this one today. I loved it! Strangers on a Train is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies so as soon as there were 2 murders and Eve was so sure it was Ava killing her husband, I then looked at the title again and it hit me!

There were so many good parts in this book in addition to the crimes. I was really getting worried about Charles & Louise. I kept wondering if she was now upset about his "profession". I'm so happy he's given up that life and will now be a therapist. I hope we continue to see more of this couple. They are one of my supporting character favorites (Peabody & McNab are definitely my favorite!)

I also really enjoyed Feeney and Eve when he was sick. One thing I find amazing is how Susan Ericksen can continue to do all of these different voices/accents. The ones that stand out in this book was Feeney when he was sick (hilarious!) and Greta, Ava's housekeeper. I do think part of the reason that I love this series so much is the narrator. She is fantastic.

I wondered what happened with Ben also. Did he confront Ava? I wish we had found out.

I guess the money situation didn't really bother me. There are many couples where one person makes more money than another and I think can run into some of the same problems Eve and Roarke did.

Sandra, I really love Roarke working with Eve more and more on her cases too.

I hope Baxter and Trueheart continue to be involved in future books. I really love both of those characters. I loved the scene where Baxter and Eve played the good cop, bad cop.

I've started to highlight some of my favorite scenes. I loved when Feeney was begging Eve to get him back to work and said "I've so much chicken soup down me, I'm starting to cluck"

But my favorite passage for Eve and Roarke was him saying
"Every minute with you, I'm alive. I never knew before there were pieces of me unborn, just waiting for you. I'm alive with you, Eve."


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2551 comments Great observations Karen.

I love the Eve and Roarke quote you mentioned too. There are so many good ones throughout the series.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10533 comments Mod
Karen ♐ wrote: "Just finished this one today. I loved it! Strangers on a Train is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies so as soon as there were 2 murders and Eve was so sure it was Ava killing her husband, I then l..."

Ericksen certainly brings these characters & stories to life! One of the best, imo! And, yes, I love that quote. Roarke is simply amazing.


message 50: by Karen (last edited Aug 06, 2018 01:55PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen (rhyta) | 174 comments Finished Strangers last night, still running a bit behind but will get caught up soon.

It's been awhile since I first read Strangers so there was a bunch of things I forgot about it. I knew Ava was involved but forgot the "stranger" angle...duh. The money is a big deal and I think Eve should learn to make exceptions once in a while but they worked it out. So happy for Charles and Louise, glad to see them progressing with their relationship.

Glad someone pointed out the lack of closure with Ben, I was wondering if Ava was going to go for him next and Eve would have to stop her.

Eve had some nice moments, especially with Tico and his Grandma. Giving the pie to Sommerset was priceless..LOL

The only minus for me was how downright cruel she was to Suzanne. I agree that a price has to be paid for killing an innocent man but it just seemed to me that Eve took all her anger at Ava out on Suzanne. Abused wives get blamed for not leaving the spouse and it isn't always so cut and dried. I was with Mira , she deserved to be pitied, IMHO.


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