After 37 very entertaining and successful books, an author should, probably, be permitted to have a book fall short of the others in the series. Concealed in Death is my least favorite in the Eve Dallas series.
I felt that there were some places that just weren’t right; actions that didn’t ring true to the characters. Such as Roarke patting Eve’s rear end as they enter an elevator? That would not happen in a million years. Jokes between Roarke and Dallas about their “next” spouses? Never! the relationship is far too important for them to even joke about such a thing. On one page Eve and Roarke’s conversation is all about a guy’s ‘dick’ (5 times). Their conversations usually aren’t quite so low in tone. Eve is sarcastic, but not crude.
The usual zany and colorful cast and crew of extra characters that has kept the series so vibrant have bit roles in this book and they feel like cardboard cutouts of their former selves. The dialogue between Peabody and Dallas is lacking its personal touches and was almost just at the ‘necessary for business’ level. Perhaps the new forensic lady was brought in to provide conflict in future books, but I was surprised that Eve didn’t come on quite a bit stronger with her, establishing the pecking order as it were. Eve would not be one to be intimidated by someone’s clothes and professional status, so it didn’t feel right. The geek crew is mostly missing. There has always been closeness with Morris; here they barely speak to each other. I could go on.
The mystery itself was okay, but the book as a whole felt like someone who barely knew the people involved had written the book, or some editor was feeling that things should be going in a different direction. Whatever the reason, the book just didn’t work for me. This is the 38th book in the series and I have to say that it has kept fresh for a long time by the characters growing over time. They have remained fresh and fun. Robb set the bar very high with the first 37 books. I will read the next one to see how it goes, but if it’s like Concealed in Death it will probably be the end of the series for me.