I have read every In Death book and novella, and continue to enjoy them. With that said, some books are better than others. Now that Eve and Roarke have been married for a few years, much of the angst that spiced up the books is gone, which makes the books feel a little flat. With that said, I really enjoyed Festive in Death, not so much because of the mystery, which was pretty good, but because we got more of Eve in the real world.
Growing up the way she did, Eve struggles with social norms, which she calls “rules”, such as marriage rules or friendship rules. It was fun to see her better navigate present buying and hosting a party than she had in previous books, although it still caused her a lot of stress. She’d rather be dealing with a dead body than be dressed up and schmoozing.
She made a deal with Sommerset that required her to help in the pre-party preparations, which allowed us to see doing everyday home stuff…at least more every day for someone married to the ultra-rich Roarke.
I loved the present exchange between her and Roarke, again seeing them at home together, without murder necessarily being in the mix.
The murder was well done as well, better than in a few of the previous books. Often it’s easy to know and even Eve figures out the murderer early in the books, which really makes the books about how she proves it. But Festive in Death had a nice little twist, just when we were sure she had the right guy.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and love being able to stay with Eve, Roarke and the rest of the crew over so many years and books (nearly 40 books). However, I do think that Robb will need to pick up the angst in the next book(s) a little bit. Perhaps by bringing murder a little closer to her inner circle.