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Reading log: J.D. Robb, Visions in Death

The library coughed up the latest J.D. Robb, Visions in Death, providing a short break in my compulsive reading of things Liaden. The J.D. Robbs are popcorn books for me--fun reading, don't think about them too hard, maybe grab an old one from time to time for a partial re-read, but I don't re-read the whole series ever. This latest one is very much in the pattern: we inch along in the timeline (what's it up to...20 books, but only a couple of years of book time?), Eve resolves a little more of her past, Peabody grows as both a character and career-wise, and the case is all tidied up at the end.

I will admit I didn't see the final twist coming at all--even though I'm the type of mystery reader who never spots the clues, this one seemed to really be pulled out of nowhere. And after I was done racing through the book, I did pause to think: what member of Eve's team is up next for "serious injury in the line of duty"? Or do we go 'round again? I'll also comment that the scene toward the end of digging up the bodies just had very little impact, though it seemed like it was written to try and make the reader feel horrified/wrung out/revolted. Maybe it's just me... But that's OK, it's a popcorn book, and none of these nits kept me from enjoying it.

Digression on authors and/or series moving from paperback to hardback: I know this is regarded as a Desirable Thing, and presumably it generally leaves the author better off. (Not that Nora Roberts needs much of a boost in that regard.) For my popcorn books, though, this strategy fails. I won't buy these sort of books hardback, and I may not purchase a copy even when the paperback comes out. If I'm still reading the series, I'll get the book from the library, read it, and I'm done. If the series had remained in paper, I'd have bought it hot off the presses, but having read it, I'll think hard about whether I care to get a keeper copy. As I have to wait a year before that paperback is available, I'm likely to forget about it anyway. and they've lost the sale altogether. But one assumes that I'm atypical, as the jumps to hardback keep on coming.

And on the Liaden front, the UPS tracking site says my package from BN.com with Balance of Trade will be delivered tomorrow. That beats Amazon all hollow, especially as I selected the "free shipping, send it via ox-cart" option when I ordered on Sunday night.

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Fish-Fred
nlbarber
Nancy Barber

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