Tuesday, 11 December 2001

J.D. Robb: Holiday in Death (1999)

Edition: Berkley, 1998
Review number: 1008

From almost the very start of crime fiction as a recognised genre, detective stories have been produced which bring murder into the context of Christmas festivities. There are novels by Christie and Marsh which do this, though Robb is clearly more closely following the example of Ed McBain. The homicide and suicide rates do increase around Christmas time, which is a stressful time for many people, but that isn't the only reason why such novels are produced. There is of course the obvious commercial reason, that a Christmas theme ties in to the highest sales period, but there is also some fascination in the idea of violence marring the season of goodwill. In this novel, Eve Dallas is combining the search for a serial killer dressed in a Santa suit who gives his victims jewellery with themes from the successive verses of the Twelve Days of Christmas with gearing up to celebrate her first festive season as wife of billionaire Roarke.

The Christmas theme makes Holiday in Death a bit different from the earlier novels in this enjoyable series, but generally it is the mixture as before.

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