33. Born In Death by J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts), 342 pages, Mystery, 2006 (In Death, Book 23). Lieutenant Eve Dallas attempts to solve the murder of 2 accountants at a prestigious firm. From the scene, it looks like one found something off about an account and shared that information with her fiancé who works in another department at the same firm. On the personal front, her best friend Mavis is about to have a baby. But Mavis becomes inconsolable when her new friend in her pregnancy disappears just days before she’s due, and makes Eve promise to find her and make her safe. Dallas runs herself and her family into exhaustion putting both cases to rest as time starts to run out.
34. The Replacement Child by Christine Barber, 271 pages, Mystery, 2008 (Gil Montoya Mystery, Book 1). A murder mystery set in New Mexico, this is Christine Barber’s first novel. It won the Tony Hillerman Prize; I’m a fan of Hillerman’s work. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, as the author and the characters find their voices. By the end, I couldn’t put it down for anything. And I love how the region of Santa Fe and the Hispanic community puts the characters and their subplots into perspective.
35. Innocent In Death by J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts), 385 pages, Mystery, 2007 (In Death, Book 24). Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates the murder of a teacher at a private school, someone who everyone views as an upstanding citizen, loving husband, and enthusiastic educator. Distracting her is the reappearance of her husband’s old flame, intent on rekindling their ancient romance. But the suspect she eventually fixes upon is not one any of her colleagues can accept without overwhelming proof, one considered to be innocent of such motives, much less the means. I actually figured out the culprit long before Eve did, but had a fun read while she caught up.