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Allowing Character Growth

 

image descriptionOver the years J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) has allowed her In Death characters to change and grow. Even so, some things are expected. Eve Dallas, the main character, is the one who catches details. Delia Peabody, promoted to detective now herself, is the foil for Dallas. That’s what is expected and what works in these novels. Now I’m reading Obsession In Death. I was delighted when I read this as the two are checking security video from the first crime scene in the novel.

“It’s like you saw it before you saw it,” Peabody said.

“Yeah, that doesn’t help her much.” Eve shook it off, zipped through until she saw the door open again. “In and out in what, twenty-seven minutes. Control, that’s control, and that’s purpose. Still carrying the box, still blocking the face.”

“But…Do you see it?”

“I don’t know. What should I see?”

“A jaunty spring to the step. Somebody’s happy, somebody’s feeling really, really good, good enough to strut it out. But still careful, careful enough to block the camera, and all the way out and gone…”

Peabody caught the body language change, not Dallas. The Watson of the two was the more observant at the moment. Peabody may be the sidekick, but Robb doesn’t let her stay there. It’s passages like this that make the reader feel these characters are real. We first met Peabody in a small role as a beat cop in Glory In Death, the second book in the series. Look at her now!

Reply to Comment on Previous Post

 


Sunil left a general comment on the previous post that needed answering. I started to add a comment after hers, but the message was getting pretty long, so I decided to blog it separately.

No, I don’t have any way to sort on my ratings. This site is 11 years old and still has some of the original formatting in places. I know I should learn something like Drupal and migrate, but found the learning curve is more than I want to deal with right now. I wasn’t even able to figure out how to get started after I installed it…

Some of my highly recommended mystery writers:

Margaret MaronThe Bootlegger’s Daughter and follow up books (current day North Carolina, cozy but not cutsie)

Anne Perry – different detective series all historical England, different time periods in the 1800’s to early 1900’s – try Face of a Stranger.

J.D. RobbNaked in Death and the follow ups (future New York City, gritty)

Jacqueline WinspearMaisie Dobbs and follow up books (historical, 1930’s)

For humorous mysteries, check out Lisa Lutz‘s The Spellman Files and two sequels. She’s a new author and these are hilarious. A West Coast Stephanie Plum without the foul mouth or the murders. I hope she maintains after she’s finished the Spellman series – which is planned for four. I’ve given her books to my daughters, my brother, my mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. This is the only author I know that I’ve been able to give to all of those people.

There are many more, so I made myself stop. Yes, I admit my favorite authors tend to be women, but I read a lot of men’s books as well.