Witness in Death (book #63) – contains spoilers for this and other books

JD Robb (Nora Roberts), 2004.

2009 was the year of Nora Roberts, among other things, for me.

This particular one is interesting because it references the great British 1920s-1950s detective novels, and in particular the murder-within-a-play trope – as in Innes’s Hamlet, Revenge!, for instance. The identity of the murderer also follows these patterns, paralleling texts like Ngaio Marsh’s Artists in Crime (the murder in this doesn’t take place on stage but is set-up theatrically), Enter a Murderer and one of Innes’s short stories in which an actor playing Othello murders the actor playing Desdemona. It’s as if the guilt has to be completely in the hands of the person who “acts” the murder.

In my tradition of finding words to live by in non-literary fiction, I liked this at the end:

“‘You can’t go back. Can’t fix what broke. But you can go forward. And every step matters. Every one makes a difference.'”

Nora Roberts is incredibly prolific. Her Wikipedia page links to a list of 186 books (excluding novellas, short stories and compilations).

I liked this from Wikipedia, given our current weather: “She began to write during a blizzard in February, 1979 while housebound with her two small boys. Roberts states that with three feet of snow, a dwindling supply of chocolate, and no morning kindergarten she had little else to do”.

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