In Death!

Of late, Misty’s been reading a lot of J.D. “Surely No One Will Guess I’m Nora Roberts” Robb books. I didn’t realize until I saw the third or fourth that all of their titles end “…in Death.” No, really. There’s even an Excel spreadsheet listing all of them.

This seems a lot more restrictive to me than Erle Stanley Gardner’s practice of starting the titles of all of his Perry Mason mysteries with “The Case of the…”, or how every Friends episode title was “The One…” I’ve been having fun coming up with new titles, like “Murder in Death” or “Living in Death”. Try it! It’s entertaining!

Maybe we can create something like Together, They Fight Crime!, where two random character descriptions are smushed together, ending with, “Together, they fight crime!”

Only, you know, they fight crime in death.

9 thoughts on “In Death!

  1. I love those books, but as I got confused with all the “in death” titles I never know which ones I have read when I go to the library to order them. I am going to the spreadsheet. It sounds like a silly idea until you realise…hey I need that….Now I just meed one for the Merry Gentry books and the Anita Blake ones…..
    ” The case of Merry Gentry and Anita Blake , together they fight crime in death.”

  2. My wife has been reading the Robb books for a few years now. Not only are the titles practically indistinguishable, but the paperback covers are almost invariably some anonymous monochromatic street scene overlaid with moody color.

    And my wife generally has to read the back cover and then read bits of the first few chapters before she can determine whether she’s read any given book before. I think she’s managed to avoid buying any one twice so far.

  3. I’ve never really understood why successful, published authors would write under another name for some books. (And I really don’t get why Nora Roberts decided that it’d be cute to write a book “with” her pseudonym– really, Nora? Really?)

    I now want to write a book called Fighting Crime in Death.

  4. Love love love the JD Robb books – completely different flavor from the Nora Roberts books. Love the Nora books too though!

  5. Anna,

    My understanding is that authors sometimes haul out a pseudonym when what they’re writing is markedly different than what they normally write and want to distinguish between the two. That’s ignoring the cases where a writer took a pseudonym because their earlier career tanked, and publishers felt their old name was now unsaleable (c.f. Robin Hobb).

  6. You wanna know the way I’m telling them apart?

    I’m obsessively reading them in order from start to finish.

    Take that OCD!

  7. This gets me thinking of Dragnet, wherein every episode title began with “The Big…”. It’s interesting because if JD Robb were to team up with Jack Webb, they’d produce “The Big Death”, which sounds like something Raymond Chandler would write.

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