In the spring of 1995, J.D. Robb's first book, Naked in
Death, appeared on bookshelves with very little
fanfare. Robb introduced readers to New York City in the
near future, 2058 to be exact, as seen through the eyes of
Eve Dallas, a detective with the New York City Police and
Safety Department. The Gothic Journal hailed Robb's work
as "a unique blend of hard-core police drama, science
fiction and passionate romance" while The Paperback Forum
called it "a fantastic new detective series."
The popularity of that first book built up through the
release of the subsequent Eve Dallas books, Glory In
Death, Immortal In Death, Rapture In Death, Ceremony In
Death, Vengeance in Death, Holiday In Death, Conspiracy in
Death, Readers were taken with Eve Dallas'
integrity, strength and heart and her burgeoning
relationship with the mysterious Roarke.
It's been a fairly open secret that J.D. Robb is the
pseudonym of the more familiar New York Times bestselling
author Nora Roberts. But Ms. Roberts, and her publisher,
Berkley, were content to let the Robb books build slowly
with very little tie-in to the Nora Roberts' style of
The pragmatic reason for creating J.D. Robb was the
astounding pace at which Nora Roberts produces books. With
nearly 100 published books to her credit by 1995, she had
built up a surplus of titles to be released by her
publishers, Berkley and Silhouette, and still was creating
more. Reluctant to publish romantic suspense books akin to
what she was already writing under a pseudonym, Ms. Roberts
was convinced that readers would enjoy romantic suspense
with a difference. Thus J.D. Robb was born. The initials
were taken from Ms. Roberts' sons, Jason and Dan, while
Robb was a shortened form of Roberts.
"I wanted to try something a little different. I love
writing romance and suspense but also wanted a twist,"
explains Ms. Roberts. "The near future setting provided
this and allowed me to more or less create a world. What
would it be like in 2058? I could decide. And I could
illustrate my own feeling that while the toys may change,
people remain basically the same. They still love and hate
and covet; they still have courage and cowardice. They're
The In Death books have afforded Ms. Roberts an
opportunity to explore a relationship beyond the ending of
the first book. Her trilogies and family stories have been
hugely popular with fans.
"One of the things I wanted to do was develop those
characters over many books rather than tying it all up in
one," she says. "I wanted to explore these people and peel
the layers off book by book. Eve and Roarke have given me
the opportunity to explore a marriage, as well. Each book
resolved the particular crime or mystery that drives it,
but the character development, the growth and the changes,
the tone of the relationships go more slowly. I'm enjoying
The experiment has succeeded beyond expectations with the
J.D. Robb books regularly hitting the New York Times
bestseller list. Now, it's freely acknowledged that J.D.
Robb and Nora Roberts are one and the same. The Robb books
will appear every six months, much to the delight of Ms.
Roberts' fans who are vocal in their demands for more of
Eve Dallas and Roarke.
Nora Roberts - in any guise - will continue to delight that
audience with her inimitable combination of romance and
suspense in this century or the next.