Thomas Anders had been a respected businessman. He and his wife, Ava, were very active in charitable organizations especially for families and children. He is found dead in his bedroom in what appears to have been a kinky sex scene gone bad. His wife was on vacation with friends when he died. It doesn't appear that anyone broke into their home. The security system was bypassed by an expert. There are no signs of a struggle on Anders' body. Why would someone want to kill him?
Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Detective Delia Peabody are assigned to the case. Because of his position in the community and the sensational death it quickly becomes a high profile case. His widow wants answers. So does Dallas. So she starts digging. Friends and relatives are shocked. Anders wasn't that type of person. He was conservative and comfortable. He adored his wife. They were a good couple.
The Anders marriage wasn't as it appeared on the surface. In fact Ava Anders had been seeing a Licensed Companion by appointment a couple times a month. The LC is Dallas' and Roarke's friend Charles Monroe. She is forced to admit they had an open marriage because his sexual requests were twisted in ways she didn't want to share. She knew there were other women.
The deeper they investigate, the more Dallas is sure that Anders' murder wasn't an impulse or accident but cold bloodedly planned out. She is even fairly sure she knows who planned it. Now she, Roarke, and Peabody have to figure out how it was carried out.
J.D. Robb pulls a classic mystery theme out for Strangers in Death. It is a strong book, well crafted, and sticks true to the characters. While I am completely involved in all the different personal stories throughout the In Death series (this time the focus is on Charles and Louise), the better ones usually are the ones that put the mystery first and the personal second. The threads are there in this novel, and in a good story-telling fashion, the thrown out threads bind together is unanticipated ways.
Enjoy – both the mystery and the personal stories.