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After clashing with clones and killers in last year's Origin in Death, New York City police lieutenant Eve Dallas ("Her eyes were the color of good, aged whiskey and were long like the rest of her. And like the rest of her, they were all cop") settles back into a more conventional mystery. In December 2059, a mysterious woman shows up in Eve's office claiming to be her "mama." It's Trudy Lombard, the cruel foster mom who took nine-year-old Eve in after Eve killed her abusive father. Trudy made Eve take cold baths and locked her in closets, among other torments, and now Trudy wants Eve to pay $2 million to keep her past a secret. Readers of the series will know how Roarke, Eve's rich, deadly husband, handles the situation; he tosses Trudy out on her ear. When Trudy is found murdered the next day, it's up to Eve to catch the killer and prove that neither she nor Roarke was behind the bludgeoning. All the action takes place over Christmas, and Eve, being Eve, complains about the foolishness of the holiday, but Roarke et al. continue to slowly teach Eve the virtues of love, family and friendship. This is number 22 in a series that still manages to feel fresh. (Jan.)
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