By David Canfield
May 13, 2019 at 02:00 PM EDT
Bruce Wilder

One of America’s most popular novelists, Nora Roberts is celebrating a milestone for a series that isn’t even penned under her real name. In Death, the futuristic detective novels she pens under the pseudonym J.D. Robb, have been in print for nearly a quarter-century now. And next February, her fiftieth book in the series, Golden in Death, will hit the shelves. That’s a pretty remarkable run.

In Death began with the 1995 novel Naked in Death; set in 2058, it introduced tough, damaged cop Eve Dallas and her mysterious love interest, Roarke. “Initially, I planned the In Death series as a trilogy set in the near future — in 1994, 2058 seemed pretty far off — with a dark, damaged female homicide cop at its center,” Roberts tells EW. “Eve Dallas, the negative to every main character I’d ever written until that point, needed a world that fit her single-minded purpose. Roarke, a self-made, charming Irishman — and former thief — who basically owned the world, walked on to the page as the perfect contrast to Eve and her solitary life.”

Of course, the series developed into much more of a trilogy. “The trilogy gave me the opportunity to explore their burgeoning relationship beyond a single book, and for the characters to evolve as individuals,” Roberts continues. “By the time the third book went to press, I didn’t want to let go, to say goodbye to these people or their world. When my publisher expressed an interest in more, I jumped at the chance.” Roberts was at last revealed as the woman behind J.D. Robb in 2001, six years after the books emerged as a New York Times best-selling powerhouse.

Next year, book 50 will be published. It’s called Golden in Death, and finds homicide detective Eve Dallas investigating a murder with a mysterious motive ― and a terrifying weapon. “It’s been 25 years, and yet I’m still challenged and entertained every time I slip back into Eve Dallas’ world,” Roberts reflects. “As a writer who looks forward, it’s only on milestones like this that I sit and marvel at the run.”

Finally, she concludes: “Then I imagine another murder in 2061, tap Eve’s shoulder and we’re off again.”

Roberts has exclusively shared the cover for Golden in Death with EW, and you can see it below. The novel publishes Feb. 4, 2020, and is available for pre-order.

St. Martin’s Press

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