cover image Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole

J.D. Robb et al. Jove, $7.99 mass market (432p) ISBN 978-0-515-15547-1

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland connects the stories in this middling anthology, anchored by what looks like an open-and-shut case of murder-suicide in Robb’s “Wonderment in Death.” The In Death novellas can seem anemic compared to the novels, but this robust installment is also the book’s strongest entry. R.C. Ryan’s magical Highlands story, about a lawyer and a laird, reads like a fairy tale. The clever conceit of Elaine Fox’s “iLove” is that a man’s obsession with his smartphone lands him inside an unusual dating app. Unfortunately, the neurotic wavering of the women he loves weighs down the story. In “Alice and the Earl in Wonderland,” Mary Blayney takes a bland Regency-era couple into the future, where they discover that what separates them in 1805 is no big deal today. A magical costume store leads to a woman’s self-discovery in Mary Kay McComas’s “A True Heart,” the premise of which is better than its execution. This mixed bag will mostly please Robb completists. (Oct.)