Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Visit, Ms. Roberts

Poor, poor Nora. Just when she thought it was safe to visit us, that we’d turned our snark attentions to Fabio or Changeling or even vintage Harlequins, along comes the genius and above-and-beyond dedication of Evil Auntie Peril, who found, assembled, and sent us images of the Czech and Russian covers for most of the In Death series. Forget adult beverage. Psychotropic drugs might be in order before ye enter here.

Poor Nora. Poor Eve. Europe has not been kind.

Betrayal in Death


Sarah: It’s the long lost Escher work, “Tempest in a Teacup,” right? Or can Eve make tea with people’s faces? Did someone cross Eve with Anita Blake? Mess with me? Bitch, I will Earl Grey Your ASS!

Candy: Amusement Park Ride Ideas That Never Quite Made It: “OK, so I have this GREAT new idea for a ride, right? So it’s these spinning teacups, like in the Tea Party ride? Except there are these faces of drowned women painted on the inside, right? And the cups on the ride keep spinning faster and faster and faster, until they break free from their moorings and crash on the floor, spilling the riders onto the ground and shattering the faces of the drowned women. It can serve as a third-wave feminist critique of the essentialist flaws in…hey, guys? Where you going? I’m not done with the pitch yet? Guys? I haven’t even gotten to the part where the teacups represent second-wave radical feminism and how the whole ride ties in with 21st-century conceptualizations of queer theory!”

Also, and not really a cover snark so much as a demonstration of how my brain goes to Very Silly Places at the slightest provocation: I looked at the cover and initially read “Bubba Ho-Tep.” I don’t know why I did, because the name really doesn’t look much like Bubba Ho-Tep. I think my Bruce Campbell fetish was just making itself known.


Sarah: Now that’s subtle. A sideways mullet. A Flashdance pose. And the certain knowledge that after she styles her hair, and does a little jig, she will munch on the cranium of her mate.

Candy: That’s some eerie juxtaposition, there—I mean, as if 80s hair and off-the-shoulder sweaters weren’t creepy enough. It also makes me view the Flashdance song with new eyes: She’s a maniac on the floor? And it cuts like a knife? Hell yeah it cuts like a freakin’ knife; how else do you think she gets the head off before she eats it?

Ceremony in Death

Sarah: She’s a ninja! With a crystal ball! And some pagan ritual-esque candles. And wax ear candling sticks! And some…nail files? Oh, forget it. I give up.

Candy: Mamas, don’t let your daughters grow up to be Raistlin Majere fanfic writers. Behold the dreadful fate that awaits those so accursed.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Nathalie says:

    Hey! Raistlin is a babe, okay?! He’s just, er, misunderstood. A lot.

  2. 2
    Rinda says:

    ROFL!  There is no way the cover artists read these books.  Or even the cliff notes…

  3. 3

    Poor, poor Nora.  So talented and so abused.

  4. 4
    Amy E says:

    A message from my retinas—Ouch.

  5. 5
    dl says:

    …a bad acid trip.  Apparently american authors are not the only ones cursed with vile and buyer unfriendly book covers.

  6. 6
    Carrie Lofty says:

    I like the little inset circle faces below the Czech titles—it’s so 1950s spygirl. Is that Eve? Is it the promise of a Nancy Drew cameo?

  7. 7
    Nikki Watson says:

    Aww!! I used to love Raistlin Magere. Thanks so much for that walk down memory lane.


  8. 8
    maggie says:


    Betrayal in Death.
    What a horrible way to die.  Being stabbed over and over in the face with a tea cup.  Thanks for the nightmare.

    Second cover looks like a man!  I always wondered what happened to the singer of Culture Club.

    Third cover is very informative.  It has those birthday candles that you cant blow out. This is a must when performing the death ceremony.  Look at all that wind! You better have joke candles or your screwed.

    I would have to say though that I love Nora Roberts writing enough to look past any cover.

  9. 9
    CantateForever says:

    Question—whyowhowhy is there a praying mantis tiptoeing its way across the second cover? It looks like a comic that an artist (who hates his job/ romance/ us/ life in general?)drew on right while the art editor was looking the other way saying, “Yeah, just get it the presses.” I love Nora’s books, but if that were the cover, I WOULD RUN! FAR!

  10. 10
  11. 11
    maggie says:


  12. 12
    Keziah Hill says:

    I hate to admit it but I quite like the tea cup one. It looks a hell of a lot better than a lot of romance covers. Sort of Hitchcock and absurd.

  13. 13
    Jen says:

    Poor, poor, poor Nora. These covers are just…words fail me.

    I think I need mind altering substances after these.

  14. 14

    Second cover looks like a man!

    That’s what I was gonna say. The huge thighs, the man hands—I don’t know about the Adam’s apple though. It could be cleverly hidden. In the many times that Sarah and Candy have pointed out the men who look like women and the women who look like men in all the past cover snarks, they either miss the mark completely or are wrong. Yeah, I know I’m gonna get yelled at for it, but it had to be said.

    Oh, well. Nobody’s perfect.

  15. 15

    Oh, and I forgot to add—are these even real romance novels?!

  16. 16
    Jennie says:

    and poor Eve doesn’t even like tea.

  17. 17
    dl says:

    Maggie…seriously, Boy George is much better looking.

  18. 18
    Nora Roberts says:

    I. Have. No. Words.

    But wait, I found some—even though I am now suffering from hysterical blindness, I can still type.

    Was that an Indian chieftain headdress on the third book? It was the last thing I was able to see clearly before the dark fell.

    Why did they put the Bug-Woman who wanted to eat Xander on Buffy on my book?

    I’m taking the family to Disney World next month. My grandchildren will be FORBIDDEN to climb aboard the teacup ride. I must protect them.

    I can’t in good conscience raid the liquor cabinet at this hour of the morning. I have no drugs in the house.

    Help me!

  19. 19
    M. D. Benoit says:

    Yuck. Looks like they were designed by men on Extasy.

  20. 20
    Denise says:

    Hey, Raistlin Majere was awesome.  Sadly, there is no good fanfic about him.

  21. 21
    Laura Hamby says:

    I didn’t know Boy George did covers. Is he the “new Fabio”?

  22. 22
    sara says:

    That second one looks like what’s-his-face from The Crying Game has at last found more work. As an exterminator who solves crimes.

    Nora, it’s five o’clock somewhere. Drink through the pain.

  23. 23
    Charlene says:


    But then I noticed it was in Czech, and I remembered Karel ÄŒapek’s “Insect Play”. Maybe it was some kind of homage to the great man, or perhaps ÄŒapek’s idea of representing people with insects has entered the national mindset.

  24. 24
    katieM says:

    Feathers?  Insects? Broken teacups?  What the hell?!?!?  And you know what?  Those were good examples.  There are worse.  Far, far worse.

  25. 25
    EAP says:

    I have so been looking forward to this. They’ve made last week’s work pain vanish in a puff of hallucinogenic smoke. And the best bit is that katieM’s right (imho). These are the good ones…


  26. 26
    Kira Bartholomew says:

    Normally I don’t comment cause you girls do a great job on your own. I have to though cause of that 2nd cover. Is it just me, or is that Davy Havok from AFI? I knew he had crossdressing tendencies but this is a whole new level of “The Crying Game.”

    Tell me I’m not the only one that sees this. O-O;;

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