Plot SummaryEdit

Publishers Weekly

It is 2059, and New York City homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas's husband, Roarke, is producing a revival of Agatha Christie's thriller Witness for the Prosecution. On opening night, when the villainous character Leonard Vole gets his just deserts, someone substitutes a kitchen knife for the prop knife, and the actor, Richard Draco, is stabbed through the heart. Trouble is, in time-tested British mystery fashion, everyone in the cast had good reason to despise Richard, a misogynist who seduced and discarded beautiful young women, including one whom he knew to be his daughter. It's up to Eve to solve the case, an emotionally difficult task as she is no stranger to incest herself: she was beaten and raped by her father before she managed to escape him. As Eve fights to keep her head above water, she tries to bond at a deeper level with Roarke, so that her future will heal the pain of her past. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) serves up a welcome mix of edgy, sexy lovers,newfangled gadgets, classic whodunit and noir.

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Please reference the Witness in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.


Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

Story Start Date: March 26, 2059 [1]

Day 1 (March 26, 2059) Edit

Chapter 1 Edit

Chapter 2 Edit

  • Mira is asked to calm Areena Mansfield while Eve questions her.
  • Eve learns Draco was not liked.
  • After the prop knife is found in Areena's room, Eve is not happy to see Roarke comforting Areena when Eve returns to question her again.
  • When Roarke asks Eve if she's jealous she tells him he's a walking orgasm.
  • Eve tells Roarke she needs to start background checks on the way home in the limo. Roarke gets Eve to have sex in the limo on the way home instead.
  • The killer is pleased the execution went well. Reminds self to be cautious.

Chapter 3 Edit

  • Eve starts background checks on the main actors after arriving home.

Day 2 (March 27, 2059) Edit

  • Eve reports to Commander Whitney. He reminds her this is not an ordinary murder and to delegate the interview work.  He also tells her to attend the press conference and to clear all media interviews with him first.
  • Eve tags Feeney to run backgrounds on cast, crew and theatre personnel. He's busy and not happy.
  • Eve and Peabody interview Kenneth Stiles and learn he also disliked Draco.
  • 'Morse' [sic] (Morris) the Chief Medical Examiner reports Draco had illegals in his system.

Chapter 4 Edit

  • Nadine Furst calls Eve and asks to meet privately with her. They meet at the Blue Squirrel. Nadine then tells Eve that she and Draco were involved 6 years ago and had an ugly breakup when Nadine caught him cheating. She admitted to arguing with Draco, and throwing champagne in his face on the night he was murdered.

Chapter 5 Edit

  • On her way home, Feeney tags Eve and tells her Roarke helped with the background checks.
  • After her evening exchange with Summerset, Eve finds Roarke in a rec room playing with a pinball machine called Cops and Robbers. She tries to be annoyed he got involved in police business again but Roarke distracts her with a challenge to play strip pinball. This turns into sex.
  • Meanwhile, Peabody and McNab have sex at his apartment. Peabody confides something is up with Nadine. He tells her she's just jealous they're playing without her. McNab privately worries about Peabody dating Charles Monroe.

Chapter 6 Edit

  • Eve searches Draco's hotel room with Roarke. They find sex tapes of Draco with various women including one of him and Nadine, they also find a couple of drawers filled with sex toys (Roarke snags one) and illegals. One illegal is Wild Rabbit (a date rape drug) Eve inhales a little and it has a small effect on her.
  • Feeling horny as a result of the drug, Eve jumps Roarke in the elevator on their way to see Areena.
  • Eve is surprised to find Charles Monroe with Areena. 
  • Eve and Charles talk about Peabody. And he confides that he and Peabody haven't had sex.
  • That night, Eve has a nightmare.

Day 3 (March 28, 2059) Edit

Chapter 7 Edit

  • At Cop Central, Eve arrives early to file the report involving Charles so she won't have to discuss with Peabody.
  • Eve dumps files on Detective Baxter. He's not happy.
  • Eve finally gets upgraded XE-5000 computer. She keeps her old computer so she can beat the heck out of it later. She remarks to Peabody that it's like Christmas.
  • During Eve's consult with Dr. Mira she's told the killer is probably close to the stage. It was an execution.
  • Linus Quim, the head stagehand is murdered at the theatre and left to look like suicide.

Chapter 8 Edit

  • The team decides to divy up the propables and start interviewing.
  • Roarke is called to the closed theatre by a janitor who came in to clean.
  • After processing the scene Eve doesn't think it's suicide.
  • Eve and Peabody search Quim's apartment and find he was researching Tahiti.
  • Eve and Peabody interview Eliza Rothchild who also disliked Draco.
  • A frantic Carly Landsdowne arrives and is surprised to see Eve. She's scared after hearing of Quim's death.
  • Feeney finds Quim had put a hold on a royal-class ticket to Tahiti and looked into cliff-side property.

Chapter 9 Edit

  • Eve heads to morgue. Morris wins a bet regarding Eve showing up before 5 pm to hassle them.
  • Morris tells her rookie Finestein is working on Quim. 
  • Feinstein rules suspicious death.
  • McNab finds Quim had a bet on that night's arena ball game.
  • Eve and Peabody go see the bookie who took Quim's bet.
  • The bookie tries to run when they arrive. She rakes her nails on Eve's neck before getting knocked out.
  • Eve calls Roarke to ask for his help deciphering numbers on the bookie's screens.
  • After making Eve promise to get medical attention on her neck, Roarke directs Eve to a button that monitors a casino in the building.
  • When the bookie (Maylou) comes to, she confirms Quim's bet after Eve tells her she isn't there to bust her.
  • Eve has a flashback of herself as a child in a medical ward while Peabody attends to her neck.

Chapter 10 Edit

  • The killer hopes the staged suicide will convince Eve's sharp eyes.
  • Eve arrives home to find Mavis performing her latest number for Roarke. After seeing Mavis' response to Roarke's praise, Eve falls for him all over again.
  • Mavis mentions Trina is setting up in the pool house for a "full treatment" including body paint.
  • Eve panics and runs to answer door to a stressed Nadine. Eve tells Nadine about the sex tape. She reassures Nadine the tape won't get out and invites Nadine to take her place at girl night.
  • Later, Eve and Roarke snuggle and eat popcorn as they watch a tape of the play. They notice the time the knife is switched.
  • Peabody goes out with Charles to an art show where she feels out of place. At dinner, Charles mentions he was with Areena when Eve came to question her the day before. He also tells Peabody that he let slip to Eve that he and Peabody haven't had sex. Peabody is not happy.

Day 4 (March 29, 2059) Edit

Chapter 11

  • In her home office, Eve prepares to destroy her old work computer when Roarke stops her and takes it for Jamie Lingstrom (from Ceremony) to research.
  • Just as Eve and Roarke start to get intimate, Peabody arrives and she's not in a good mood. She and Eve get into an argument about Charles. Eve tells Peabody she was just trying to spare her some embarrassment then fills her in on Nadine and Draco's past.
  • Eve, Peabody, Feeney and McNab meet at Eve's home office. Eve hands out assignments and heads out to see Carly who had no clue Draco recorded them having sex.

Chapter 12

  • In his home office, Roarke reflects on his life since Eve. On his way out he stops to help McNab open sealed records complete with a signed warrant.
  • McNab asks Roarke for advice regarding Peabody.
  • McNab finds Kenneth Stiles had assaulted Draco 24 years ago and settled out of court. When he calls Eve with the information, she's suspicious Roarke had a hand in this.
  • Eve has Stiles brought to Central for questioning.
  • Following Roarke's advice, McNab asks Peabody out on a real date.
  • Eve is forced to have an energy bar after the Candy Thief strikes again.
  • Eve and Feeney prepare to question Stiles. Eve teases Feeney over his new cologne which smells like salad.  She suggests he tell his wife he wants to save it for a special occasion. Feeney tells her she doesn't understand women. "Got me there," she responds.
  • Trueheart is the officer who brought Stiles into Central. Eve invites him to stay and watch. 
  • Stiles admits the fight with Draco 24 years ago was over Anja Carvell. A young actress who was devastated when Draco cruelly dumped her after she got pregnant.
  • Eve asks Peabody to dig up info on Anja. Peabody thinks Anja is the love of Stiles' life.
  • Eve and Feeney attend Draco's memorial. Eve is surprised to see Roarke.
  • After talking to a few people, Eve gets ready to go when Roarke gives her a jumbo chocolate bar. And promises they'll eat together that evening.
  • Eve consults with Dr. Mira who agrees that Anja is important to Stiles.
  • Eve feels like she doesn't do enough for Roarke. She decides to plan an intimate dinner for two. Summerset catches her setting things up and secretly softens a little more towards her.
  • When Roarke arrives he's so surprised he hurts Eve's feelings when he asks her what she wants. She's ticked after all the trouble she went to.
  • After taking his foot out of his mouth and apologizing, Roarke and Eve make love.
  • During dinner Eve asks Roarke about his day. He watches her eyes glaze over when he talks about point by point analysis and cost overruns.
  • Eve goes over the case with him.
  • Roarke tells Eve he gave McNab dating advice. Eve is not happy.
  • Meanwhile, a disguised Stiles calls Anja asking her to meet him at a club where he warns her to stay away.  Anja says she's going to talk to Eve. He tries to discourage her. He still loves her.
  • Eve and Roarke make love again, shower then get back to work.
  • While running checks, Eve finds several cast members have sealed files. When Carly's name comes up, Eve thinks Carly might be Anja and Draco's kid. Now she needs to call a judge for a warrant.
  • Eve calls Peabody who is on a date with McNab at a noisy club. They are both buzzed but take some Sober-Up and Peabody heads to meet Eve at Stiles' apartment.
  • Eve arrives and Trueheart, who is doing surveillance, reports Stiles is at home.
  • Eve and Peabody find Stiles has taken off in a disguise. Trueheart happily calls in the description of Stiles in disguise.
  • Stiles is reported to be at Grand Central. Eve, Peabody, and Trueheart arrive and start looking for Stiles.
  • After telling the transit cops that she's in charge, they screw up and Trueheart is hit with a stun just as he's about to tackle Stiles. They both fall down on the train tracks.
  • At the hospital, Eve blames herself for Trueheart's injury. His mother arrives and tells Eve she is not to blame.
  • Eve returns to Central where she works through the night.

Day 5 (March 30, 2059) Edit

  • Eve reports to Whitney's office at 7 am. After her report, Whitney tells her the transit cops who screwed up will be dealt with then orders her to take a couple of hours to sleep.
  • Back in her office, Eve lays down on the floor. Then Roarke calls to tell her that Anja and Draco are Carly's biological parents.
  • Anja calls Eve and asks her to come by the Palace Hotel where she is staying. She denies having contact with the actors and seems surprised when Eve mentions that Carly and Draco had sex.
  • Alone, Anja weeps.
  • Eve decides to interview Carly again. When Eve and Peabody arrive they find Draco's understudy Michael Proctor is with Carly.
  • Carly flips out when Eve tells her Draco was her dad.
  • Peabody thinks Eve was cruel to Carly.
  • Eve thinks about her childhood and starts to feel bad. She makes plans to meet Peabody later while she takes a couple of personal hours.
  • Eve goes home sick. Roarke takes care of her and they make love. When Roarke makes Eve eat she tells him he's such a wife.
  • Feeling better, Eve and Peabody shop for a get well gift for Trueheart. When Eve attempts to pay, she is informed that there is no charge because of 'Authorization One' which allows her to select any items by Roarke's company at no charge. Eve is not happy.
  • Trueheart is better and happy to get the new game. He thanks Eve for talking to his mom.
  • Meanwhile Stiles tells his nurse he wants to confess to Lt. Dallas. The nurse tells the cop watching Stiles to contact Lt. Dallas.
  • When Eve and Peabody arrive Stiles is found hanging. He's alive but will have some brain damage.
  • Nadine shows up wanting information from Eve who makes plans to give her an interview later at Central.
  • Eve and Peabody return to Anja's hotel and find she's gone.
  • Back at Central, Eve arrives to find Nadine in her office. During the interview, Eve tells Nadine that she'll be making an arrest in twenty-four hours. Afterwards Eve privately gives Nadine her sex tape which was removed from the evidence log.

Day 6 (March 31, 2059) Edit

Chapter 21 Edit

  • Eve wakes after 10 hours of sleep. Since Roarke isn't around, she has an ice cream bar for breakfast and changes into clothes Roarke bought for her. She has gotten used to him filling her closet.
  • Eve asks Roarke for a favor. They make a deal for vacation time together. It turns out to The Olympus Resort. Eve blanches. She hates space travel. Then she asks him about "Authorization One" he jokes about making a note on his calendar that Eve shopped.
  • The favor turns out to be a little "performance" with the actors at the theatre.
  • At the theatre, Eve's team sets up.

Chapter 22

  • The actors arrive. Eve pretends to arrest Carly for the murder.
  • To save Carly, Areena admits she's Anja and killed Draco for having sex with Carly when he knew she was his daughter. She was just protecting her daughter from a sick man. Areena is arrested.
  • Back at Central, Areena asks to see Eve. She thanks Eve for the way she did it. Letting Carly see that her even though her father was a monster, her biological mother would protect her at all costs.
  • Eve advises Areena to spin the media for sympathy and she might not get too much time.
  • Back in her office, Roarke is waiting. Eve confides this is the first time in eleven years that she actually admires the killer and doesn't care about the victim.
  • Eve and Roarke go home.

Memorable QuotesEdit



Character ListEdit

List of Main Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Secondary Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Recurring Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Minor Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Peripheral Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

Trivia Edit

Other Covers Edit

Additional covers here

3rd edition cover UK edition cover German 1st edition cover German Book Club edition cover BR edition cover Witness Audio
3rd edition cover UK edition cover German 1st edition cover German Book Club edition cover BR Edition cover Brilliance Audio unabridged cover

Other ReleasesEdit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Witness in Death (ISBN 0-425-17363-1), chapter 8: "Last search for transpo data initiated oh three thirty-five, twenty-eight March, 2059" (which is day 3 of the book)


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