A single crimson rose, a plane ticket to Stockholm, and a confirmed motel reservation all neatly mailed in a mysterious package sound like the formula for a romantic weekend. But with John Smythe, an art thief and Vicky's sometimes lover, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. A note tucked in the bottom of the box seals Vicky's premonitions of disaster and fuels her already insatiable curiosity, it is written in an archaic language even the capable Dr. Bliss cannot decipher.
Hidden treasures, a deadly silhouette artist and the vanishing Mr. Smythe all await Vicky in the land of her Scandinavian ancestors. It could prove to be a journey into romance or terror.
Don't miss any of the mysteries in the Vicky Bliss series.
©1983 Elizabeth Peters; (P)1995 Recorded Books, Inc.
"Peters' special talent is that she spoofs the romance-thriller outrageously while producing some of the most entertaining writing in the field." (Publishers Weekly)
We are now at the middle of the series to date, and this book was a bit of a disappointment. We fall into a pattern, and for some reason this one just got a little slow for me. It?s still a very good story, and I like where it took the characters, but his one just took its toll on me.
You will definitely appreciate the Vicky Bliss series more if you start with the first one -- "Borrower of the Night" -- and listen to them in sequence. That will allow you to familiarize yourself with -- and get attached to -- the ongoing characters in this fun soap-opera. Like, for instance, the Han Solo-esque rogue, Sir John Smythe, who apparently meets his demise in "Silhouette in Scarlet" (but we know that he really doesn't, don't we?). With each entry into the Vicky Bliss series, I keep thinking that I like this one the best so far. It makes me sad that Elizabeth Peters only wrote six episodes in this series. I think that I enjoy Vicky Bliss even more than Peters' more famous heroine, Amelia Peabody ... although, I have to admit, that the Amelia Peabody series probably has more literary merit. Comparing the two would resemble trying to chose between cheese cake and raspberry tart: One of them might have more nutrition, but both are delicious. Barbara Mertz -- a brilliant Egyptology scholar writing under the pen name "Elizabeth Peters" -- somehow manages to have fun with her characters, while making us like them (or hate them, as appropriate). If, like me, you get emotionally affected by the audiobooks that you listen to, and would rather avoid anything gut-wrenching or upsetting in your escape-fiction, then Vicky Bliss will suit you nicely. And Barbara Rosenblat provides the perfect narration for Peters' wry humor. This astonishing narrator has more voices and more accents at her command than any other voice actor that I have heard. In particular, with "Silhouette in Scarlet," she uses perfect German, French, Swedish, American English, and Queen's English accents. Her acting talent awes me. I recommend "Silhouette in Scarlet" to anyone looking for a light-hearted, entertaining, downer-free romp.
Elizabeth Peters blend lots of humour, a questionable romance and history into a stumbling caper that I couldn't wait to finish. I'm not always a fan of first-person narratives, but Vicky Bliss's straight forward, yet sarcastic personality really carries this series. In the third installment, Vicky travels to Stockholm on a supposed vacation, where she soon learns that John Smythe, her occasional beau and an art-thief, has less than honourable intentions for their visit.
As I previously mentioned, this is a part of a series, but the Silhouette in Scarlet could definitely be read out of order. However, I would definitely recommend starting with the second book which is entitled the Street of the Five Moons. Fortunately, this book is spoiler free!
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