So, a thousand a month, all expenses, the opportunity to spend some time on an Arizona ranch...it was everything a young graduate student trying to prove herself might want. And it was...until Hank suffered an accident, then disappeared.
Suddenly, the guests were eyeing each other - and D.J. - with fear and suspicion. Only the person responsible knew what was going on, and when D.J. got too close to uncovering the truth, she discovered that some of the games being played by the people at the ranch have a deadly intent. And that she might just be the intended...
(P)1997 by Elizabeth Peters; ©1979 by Elizabeth Peters
Fun, informative, just a tad dated....but it was written in the 70's. This was a fun romp through the hot southwest of the US. I enjoyed all the characters, especially Hank. Ms Peters books are where I go when I want to listen and laugh and care about how everything turns out.....no tears allowed!
Summer of the Dragon is a terrific early Elizabeth Peters mystery/romance. It doesn't feature any of her popular recurring characters, but stands on its own very nicely. It is funny from beginning to end. The heroine is very likeable. Like so many Peters stories, this one does a great job of dealing with interesting and believable archaeological/anthropological topics in a very accessible way. The quick-moving and enjoyable dialogue combined with the heroine's down-to-earth voice make everything easy to follow and very fun. Also, this reader does a wonderful job (but for mixing up a word or two in a briefly confusing but not really disruptive way); I thought she really captured the characters without overdoing it. Be prepared that some elements of the story are a bit dated (for example, our heroine gets some flack for being a "feminist," apparently because she is pursuing a Ph.D. and a job) but after all the book was written in 1979.
The story is entertaining enough - a typical Elizabeth Peters, with a heroine who is gutsy and outspoken (bordering on rude, even), a love interest, and interesting archaeological detail. However, the reader is annoying. She seems to be trying for a 1940s, Humphrey Bogart kind of noir effect, which doesn't make sense for the book. If you are a real Elizabeth Peters fan, you can probably overlook the reader's odd inflection and choice of emphasis. Otherwise, you might want to give this one a miss.
I bought this book because I so enjoy Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series. However, what I got was a plot, which you get to it five hours into the book, that was weak, and the only interesting action happened two hours before the novel completed. All else was uninteresting dialogue and a woman talking nonstop about eating. The narrator made an banal novel worse by her monotone, expressionless reading. If you are looking for a good read, look elsewhere. If I had bought this book first, I would never have read her other series.
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