She's barely off the boat before the chase begins and Jess finds herself playing a deadly game of cat-and-mouse through Cornwall, helped by David Randall, the ingenious author of a series of paperback gothic novels. But even Randall's cleverness may not be enough: the couple doesn't know what the pursuers want...and it is not the obvious.
©1969 Elizabeth Peters; (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
It seems as though Ms Peters put her tongue firmly in cheek before she started writing this book, and I certainly found myself giggling in many places! This is an early book by this author, and doesn't have the character and plot development that I've seen in her later works. It is still a lot of fun!
Having listened to all the Amelia Peabody mysteries (or at least the ones with a tolerable narrator), I turned to this book to get my Elizabeth Peters fix. The narration was pleasant, but the plot and characters left me unsatisfied. The heroine was such an idiot and her male savior came up with all the good ideas. I cared for her so little that I almost hoped that she wouldn't survive her delimas! I did suffer through the whole book, so I suppose it must have been decent, but I warn you not to expect very much if you buy this book.
Retired tech writer/editor. Mensa. Pgh Steelers/ Penguins fan. Lib Dem/feminist. Grew up reading lit--M.A. English--now read mys/thrillers.
Elizabeth Peters, yes. Read/love all of her Amelia Peabody series. Her books under "Barbara Michaels" are a mixed bag. I don't like Grace Conlin's reading. I thought she read this book better than two others - Summer of the Dragon & The Night of 400 Rabbits. I would have given NO stars for her performance of these two if I hadn't feared this would be misunderstood as an omission rather than an evaluation.
Not in the ballpark with Amelia Peabody series. Better than Night of 400 Rabbits. About as good as Summer of the Dragon. Not as good as The Dead Sea Cipher (which reminds me more of Amelia.)
Since Elizabeth Peters won't be writing any more books, I might have to but I really would prefer another reader, especially Barbara Rosenblat.
The only policeman in all of England seems to be the one who was on the train platform when Jessica's suitcase is almost stolen. The man who was carrying it off returned it - claiming a mistake - so where was HIS suitcase he mistook it for?!! Credulous police officer.
After that Jess's room is obviously searched (I'd have called the front desk & asked for the police), a man comes at her in a church, she escapes town on a bus and a busload of people cover for her when her pursuers block the road and come aboard looking for her, she and a companion are kidnapped, her companion is drugged, his car has its motor stolen and on and on, and none of this is EVER reported to the police. Jess & David just go on taking risks and playing games and ultimately walking into the lion's den. Twice. I would have documented & reported every single incident. Do-it-yourself crime solving is clearly not my cup of tea when there's an authority figure to whom to appeal. So I found my suspended disbelief stretched too far on this one.
Also, Jess annoyed me at times with her focus on being a tourist - I don't care how gorgeous the cathedral is when somebody armed is following me.
On the positive side, I liked David very much and loved how he thought Jess was put up to hoaxing him because of his profession, and I loved his profession. I liked some of Jess's dialog. "Who took my clothes off?" IS a lot more original than, "Where am I?" I loved the wonderful people on the bus. Reminded me of a scene in an Alfred Hitchcock movie - think it was Torn Curtain - where the bus is a fake & smuggling the good guys out of the danger area. I hated Cousin John and Algernon (Freddie). I was surprised at the mechanism for Jess & David's escaping their prison - I actually thought Guinevere was Freddie in drag.
I agree with the first reviewers, this is not Amelia's eighteen-hundreds. This is the nineteen- sixties, and I can see the young Goldie Hawn bouncing from small museums to famous Cathedrals across the English countryside trying to avoid (or is it find) the mysterious Cousin John. All of the characters with the possible exception of the bad guy, (who is not Cousin John), are having a really good time. What's a broken nose, and rifled luggage when there are beautiful ancient buildings to see.
But this is still Elizabeth Peters, and although this is an early work, and it is a comic farce, she is serious about her history. While the Arthur stories are more legend than fact, there are enough late Roman and early Anglo-Saxon artifacts to hang this story on. Evidently people can be as obsessed with having King Arthur as an ancestor as Ramses the Great.
The best part of this book is finding out why Sir John Smythe becomes the man who will drive Vicki Bliss mad when she meets him in the Street of the Five Moons.
This book didn't seem to be written by the person who wrote the Amelia Peabody series or the Copenhagen Connection. The story lacked substance from the beginning and I'm having a difficult time plowing through it. I keep thinking it will get better but it hasn't, the narrator doesn't help.
Flitting around the English countryside in an expensive car and exclaiming about lambshopping in green meadows and a ray of sun breaking through a cloudy day, REALLY! The characters and their surroundings needed to be developed, they were very "sketchy". The English towns and countryside offer much in the way of creative description, The different characters and settings in this book were unimaginative.
Her reading was monotonous.
All the scenes need reworked.
This book did inspire me to write a poor review!
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