No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Sunday, November 06, 2005

#99: Die for Love -- Elizabeth Peters

I've heard good things about Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody books. This isn't part of that sequence: the protagonist is Jacqueline Kirby, a librarian with some experience of solving crimes. Looking for a tax-deductible holiday, she attends a convention of romance writers. Someone is killed. She works out the identity of the murderer. The end.

Sounds brusque, and omits all the things I enjoyed -- the convention scenes, the idiosyncracies of writers and agents, Jacqueline's healthy disdain for most of the books. (Though by the end of the convention she's convinced that she can write a best-selling historical romance.) It was an enjoyable read, but I did feel from time to time that it was writing-by-numbers: introduce victim, introduce characters A-K, provide Motive for each character, describe Murder, then loop through random-order list of potential murderers, clearing the name of each. I know that's how crime novels work, but in this one the mechanics seemed too close to the surface. Or maybe I'm just cynical.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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