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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Naked Once More by Elizabeth Peters

At one time, I really enjoyed Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series featuring the spirited, adventurous Amelia, and as the series continued, her expanding family.  The series is light and funny, an Egyptologist's cozy.

When Naked Once More was offered by NetGalley featuring Jaqueline Kirby, a former librarian turned Romance Writer, I decided to give it a try.  I'm so glad I did!  I found this novel much more textured than the Peabody series.  Not simply a different sub-genre, but a novel with less black and white and many more shades of grey.

Jacqueline Kirby has been chosen to write the sequel to a book by Kathleen Darcy, who wrote Naked on the Ice, a book that sold millions and gained her many devoted fans among both readers and writers.  (Thus the title Naked Once More).  The book has become a cult classic.  Fervent fans were devastated when Kathleen disappeared into the Appalachian wilderness and her body never recovered.

What happened to Kathleen?  Did she commit suicide, and if so why?  The questions again surface when, after seven years, Darcy is declared legally dead, and the publishing world is able to pursue a sequel.

I really liked Jacqueline Kirby, an audacious character who also has an instinctive insight, and I liked her even better as the novel advanced.  Kirby is a performer, a wit,  an egotist, but one who understands herself and her own flaws.  Not that she doesn't justify her flaws or dismiss them as suits her....

As Jacqueline (call her Jacqueline, Jake, or Kirby--never Jackie) was a staunch fan of Kathleen Darcy's work, she is already deeply familiar with the novel and many details of Kathleen's life, but her research takes her much deeper.  And makes her more and more curious.

I found the novel involving,  amusing, and highly entertaining!  Barbara Mertz writes nonfiction under her own name and mysteries under the pseudonyms of Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels.  The novel was originally published in 1990, but doesn't feel dated.

NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing.

Mystery.  1990; 2013.  Print version:  368 pages.
  • ISBN-10: 0061999407



3 comments:

  1. Ah you reminded me that Barbara Michaels is also Elizabeth Peters. I only read a few of the Amelia Peabody books but those were fun. I can't remember where I left off on the series though! :)

    Will have to look for this. I like the sound of it!

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  2. I have wanted to try this author forever, but hasn't happened yet...

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  3. Iliana - I left off the Peabody series a while back, but I enjoyed this one partly because it had to do with novelists and publishing.

    Kailana - I have quite a few authors that I have intended to read and never gotten around to!

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