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