Ex-Librarian turned author, Jacqueline Kirby, has to be one of the most entertaining and outrageous detective characters out there. She holds nothing back, loves drama, and causing mischief. She is also wonderfully clever, and dabbles in mystery solving. This book kept me guessing the whole way; there are twists and turns, memorable characters, and plenty of humour that had me laughing out loud. I can only imagine what those around me must have thought as I giggled over my book…
In this story, Kathleen Darcy, a best-selling author who has been missing for years, has finally been declared dead. The estate is now looking for someone to write the sequel to Darcy’s last book, and they choose Jacqueline Kirby. While Kirby is thrilled to write the sequel, she is just as thrilled to be able to examine Darcy’s old notes and papers for clues to her disappearance. However, somebody is not happy with the extra attention Kirby has been giving the Kathleen Darcy case. Before long, Kirby starts to have some of the same accidents that befell Darcy before her disappearance. How far will this mysterious assailant go to stop Kirby from digging too deeply?
Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels are actually pen names used by Barbara Mertz. Mertz has a PhD from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and has won awards from most of the mystery writers’ associations, including the Agatha, Edgar, Anthony, and Amelia Awards. She has also been received a number of grandmaster and lifetime achievement awards, as well.
I am a big Elizabeth Peters fan, her books are wonderful – the perfect combination of mystery, humour, and adventure. They are light-hearted, but the stories are well developed, and keep the reader engaged right to the very end. The Jacqueline Kirby series is perfectly in line with this style. I have also enjoyed her Vicky Bliss series, which follow an American art historian living in Germany, and especially her Amelia Peabody series, which follow Victorian era Egyptologist couple Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson.
While not a new release by any stretch, the Jacqueline Kirby series is still well worth looking up and enjoying on these cold winter evenings.