Two more books from my TBR pile:
Borrower of the Night (Elizabeth Peters) – First in the Vicky Bliss series. I’m a huge fan of Ms Peters’ Amelia Peabody series, which I only discovered early this year. Having read all the Peabody books, I’m now branching out into her other books (and there are a lot!).
The Vicky Bliss books focus on art history as opposed to Egyptology, but Ms Peters’ background knowledge and attention to detail is just as evident. Vicky is on the trail of a ancient religious shrine and travels to Germany to track it down. She’s obviously not the only one looking for it, and the usual elements of an Elizabeth Peters come into play – multiple suspects, danger and suspense. I suppose the only thing that’s missing from this one is a romance, as while Vicky has a couple of men after her, she doesn’t really care for any of them (though I could be wrong here…).
I thought this had a satisfying mystery and rather likeable characters. This is one of Ms Peters’ earlier books, and as with her Peabody books, I suspect the books will get better over the course of the series. I’m definitely looking out for more Vicky Bliss books. B for me.
Murder of a Botoxed Blonde (Denise Swanson) – Cosy mystery, part of the Scumble River series. Skye is asked to help investigate vandalism at a new spa opening near Scumble River, and ends up stumbling over a body – someone’s been drowned in a mud bath.
I’m in two minds on this series. On one hand, the plots and set-ups are always unusual, I love the cast of eccentric and amusing secondary characters, and Skye has an interesting love triangle with Simon, the coroner, and Wally, the police chief. However, I find it hard to warm to Skye as a person, and in this book certainly, Skye seems overly obsessed with her weight. In addition, her school psychologist work, which is one of the more interesting aspects of this book, is more or less absent here as it’s Thanksgiving holidays.
The murder and the secondary plot around vandalism is tightly plotted and clues are scattered carefully throughout the book. In terms of relationships and ongoing story arc, Skye does reach some kind of closure with her relationship with Simon, though a new mysterious character is introduced, whom I suspect may have something to do with her new relationship with Wally.
When I was reading this, I was questioning whether it was realistic for the chief of police to have hired his lover as a civilian psychologist consultant, and get her to help out by interviewing the suspects? I don’t know – it all seems slightly off, especially since Skye’s the one who found the body in the first place, and technically should be a suspect.
I suppose these questions are all niggling at me because I didn’t love the book – if I did, I could quite happily ignore them. C+ for me.