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Borrower of the Night: The First Vicky Bliss Mystery [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth Peters
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 24 2000 Vicky Bliss Mysteries

Meet art historian Vicky Bliss, She is as beautiful as she is brainy--with unassailable courage, insatiable curiosity, and an expertise in lost museum treasures that often leads her into the most dangerous of situations.

A missing masterwork in wood, the last creation of a master carver who died in the violent tumult of the sixteenth century, may be hidden in a medieval German castle in the town of Rothenburg. The prize has called to Vicky Bliss, drawing her and an arrogant male colleague into the forbidding citadel and its dark secrets. But the treasure hunt soon turns deadly. Here, where the blood of the long forgotten damned stains ancient stones, Vicky must face two equally perilous possibilities. Either a powerful supernatural evil inhabits this place. . .or someone frighteningly real is willing to kill for what Vicky is determined to find.


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Review

"An ancient European castle. . .secret passages. . .a mystery several hundred years old. . .and danger, make this Elizabeth Peters's best book!" -- -- San Francisco Examiner

"This author never fails to entertain." -- -- Cleaveland Plain Dealer

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Peters was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.


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WHEN I WAS TEN YEARS OLD, I KNEW I WAS never going to get married. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The first 'Vicky Bliss' mystery Feb. 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the introductory book of the Vicky Bliss series. Dr Bliss is an art historian teaching in a small midwestern college. She has decided never to marry since she has discovered that the only thing that intimidates most men more than a tall woman is a smart tall woman and Vicky is both. Another member of the faculty, Tony, is also tall and smart and quite taken with Vicky. The two stumble across a reference to a long missing art work and are soon off to Germany to track it down, in competition with each other. They find that they are not the only ones seeking this piece. The trail leads to a castle turned hotel complete with a ghost, secret passages and damsel in distress.
This book was written in 1973 and does show its age a bit. If you are looking for the mysterious John Smythe of the later books he does not appear here but we do get the first appearance of Schmidt. While she is not as captivating a Amelia Peabody, Vicky is charming in her own way. The series makes for an enjoyable, light hearted read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars --Mystery, Intrigue and Art History-- July 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first story in the Vicky Bliss mystery series and although, it's not absolutely necessary to read the stories in chronological order, it really does help to understand the background of the main characters and frankly, it makes reading the books even more enjoyable. In BORROWER OF THE NIGHT, Vicky Bliss, art historian and college professor finds a reference in a book that might lead to the discovery of a missing masterpiece by Tilman Riemenschneider, a very famous German sculptor.
Tony, Vicky's boyfriend and colleague, challenges her to see which of them can locate the missing treasure first. Their information leads them to visit Rothenberg, Germany, and an ancient castle. Several other people are also on the trail of the missing treasure, including Herr Dr. Schmidt and a wealthy American named George. Gorgeous Vicky is in her glory when she collects many admirers among the group, but the beautiful young countess who lives in the castle seems to have captured the interest of Tony. What can be more sinister than an old castle with secret passages and a history of evil inhabitants?
I listened to the audiotapes of this book read by Barbara Rosenblat. It was helpful to hear the pronunciations of the German words and her narration was wonderful.
If you're intrigued enough to want to read this series in order, here they are: BORROWER OF THE NIGHT, STREET OF THE FIVE MOONS, SILHOUETTE IN SCARLET, TROJAN GOLD and NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS. These are all excellent stories and I only wish that Elizabeth Peters would write more of them.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Borrower Of The Night" is the first book by Elizabeth Peters that I've read. It was my understanding that Ms. Peters books have been quite popular, so I expected an entertaining and fast-paced story. Happily, that is exactly what I got. The story finds university historian Vicki Bliss and her colleague, Tony, trying to track down a lost piece of German art, the last work of a master wood carver who died in the 16th century. Most of the story takes place in a medieval castle in a small German town, complete with a mysterious late-night spectre, secret passageways, and a bloody history reaching clear back to the time when the missing carving was created.
There is a nice amount of authentic history worked in to this tale, and the narrative is easy to read and flows along at a satisfying pace. The main drawback is the rather shallow main characters. This story, along with being a mystery, has a romantic aspect. Unfortunately, and the boy/girl relationships were juvenile. For supposed university scholars, the dialogue between Vicki and Tony sounds like something you might hear at a junior high school. Nor can Vicki resist making childish, catty observatiions about Irma, the scion of the noble family that owns the castle.
Despite the childishness of the relationships in this book, it was, overall, fun to read. The mystery, with its historical aspect, was intriguing and held my interest. Overall, this is an amusing, light story and I recommend it on that basis. I will probably be reading more of Ms. Peters' tales in the future. On the other hand, if you're looking for more depth (adult dialogue and mature relationships), you will want to look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Peter's Strikes Again! Oct. 16 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters exemplifies what a good mystery novel should be. It is witty, intelligent, and highly captivating. I looked for this book last year when it was still out of print and was unable to find it in any bookstore, so I checked it out of the library. Although I had already read it, when Borrower of the Night was re-published I had to buy it so I could read it again and again, it is so good! For fans who have already read later books in the Vicky Bliss series, go back and read this book, it is one of the best in the series. You will notice minor discrepancies between Vicky's habits in this book as compared to the later ones; for instance she is an avid smoker in Borrower of the Night, and in Night Train to Memphis, she can't even inhale a cigarette. Also, some character names are re-used for different people who have no relation to one another. However, these do not detract from the overall quality of the book. Borrower of the Night finds Vicky in a small German town competing with her lover Tony to find a renowned artists' lost shrine. They encounter seemingly supernatural adversaries in the 16th century castle that has been converted to a hotel. There are several smaller mysteries that must be solved before Vicky can even begin to decipher the mystery of the shrine. Odd characters, secret passages, and ancient mysteries riddle this novel as ultimately, Vicky must struggle for her life beneath the crumbled ruins of an ancient building. This book is a must read for all mystery lovers!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth and Vicky, are women to admire.
I've enjoyed my first encounter with Elizabeth Peters. The funny thing is, I collected a great deal of it a long time ago. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Carolyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Vicky is no Amelia
This book was enjoyable - compared to many other authors, it was excellent, but compared to Peters's other works, it is merely good. Read more
Published on May 11 2003 by "lia47"
5.0 out of 5 stars She's tough
I am just getting around to reading the Vicky Bliss series, and this one is pretty good, although I like Vicky better in later books. Read more
Published on April 6 2002 by reinelisa
4.0 out of 5 stars 1st Vicki Bliss Mystery but not 1st John Tregarth mystery
Fans of the Vicki Bliss series should check out The Camelot Caper by Elizabeth Peters. It features John Tregarth in his pre-Vicki days.
Published on Jan. 22 2002 by MaryK
4.0 out of 5 stars The first Vicky Bliss mystery
This is a reprint of a novel copyrighted in 1973. While it may not be the best
book of the series, it should be read first as it establishes the characters. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2001 by Fred Camfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the World of Vicky!!
Vicky is a woman who needs no one but herself. In this book she goes to Germany for some light treasure hunting and ends up embroiled in a bizarre mystery. Read more
Published on May 12 2001 by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars What a blast!
I am in love with the "Vicki Bliss" character. If you loved the Janet Evanovich "One for the Money" series you will have a great time with these books. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2001 by Loves To Read
5.0 out of 5 stars What a blast!
I am in love with the "Vicki Bliss" character. If you loved the Janet Evanovich "One for the Money" series you will have a great time with these books. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2001 by Loves To Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Peter's Strikes Again!
Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters exemplifies what a good mystery novel should be. It is witty, intelligent, and highly captivating. Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2000
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