Jacqueline Kirby, former librarian turned bestselling novelist, is selected to write the sequel to the greatest blockbuster of all time, "Naked in the Ice". The original author, Kathleen Darcy, is missing and presumed dead.
This book is the sequel to "Die For Love," starring the incomparable Jacqueline Kirby (first seen in "Seventh Sinner") who is now a bestselling author who previously did two historical romances (which she can't stand). Now she is being approached for one of the biggest book deals in history: Write a sequel to the historical/romance/fantasy epic "Naked on the Ice"--and yes, that is the real title. The author of "Naked," the cult figure Kathleen Darcy, is supposedly dead by suicide, having vanished into the wilderness seven years back, despite being a bestselling millionaire.
Jacqueline gains the book deal, but must now deal with the rising specter of murder. She suspects strongly that Kathleen Darcy was being targeted for death via "accidents." Among her suspects are Kathleen's toad-like half-brother, St. John Darcy; Kathleen's ex-lover; the hack historical-romance writer Brunnhilde; the violent male rival; the married hunk whom "Naked"'s hero was physically based on; the deformed woman who has an almost obsessive fascination with Kathleen; and a sprinkling of other former friends, enemies, and relations...
What happened to Kathleen? Did she really commit suicide, or was she murdered? Is she alive, possibly? And what possible reason would anyone have to want her dead--money, love, revenge? Jacqueline intends to find the truth -- but what if she gets in the murderer's way?
Jacqueline is still the same effervescently vivid character as before. With her slightly eccentric nature and keen mind (not to mention her flamboyant clothing--it's a treat just to visualize her) she is an instantly likeable detective. Yet she doesn't show everything on the surface: when she meets with her new agent, she has a wry cynical edge that is very appealing.
You will thoroughly loathe such characters as St. John Darcy, Tom and Brunnhilde, the overweight historical hack. More appealing is Paul, whose turbulent feelings and quick thinking make him a nice if blunt guy.
Aside from the excellent descriptive writing and wonderful situations (St. John attempting to kiss Jacqueline; Jacqueline showing what Sarah looks like) you also get little pokes and jabs at the book industry. Agents, contracts, those little fifteen-percent paychecks, "lit-ra-choor" and bestselling authors are all lampooned slyly by Ms. Peters. (And if you have ever tried to be published as I have tried and am trying, it's doubly amusing)
One slightly inaccurate thing in this book is that the person doing the cover art obviously didn't read the book. (No nude typing--the "naked" is a joke...) Aside from this, this is a witty, classic mystery that you'll read again and again...
Ms. Peters, write more about Jacqueline Kirby!