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The Murders of Richard III Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 1986


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (April 1 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0445402296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0445402294
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.7 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,866,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Library Journal

A mixture of American and British characters fill this living room style mystery in which a joker's increasingly dangerous pranks parallel the more interesting historical events of the era of Richard III and the two princes in the tower. Though Carmen Lynne Williamson's awkward rendering of the American accents detracts from the listener's ability to identify with the intelligent, independent character Jacqueline Kirby, one still enjoys Peters's (The Last Camel Died at Noon, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/92) easy humor. History buffs will enjoy the author's grasp of the details and suppositions of this medieval period.?Danielle D'Ottavio Harned, San Francisco
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a big Elizabeth Peters fan, I like the Jacqueline Kirby character, love isolated-house-party mysteries, I'm even interested in English history but I did find this a bit of an effort to get through. It is NOT up to the standards of SEVENTH SINNER much less the Amelia Peabody series.
Jacqueline Kirby is visiting England, she mets an old friend and former colleague, Thomas, who invites her to join him at a country house party/seminar. The purpose of the group is the study of Richard III, particularly establishing his innocence. The usual eccentric cast of characters is assembled and the requisite series of attacks begins. Naturally Jacqueline solves the crime before anyone else.
On the plus side we get to see more of Ms Kirby in action, learn a bit more about her life (is there a MR Kirby?) and see her solve another interesting mystery. One the negative side we meet a bewildering array of characters who are sometimes referred to by their first names, other times by their last or by the character they are portraying at a costume party. The plot development is a bit ragged and the descriptions of the characters is not always consistent. I found myself backing up and re-reading some sections in order to follow the story which is a bit more work than this type of story warrents.
If you are a Jacqueline Kirby fan you will want to read this one but if you are filling time until your next Amelia Peabody fix you might want to try something else.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
You can certainly tell a difference in Elizabeth Peter's current writing style and what she was writing nearly thirty years ago. The Jacqueline Kirby series was one of two that she was writing almost concurrently (the other being the Vicky Bliss series) and dates before the Amelia Peabody books. The writing is not as smooth as the Peabody ones but is still enjoyable.
In this entry, Kirby is invited to a weekend in an English manor house to look at a letter that is supposed to be sufficient evidence to prove King Richard III of being innocent of killing his two nephews. The members of a Ricardian society are meeting and are playing the roles of someone that played a part in that history. Once there, several members of the party are treated to practical jokes. It was, for me, not too confusing to keep the characters straight; I basically just remembered the characters' real names as opposed to their role-playing character.
Jacqueline is able to figure out the culprit behind the practical jokes before it goes too far but, of course, not before the reader is led to believe that something serious has happened.
While this series does not live up to the Peabody books, and this book is nowhere in the league of "Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey, it is quite an enjoyable read and I do really like the main character.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thomas doesn't know why he isn't making any progress with lovely academic Jacqueline Kirby. Personally, I think it's because he's sort of patronizing, and because he checks out 20-year-olds in front of her face. But what do I know?
Anyway, he invites her to a Ricardian party. He and a group of friends are avid fans of Richard III, and they are meeting to re-enact their favorite historical characters from the time period of his reign. As an added bonus, their host, Richard Weldon, promises to reveal a long-lost letter exonerating Richard III of the murders of his nephews.
We meet the guests. In order to follow the story, we have to remember all of these folks' names--both first and last, since some of them are referred to by their first name in one sentence and their last name in the next. We also have to remember all their complex soap-operatic relationships. On top of that, to follow the story, we also have to keep track of which character they are impersonating, *and* how that person died. All of this, IMHO, is a pretty big outlay of brain cells for a 200-page "light read".
A prankster begins staging fake "murders" based on the deaths of the various historical figures. These include such unlikely pranks as knocking a man out, then rigging up a pulley to dangle him headfirst into an empty wine barrel, thus referring to the Duke of Clarence's drowning in a cask of wine. That's a lot of trouble to go to. When I got to the end, I couldn't believe the culprit had gone to that much trouble for his/her goal. Several of the pranks are unrealistically complex.
But they escalate, until Thomas and Jacqueline begin to suspect real danger at the manor. Will they figure out who is behind them before somebody really ends up dead?
Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The house party mystery is a classic format. Here, Peters takes the format and applies a liberal dose of history as the guests are a group dedicated to clearing the name of Richard III. (Richard is the king whose image is that of the one who killed his nephews.) And while this book is hardly a technical treatise on Richard's innocence, it is an entertaining pitch for that argument. (Josephine Tey's "The Daughter of Time" is a more convincing fictional argument - also a great read.)
As the guests wander around in costume and are generally being eccentric, accidents start to happen. Most assume it is just a "joker" trying to disrupt the meeting but Jacqueline Kirby is suspicious. It's a fun, light entertainment as she considers each of the guests as potential suspects -- and then saves the day.
Bottom-line: This is the second in Peter's Kirby series. Reading of the first book isn't necessary. This book is a good (not great) read for fans of English history who can appreciate a cast of overblown characters. Amelia Peabody fans may find the book too different for their tastes.
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