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The Seventh Sinner [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth Peters
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book by Peters, Elizabeth

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing June 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This, the first of the Jacqueline Kirby books, does a wonderful job introducing Ms. Kirby. Just as grown children leave home to start a new phase in their life, so does their middle-aged parents. Jacqueline does a fine job disregarding the past to open up a new and exciting phase in her life which includes helping a group of young graduate students solve a murder. Her intelligence and past experience leaves her prepared for every eventuality! A delightful romp!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The first in the Jacqueline Kirby series Feb. 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story centers on a group of graduate students studying art and history in Rome. Two of the group met middle aged librarian Jacqueline Kirby and introduce her to their group, the Seven Sinners. A hanger on of the group is found murdered, found by a member of the group and possibly also murdered by a member of the group. One of the group, Jean, begins to have a series of accidents that soon become more violent and appear less and less accidental. Jacqueline Kirby decides to investigate this matter and, of course, manages to uncover both murderer and motive.
This book was written in 1972 and does show it's age a bit, hence the 4 rather than 5 stars. Even though this is the first Jacqueline Kirby details about her are left vague. We learn there are grown children but nothing about a Mr. Kirby.
The book is enjoyable and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars As good as Amelia? May 28 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been putting off reading the other two mystery series written by Elizabeth Peters as I enjoy the Amelia Peabody series so much that I thought I would be disappointed. And, surprisingly, I was not disappointed at all in this, the first of the Jacqueline Kirby mysteries, first published in 1972. Kirby is not an instanly likeable character but she grew on me as the book continued. The mystery is classic Peters in that it involves some rather arcane references which always end up tying into the mystery somehow. I was able to figure out how the main clue to the criminal works into the plot but was not able to figure out who that criminal was as Peters keeps a vital piece of information from the reader until the denouement. This is a quite enjoyable mystery, quicker to read than the Amelia Peabody mysteries, and I look forward to buying and reading the second in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars See Rome and die May 13 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Barbara Mertz, also known as Elizabeth Peters, also known as Barbara Michaels has written nonfiction Egyptology books under her own name. As Elizabeth Peters, she is the author of many mysteries, including series starring Amelia Peabody, Vicky Bliss, and Jacqueline Kirby. As Barbara Michaels she has written 29 gothic suspense novels.
"The Seventh Sinner" is one of Elizabeth Peters's Jacqueline Kirby mysteries, told in the 3rd person by Jean Suttman who is in Rome on an archeological fellowship, and who literally runs down Jacqueline Kirby in a library. Almost as soon as Jean makes friends with Jacqueline, the younger woman witnesses the last few moments of a murder victim, and becomes the next target for the murderer.

Other novels in the Jacqueline Kirby series are "Murders of Richard III," "Die for Love," and "Naked Once More." Truthfully---and I know I must belong to a small minority---I like the Jacqueline Kirby books better than those starring Amelia Peabody, which tend to run on a single, dusty Egyptian track. Far better to be in Rome in the spring, even though Jean and Jacqueline are underground in various catacombs too much of the time. At least, they didn't have to spend any subsurface hours in the Cloaca Maximus, which still carries somewhere around one million cubic meters of waste per day.
Anyway, this book is more focused on the early Christians, rather than the pagan Romans. There are some fascinating archeological inquiries into the burial sites of Saints Peter and Paul, and of course there is the brooding, claustrophobic atmosphere of underground Rome itself---an important part of this mystery.
'Sinner' moves right along and there's no point in warning the heroine to stay out of the catacombs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Seventh Sinner does little sinning April 19 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The enjoyable first book of the all-too-short Jacqueline Kirby series is a nice (though slightly dated-feeling) romp through Rome, archaeology and early Christian saint-related material.
The book opens as Jean Suttman runs into Jacqueline Kirby -- literally. Jean and her friend Michael knock the acid-tongued, chameleon-clothed librarion over, and Jacqueline ends up coming along to a little meeting of the Seven Sinners. This group includes Jean, witty artist Michael, brainy priest Jose, slightly odd siblings Anne and Andy, serious-minded Ted, and plain seductress Dana. The only fly in their collective ointment is Albert, the son of Andy's father's friend -- Albert is physically and emotionally repulsive, and when he crashes a party with accusations that someone stole his research, no one really pays attention.
Until Jean finds him in the Temple of Mithra, with his throat cut. Albert manages to trace a number seven before he dies, and soon mysterious "accidents" begin to follow Jean. She and Jacqueline must unravel the mystery -- who would want an insignificant slob like Albert dead?
I will warn you in advance, this book is quite different in tone from "Murders of Richard III" (which I didn't like very much) and from "Die for Love" and "Naked Once More." Though it's not as serious as the second, or as funny as the third and fourth, it nevertheless possesses a dry wit and lopsided view of humanity in general.
Peters manages to keep the various characters' personalities separate and distinct. She also shows skill at making them act like real people. All of the characters have good points and bad points; some are kind, some are not. There's even an entertaining scene where they compare their own weaknesses to the seven deadly sins.
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