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Borrower of the Night: The First Vicky Bliss Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Sep 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Mystery (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380733390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380733392
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,036,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've enjoyed my first encounter with Elizabeth Peters. The funny thing is, I collected a great deal of it a long time ago. I sifted through my shelf only recently, determining which series belonged together and other works. It is worth the wait and I am eager to delve into her novels much more. It took thinking to decide whether or not I'd dole 4 stars. There are two matters that resulted in 3 stars, with high praise.

`Dr. Vicky Bliss' self-deprecates being tall and robust but is confident in her skin. Most attractive is high intellect and accomplished academia; while watching pennies the same as most of us. She is someone to admire. I associate especially with her as a linguist but she perches on no pedestal above the average person. Paired with adoring her protagonist, I shouldn't be surprised by how taken I am with Elizabeth's writing ability. This novel is about a quest for treasure in a medieval German town, Rothenburg but acquainting Vicky and `Tony' is given time to simmer. I dislike Tony. I found it worthwhile to know Vicky intimately, along with sculptor `Tilman Riemenschneider' and castle `Schloss Drachenstein'. Readers must understand the impact of the work of art Vicky is investigating.

My most salient critique is the location of something important. After exhausting research and blind meandering, it was nonsense that the most utterly accessible location wasn't examined first. That made me exclaim "Come on"! There, I deducted a star. I additionally found getting to Rothenburg and initiating any searches, took too long to begin. I maintain my praise about being well coached in history but excess lag did result because treasure-hunting and major discoveries were far too staggered, even with Vicky in Rothenburg. There should have been more reverence about secret passageways too.
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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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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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