Fortunately, following bilateral knee joint replacement last summer,
I discovered Community Healthplex here in Indianapolis.
This facility has the only heated therapy pool in the city with group classes
and individual medically supervised exercise (MRE) programs.
And now...it has a lending library and a new book club! Whoo! Whoo!
This is the second book
I have borrowed from that library.
I did not know until just now that
Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels
are pseudonyms used by Barbara Mertz!
She died in 2013 at the age of 85.
This particular book is the second in her
Vicky Bliss Murder Mystery series of 6 novels
and was published in 1978.
It was simply a bit too romance-y for me,
though I did find the mystery rather compelling.
I felt the characterization was a bit shallow,
lacking true depth.
Though I would say I enjoyed reading this book, certainly not enough
to purposefully seek out others in the series.
I did rather enjoy the interplay between Vicky and John.
But I did wonder at his valiant rescues when he was really one of the criminals...
Vicky and I are built nothing alike, as she complains that
...it isn't easy to convince people that you've got a brain when all they can see are curves and flowing blonde hair. (4)
I personally would have no idea about that! :) She continues,
When people look at me, all they see is a blown-up centrefold. Nobody takes me seriously.
When I was younger, I wanted to be little and cuddly and cute.
Now I'd settle for being flat-chested and myopic.
It would save a lot of wear and tear on my nerves. (4)
She meets with a police official regarding a dead body
that had been discovered...
He kissed my hand...I enjoy having my hand kissed.
I can't imagine why American men haven't taken it up, it gets even us feminists. (10)
That did make me chuckle.
Vicky is sent to investigate this man's murder for the museum and with her travel plans made, all that was left was to select lodging.
It didn't take me long to decide. People on expense accounts don't stay in pensions or hotels.
It wouldn't look good. I felt I owed it to my employer to check into the best hotel in town. (17)
That did elicit yet another chuckle from me!
Although Vicky believes herself to be a whiz-bang investigator, she really isn't all that tricky, and unfortunately for her, John is immediately on to her.
Though he does end up rescuing her later. As they run from one room in a cellar, two of the criminals run into it and John uses the excuse of needing to make sure they are completely silent to kiss her...
His lips and tongue blocked my mouth just as effectively as the gag had done--and a lot more distractingly. In its inception, it was a purely practical kiss; he had to shut me up, without a second's delay, for Antonio and Giorgio burst into the room we had just left. Their voices sounded as if they were only a few feet away, but it was clear from my companion's behaviour that they could not see us, though they could hear us as easily as I could hear them.
My eyes were still blindfolded,...and as that crazy embrace continued,
I became less able to concentrate on essentials. As kisses go, it was memorable.
After I started to cooperate--which, I am ashamed to admit, occurred almost immediately--his participation became less practical and more enthusiastic. (43)
These were the best parts of this book, in my humble opinion.
The mystery had twists and turns, with an ultimate betrayal at the end,
though admittedly, I did have it figured out.
I would recommend this book and/or series if you really wanted a mystery
that leaned toward cozy and felt a bit like a romance novel.
Have you read any of the books in this series?
I did read one of the Amelia Peabody mysteries years ago and enjoyed it,
though for some reason it didn't interest me enough to continue reading
more in that series.