The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters

The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth PetersThe Murders of Richard III (Jacqueline Kirby #2) by Elizabeth Peters
Published: Avon Books (1974), eBook, 352pg
Source: Scribd
Genres: Fiction, Mystery

In a remote English manor house, modern admirersof the much-maligned King Richard III--one of Shakespeare's most extraordinary villains--are gathered for a grand weekend of dress-up and make-believe murder. But the fun ends when the masquerade turns more sinister . . . and deadly. Jacqueline Kirby, an American librarian on hand for the festivities, suddenly finds herself in the center of strange, dark doings . . . and racing to untangle a murderous puzzle before history repeats itself in exceptionally macabre ways

Jenny told me to read this! Thanks, Jenny! It’s a perfect companion to The Daughter of Time. (I’d definitely recommend reading Daughter before reading Murders, if only because they mention Daughter so much in the story itself.)

EP’s historical mysteries are a lot of fun, but her contemporary-set ones are kinda hit-or-miss for me. Something about the difference in tone, I guess? Her contemporary books tend to be less silly than, say, her Amelia Peabody ones. But The Murders of Richard III really sucked me in, so I’m definitely going to keep trying out her other, non-Amelia Peabody books.

I loved the whole Richard the III thing, particularly coming off of The Daughter of Time which was a Richard III love-fest. Murders is positive towards Richard, but it doesn’t fling itself whole-heartedly into proving he’s not a murderer. That’s not the point of the book– it’s about solving the mystery of the RIII society’s trickster while also having a few discussions re: Richard III’s innocence.

The Ricardians in this book are deadly serious and it was a lot of fun watching Jacqueline poke holes into their arguments. I also really liked how each character had layers upon layers, even if they weren’t actually playing that big of a part. For example, even the annoying child character had a few layers of depth, even when he basically disappeared off-screen for the last half of the book. It’s nice to have a cast so fully fleshed-out, especially when they’re all we’ve got because we’re stuck in a country manor house.

The tension! THE TENSION! Is so good! It starts off low and builds quickly over a few chapters, and then it’s KEPT high for the rest of the book.

Really a lot of fun, this book. I like Jacqueline a lot (she’s a librarian with a huge purse!) and I’m definitely going to check out the other books in her series.

Read: October 2-4, 2014

Part of the reason why I don’t like EP’s modern-times books as much is that she always includes confusing-to-me details which seem like they’re 1970s-specific. For instance, I was super confused about Jacqueline and Thomas’ relationship. She’s married (to another dude) but they’re heavily flirting and making out and? What is going on???

(This is somewhat related to that other guy called her a “modern woman” like having an opinion was a bad thing. 1970s anti-feminism thing, right? Wow.)

4 thoughts on “The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters”

  1. Ah, I like Jacqueline Kirby. Die for Love, which comes after this one (I think?) is maybe my favorite individual Elizabeth Peters book of all. It’s set at a romance convention — kind of dated in the way it thinks of romance novels, but otherwise SUCH a delight.

    ALSO. The books with Vicky Bliss are good. They contain a character who’s like, a mix of Eugenides and Lord Peter Wimsey.

    1. Definitely adding Die for Love to my list. Huzzah!

      Also WOAH, is there really? Who is it? I’m stuck somewhere in the first Vicky Bliss book and I’m not really liking it. Can/should I skip forward to a different book or?

  2. Oh! I just finished The Daughter of Time a few weeks ago, and my conversations with others have been completely dominated by Richard III ever since. I want to read this book simply because it deals with Richard III as well. Sounds like a lot of fun!

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