Die for Love (Jacqueline Kirby Series #3)

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Overview

Jacqueline Kirby decides to get away from the weather and doldrums at Coldwater College in Nebraska. A trip to New York will be ideal and, since she is the assistant head librarian at the college, she can take the trip as tax-deductible professional expense and attend the convention of the Historical Romance Writers of the World. The visit is everything that Jacqueline thought it would be and more. Much more. First, Dubretta Duberstein, the scandal columnist, dies under mysterious circumstances. She did have a ...
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Die for Love (Jacqueline Kirby Series #3)

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Overview

Jacqueline Kirby decides to get away from the weather and doldrums at Coldwater College in Nebraska. A trip to New York will be ideal and, since she is the assistant head librarian at the college, she can take the trip as tax-deductible professional expense and attend the convention of the Historical Romance Writers of the World. The visit is everything that Jacqueline thought it would be and more. Much more. First, Dubretta Duberstein, the scandal columnist, dies under mysterious circumstances. She did have a bad heart, of course, but... Then, one of the most popular of the writers at the convention, Valerie Valentine, asks Jacqueline for help. Someone, it seems, is threatening to kill the novelist.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, who writes as both Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, has long been a favorite with romance readers. In Die for Love, she offers a satirical look behind the scenes at a fictitious romance writers' convention. Jacqueline Kirby (the sharp-tongued, quick-witted, good-looking librarian from Coldwater College, Nebraska) is eager for any legitimate-sounding business trip to add some excitement to her life. But she's swept off her feet by dangerous deceptions when she attends a gathering of historical romance writers and their fans -- and finds that murder is on the agenda. It's going to take all of Jacqueline's considerable skills to determine who is the deadly criminal among the myriad agents, authors, journalists, and fans who have gathered for this event -- each of whom seems to have something to hide.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380731169
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Jacqueline Kirby Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

Biography

Neither the Great Depression nor the lack of a public library in her small hometown of Canton, Illinois, deterred Barbara Mertz (the future Elizabeth Peters) from becoming an avid reader. Yet, when her family moved to a suburb of Chicago, she was elated to discover the riches contained in the town's local library and proceeded to devour every book she could get her hands on. She began writing in high school; but by that time she had already decided to become an archaeologist.

Mertz received a scholarship to the University of Chicago, which boasted a world-famous Egyptology department. Her mother, an eminently practical soul, encouraged her daughter to become a teacher; but after taking only two education courses, Mertz knew a career in the classroom was not for her. Determined to follow her dream, she moved over to the university's Oriental Institute, and received her Ph.D. in Egyptology at the age of 23.

The post-WWII job market wasn't kind to women in general, much less to women seeking careers in archaeology. Mertz married and began a family, but never lost sight of her life's ambition. While she was raising her two children, she decided to try her hand at writing. Her first few attempts were never published, but they did land her an agent; and in 1964 she published her first book, Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt.

Mertz authored two additional works on archaeology before foraying into fiction in 1966. The Master of Blacktower is the first of several gothic suspense novels written under the pseudonym Barbara Michaels. (In her biography, she explains that the use of pseudonyms helps readers to distinguish various types of books written by a single author.) The supernatural elements in the thrillers penned under the Michaels name have kept readers on the edge of their seats for decades.

In the 1970s, Mertz began writing under her second, more famous pseudonym, Elizabeth Peters. As Peters, she has authored books in three different series. Beginning in 1972 with The Seventh Sinner (1972), the first series features a glamorous librarian-turned-romance novelist named Jacqueline Kirby (the final Jacqueline Kirby mystery, Naked Once More, won a coveted Agatha Award in 1989). The second series, starring American art historian Vicky Bliss, debuted in 1973 with Borrower of the Night (Vicky's last outing was 2008's Laughter of Dead Kings). Then, in 1975, Peters introduced her most famous protagonist, archeologist/sleuth Amelia Peabody, in a dandy adventure entitled Crocodile on the Sandbank.

From the first, readers loved Amelia, a plucky Victorian feminist who—together with her husband, the distinguished Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerston—has gone on to solve countless mysteries in the Middle East. Peabody fans received an extra treat in 2003 with Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium to Her Journals, a nonfiction stroll through ancient Egypt that included nearly 600 photographs and illustrations, plus expert academic articles.

In addition to her three series, Mertz has written several standalone suspense novels as Elizabeth Peters. She has this to say about her successful, prolific career: "The craft of writing delights me. It is impossible to attain perfection; there is always something more to be learned—figuring out new techniques of plotting or characterization, struggling with recalcitrant sentences until I force them to approximate my meaning. And nothing is ever wasted. Everything one sees and hears, everything one learns, can be used."

Good To Know

The pseudonym Elizabeth Peters is taken from her two children, Elizabeth and Peter. She uses three pseudonyms so readers can tell the difference between the three types of books she writes: nonfiction archaeology as Barbara Mertz, supernatural thrillers as Barbara Michaels and historical mysteries as Peters. For the record, Mertz has called the pseudonyms "a horrible nuisance."
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    1. Also Known As:
      Barbara Mertz, Barbara Michaels
    2. Hometown:
      A farm in rural Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 29, 1927
    2. Place of Birth:
      Canton, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      August 8, 2013

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

“When Blaze awoke she found herself lying on a silken soft surface amid the seductive scent of strange perfumes. A cool night breeze — the air of the desert, exotic and amorous — stroked her naked flesh. Naked? A soft cry escaped her voluptuous lips as she realized the truth. Where were her clothes? What unknown hands had stripped them from her helpless body? Where was she?

“Lamps carved of alabaster gave enough light to answer the last question. Overhead a silken canopy shielded her from the night sky, a patch of which, glittering with stars, was visible through the open flap of the tent. Scarcely had she realized this when the stars were blotted out by a dark form. Stooping, he entered the tent, and Blaze's white hands fluttered, trying in vain to conceal her softness. It was the Arab who had stared at her so boldly in the bazaar. Intense blue eyes studied her over the folds of the kaffiyeh that hid the lower part of his face. ‘You are no Arab,' Blaze gasped. ‘I know those eyes — you are — you are —'

“ ‘Your husband.' The kaffiyeh fell away; it was indeed the face of Lance, Earl of Deptford, his chiseled lips curved in a mocking smile. ‘Come to claim the rights you have so long denied me, my love. The disguise disturbs you? Off with it, then.' And he flung the robe aside.

“Blaze's eyes moved from the bronzed chest, seamed with the white scars of a hundred duels, to the narrow waist and flat, muscled abdomen, down to...”

Jacqueline's eyes bulged. “My God,” she said aloud. “It's The Lusful Turk.”

“It is?”

Jacqueline looked up from the pages of Slave of Lust. The stewardess stood beside her, trying to read over her shoulder. Obligingly she held the book up so the girl could see better.

The young woman's eyes lit up. “It's the new Valerie Vanderbilt! I haven't read that one yet. But I just love her books, don't you?”

Jacqueline inspected the cover of the paperback. Blaze (“the streak of silver in the midnight blackness of her flowing locks had given her her name”) reclined on silken coverlets, her softness discreetly veiled by the broad bronzed body of the Earl of Deptford. The title and the name of the author were printed in brilliant scarlet letters.

“Valerie Vanderbilt,” Jacqueline repeated. “I must admit this is the first of her books I have read.”

“She's divine.” The stewardess sighed voluptuously. “They say she's really a countess or something, but she doesn't use her title because her noble family has disowned her on account of she's had so many love affairs. This one is about a Turk?”

“You misunderstood my reference,” said Jacqueline. She glanced at the cart, with its rows of bottles and glasses, whose progress along the aisle of the plane had been interrupted by the stewardess's literary interests. “Are you by any chance selling drinks? I'll have Scotch. No. I'll have a double.”

It was an unseemly hour for alcohol — barely eight a.m. — but as the airlines had learned to their profit, some passengers resorted to liquor in an effort to dull their fear of flying. Jacqueline was not afraid of flying. What she wanted to dull were her critical faculties.

Her reminder of duties unfulfilled was reinforced by a chorus of requests from nervous customers nearby. Murmuring an apology, the attendant filled Jacqueline's order. When she gave Jacqueline the glass, a pair of miniature bottles, and a small package of petrified peanuts, Jacqueline said, “You can have this when I'm finished, if you like.”

“Really? Oh, that's really nice! But you won't finish it before we get to New York.”

“Oh yes, I will.”

“Well, that is really nice of you. Books are so expensive. I read four or five of them a week, and that really adds up, even though my friends and I exchange when we —”

A wild-eyed businessman in the seat ahead leaned out into the aisle, waving a five-dollar bill and babbling incoherently.

“Yes, sir, right away.” With a smile at Jacqueline, the girl moved on.

Jacqueline refreshed herself copiously but decided she still wasn't prepared to return to the perfumed canopied tent. I should have ordered three drinks, she thought. At least I can be sure of getting the attendant's services from now on. Four or five of these books a week? If all the examples of the genre resembled Slave of Lust, it was a wonder the hard-core readers could talk at all, much less frame a coherent English sentence.

She turned her gaze to the window. There was nothing to be seen except an undulating blanket of gray cloud. It had been raining when she left Nebraska. It had rained in Nebraska every day for the past two weeks. The farmers were tearing their hair and the local papers carried dire predictions of crop failures — rotting corn, mildewed hay — higher prices, and general despair. Jacqueline had lived in Nebraska for three years, and in her experience the farmers were always complaining and food prices were always going up. It was either too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry. She had no great opinion of Nebraska or the agricultural community, and in this particular spring she had had far too much rain to suit her. It was one of the factors that had prompted her passionate outcry the previous Sunday, as she stood at the window of her apartment watching raindrops pelt the puddles on the balcony.

“I've got to get out of this backwater before I lose my mind!”

“Backwater is not inappropriate,” her friend replied, putting his stockinged feet on a hassock and reaching for his glass.

“Where do you want to go?”

“A city.” Jacqueline gestured dramatically at the window. Beyond the red brick college buildings, empty fields...

Die for Love. Copyright © by Elizabeth Peters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Light, Witty Mystery

    This is the perfect rainy day book: it's a fast, breezy read filled with sparkling dialogue and fun characters. Peters does a terrific job of skewering the tropes of romantic fiction -- and the authors who pen that purple prose. Highly recommended to romance fans looks for a good time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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