Street of the Five Moons (Vicky Bliss Series #2)

Street of the Five Moons (Vicky Bliss Series #2)

by Elizabeth Peters

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061656088
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/29/2008
Series: Vicky Bliss Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 224,396
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. During her fifty-year career, she wrote more than seventy novels and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She received numerous writing awards and, in 2012, was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.

Hometown:

A farm in rural Maryland

Date of Birth:

September 29, 1927

Place of Birth:

Canton, Illinois

Education:

M.A., Ph.D. in Egyptology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1952

Read an Excerpt

Street of Five Moons
A Vicky Bliss Novel of Suspense

One

I was sitting at my desk doing my nails when the door opened and the spy sneaked in. He was wearing one of those trench coats that have pockets and flaps and shoulder straps all over them. The collar was turned up so that it practically met the brim of the hat he had pulled down over his eyebrows. His right hand was in the coat pocket. The pocket bulged.

"Guten Morgen, Herr Professor," I said. "Wie geht's?"

Wie geht's is not elegant German. It has become an Americanism, like chop suey. I speak excellent German, but Herr Professor Doktor Schmidt was amused when I resorted to slang. He has a kooky sense of humor anyhow. Schmidt is my boss at the National Museum, and when he's in his right mind he is one of the foremost medieval historians in the world. Occasionally he isn't in what most people would call his right mind. He's a frustrated romantic. What he really wants to be is a musketeer, wearing boots and a sword as long as he is; or a pirate; or, as in this case, a spy.

He swept his hat off with a flourish and leered at me. It breaks me up to watch Schmidt leer. His face isn't designed for any expression except a broad Father Christmas grin. He keeps trying to raise one eyebrow, but he can't control the muscles, so they both go up, and his blue eyes twinkle, and his mouth puckers up like a cherub's.

"How goes it, babe?" he inquired, in an accent as thick as Goethe's would have been if he had spoken English—which he may have done, for all I know. That's not my field. My field is medieval Europe, with a minor in art history. I'm good at it, too. At thispoint it is safe to admit that I got my job at the museum in Munich through a certain amount of—well, call it polite pressure. Professor Schmidt and I had met while he was under the influence of one of his secondary personalities—a worldly, sophisticated crook, like Arsene Lupin. We had both been looking for a missing art object, and some of the good doctor's activities toward this end might not have struck his scholarly colleagues as precisely proper. No, it was not blackmail—not exactly—and anyway, now that I had been on the job for almost a year, Schmidt was the first to admit that I earned my keep. He didn't even mind my working on my novel during office hours, so long as I took care of pressing business first. And let's face it—there are few life-and-death issues in medieval history.

Professor Schmidt's eyes fell on the pile of typescript at my right elbow. "How goes the book?" he inquired. "Did you get the heroine out of the brothel?" "She isn't in a brothel," I explained, for the fifth or sixth time. Schmidt is mildly obsessed by brothels—the literary kind, I mean. "She's in a harem. A Turkish harem, in the Alhambra."

Professor Schmidt's eyes took on the familiar academic gleam.

"The Alhambra was not—"

"I know, I know. But the reader won't. You are too concerned with accuracy, Herr Professor. That's why you can't write a popular dirty book, like me. I'm stuck for the moment, though. There have been too many popular books about Turks and harems. I'm trying to think of an original example of lust. It isn't easy."

Professor Schmidt pondered the question. I didn't really want to hear his idea of what constituted original lust, so I said quickly, "But I distract you, sir. What did you want to see me about?"

"Ah." Schmidt leered again. He took his hand out of his pocket.

It didn't hold a gun, of course. I had not expected a gun. I had expected an apple or a fistful of candy; Schmidt's potbelly is the result of day-long munching. But at the sight of what emerged, clasped tenderly in his pudgy fingers, I gasped.

Don't be misled by the gasp. This is not going to be one of those books in which the heroine keeps shrieking and fainting and catching her breath. I'm not the fainting type, and not much surprises me. I'm not that old (still on the right side of thirty), but my unfortunate physical characteristics have exposed me to many educational experiences.

Let me make it perfectly clear that I am not kidding when I refer to my figure as unfortunate. I'm too tall, almost six feet; I inherited a healthy, rounded body, from my Scandinavian ancestors, along with dark-blue eyes and lots of blond hair; I don't gain weight, so the said body is slender in what are supposed to be the right places. As far as I'm concerned, they are the wrong places. All you Ugly Ducklings out there, take heart; you are better off than you realize. When people love you, they love the important things about you, the things that endure after wrinkles and middle-aged spread have set in—your brains and your personality and your sense of humor. When people look at me, all they see is a blown-up centerfold. 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.

Sorry about the tirade. But it isn't easy to convince people that you've got a brain when all they can see are curves and flowing blond hair. Nor is it easy for a woman like me to get a job. Intellectual women mistrust me on sight. Intellectual men are just like all other men, they hire me—but for the wrong reasons. That was why meeting Professor Schmidt was such a break. Bless his heart, he's as innocent as he looks. He really thinks I am brilliant. If he were six feet four and thirty years younger, I'd marry him.

He beamed at me as he stood there in his spy costume, with his hand outstretched; and the object on his palm glowed and shimmered, almost as if it were smiling too.

Street of Five Moons
A Vicky Bliss Novel of Suspense
. Copyright © by Elizabeth Peters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Street of the Five Moons (Vicky Bliss Series #2) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing 25 days ago
There's a new love interest for Vickie Bliss in this second installment in the series - the lovable rogue, John "Smythe". Vickie is trying to track down a jewelry forger and charges straight ahead without any thought of danger. The characters are funny and appealing and the story ticks right along. A good quick read.
ewalrath on LibraryThing 27 days ago
I love Elizabeth Peters but I cannot, will not, read a book where the heroine is knocked out and when she comes to, unknown villains are discussing raping her. And then, when a handsome, but ethically challenged man rescues her, she then doesn't tell the police, doesn't tell her boss, doesn't leave the country she GOES BACK TO THE CRIMINALS' HIDEOUT. I can't read a book with a heroine that stupid.
Nextian on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Now this is more like it. The second installment in the Vicky Bliss series is a very enjoyable read and is quite worthy of belonging to the same universe as the Peabody series. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series now.
lisaschensted on LibraryThing 27 days ago
in a sentence or two: Vicky Bliss is hot on the trail of a gang of artistic forgeries in Rome. her sly detective work (insert sarcasm here) leads her to be kidnapped, beat up, be whisked away to an Italian mansion, and attacked by garden statues while on the case of the remarkably accurate forgeries being sold to museums.having read and loved the first Vicky Bliss mystery, Borrower of the Night, i knew i was in for a treat. Vicky is smart, witty, snarky, and all around awesome. while working for Herr Schmidt at Munich's National Museum, some suspicious activities take place. like an unidentified man carrying what seems to be a priceless and ancient gold pendant sewn into his jacket. always ready for an adventure, Vicky is off to Rome to try and discover what she can - based on a little scrap of paper found at the scene containing a quasi-clue.due to school and other commitments (work, laundry, etc.), i didn't get a chance to read this as quickly as i would have liked. i feel like the Vicky Bliss mysteries are best read as uninterrupted as possible. that being said, i still really dug this. Vicky's discoveries are well balanced with the humor, sarcasm, and wit that sets these novels apart from other mysteries i've read. you don't know who to suspect, or why, and quite frankly - neither does Vicky. mainly it's a hodge podge of suspicions and clues leading up to the dramatic "ah-ha" moments. i don't mean that in a demeaning way at all - in fact, i absolutely love that method of suspense. plus, with a new love interest, John Smythe, i was totally sucked in.i am wary to compare books to other books, because i feel like they are written to be judged on their own merit. however, if i had to, i'd say that i preferred Borrower of the Night to this one. only because that had a gothic/creepy ghost feel whereas this was more focused on the Italian mansion/secret gang of art thieves feel. both solid mysteries were kept exciting with suspense and the fantastic voice of Vicky.fave quote: "I am by nature an optimistic person. But during those minutes in the mud and the dark, alone with a man who was quietly bleeding to death on my lap, with a mob of murderous brutes scouring the fields to find us...I was depressed." (271)fix er up: i didn't want it to end. seriously. when i finally got the couple hours free i needed to sit and plow through this, i just couldn't get enough! good thing there are more mysteries for Vicky Bliss to solve...
RoC on LibraryThing 5 months ago
My favourite Vicky Bliss book, with much bonkers mills and boon style romance between Vicky and John, who while not exactly a master criminal in the mode of other Elizabeth Peters books (the whole Amelia Peabody series - and by the way, could we have a few less of those - now she'd a grandmother and we're up to something like 20, I've sort of lost interest. Write more about your other heroines, or invent some new ones!) - as I was saying, while John isn't an evil master criminal, he's fine and sexy and rather makes me want to go and find my own raffles-style jewel thief to run about with.
Katissima on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Technically, this is the second installment in the Vicky Bliss series (Borrower of the Night being the first). I don't think Borrower of the Night is nearly as good as its sequels (which is really quite unusual). Besides, it isn't until Street of the Five Moons that the real reason we all love Vicky Bliss so much is introduced (and no I am not talking about Caesar the dog!) The handsome ENGLISH ART THIEF (Sir) John Smythe. Notice the emphasis on English and art thief. Either of the two by themselves would be fine but the two together? Perfection! Vicky and John's eternal bickering and their constant state of getting into mischief and then having to rescue each other--this is why we love Vicky Bliss novels and clamor for more!
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
The author must have done a good job when I start getting irritated by how poorly the main character is being treated. She has to be believable for me to care. This is quite an adventure, requiring quick thinking on the part of Vicky Bliss. Who to trust? Who to believe? How to stay alive?! A fine adventure.
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CorgiRH More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books. It is the 2nd book in the Vicky Bliss series, but really starts the series to me. This book has everything! It is fun to read. It is light and fun without insulting your intelligence. I consider it a mystery romance. And the series only gets better from here.
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