Jun. 15th, 2016

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While in the throes of my Princes in the Towers reading binge, a mystery novel by an author I'd never read before, Elizabeth Peters, was recommended to me - The Murders of Richard III. I promptly acquired and read it, and found it to be quite a fun read, if rather on the light side. I gather that Peters has created several series of mysteries featuring different amateur detectives - in this case, the sleuth was the formidable Jacqueline Kirby, reference librarian by trade, which was an immediate plus, as I worship reference librarians, as all academics should.

The setting was an English country house party, the occasion, the discovery of a letter that could prove the innocence of Richard III, lately come into the hands of the head of a society of Ricardians. The American Kirby is in England visiting a friend who happens to be a member of the society, and is invited along to the party.

The unfolding of the murder plot occurs within an atmosphere of intense discussion of the minutiae of the various arguments as to who killed the princes, which I enjoyed quite a lot. The mystery itself, and Kirby's investigation of it, was also fun to follow, despite the relative lightness of the murder plot.

If this is characteristic of Peters' work - and reading some descriptions of several other of her novels suggests it may well be - then I suspect the historical elements of her novels to be at least as much of a draw as the mysteries. Which for a history buff is not a bad thing. An evening of pleasant light reading with some historical interest and a mystery adventure is sometimes just what the librarian ordered.

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