NAKED ONCE MORE by Elizabeth Peters


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More fun and games for this prolific author's flamboyant Jacqueline Kirby--ex-librarian turned romance writer-sleuth (Die for Love, etc.). This time out, she's one of several candidates for the juicy assignment of producing a sequel to Naked in the Ice, a blockbuster novel by Kathleen Darcy, who's just been declared legally dead after disappearing seven years before in an apparent suicide--the body never found. Jacqueline's new agent is smart, smarmy Booton Stokes, who also represented Kathleen, and she's eventually chosen by Kathleen's heirs to do the book. Moving to Pine Grove, the writer's Appalachian hometown, Jacqueline studies her papers, living quarters, and some sketchy notes for a sequel. She also studies Kathleen's family--half-senile mother; lecherous brother St. John; sullen sister Sherri; and sweet sister Laurie Smith. Kathleen's devoted boyfriend Paul Spencer is also still around, as is the family team of lawyers named Craig, who administer the estate. A relative newcomer to town is crippled book-store-owner Jan Wilson--an ardent Kathleen Darcy fan. In the meantime, it doesn't take Jacqueline long to discover that Kathleen had been the victim of several near-disastrous "accidents" before she vanished. A series of anonymous letters and a few accidents of her own convince her that she, too, is someone's target--one of her book-writing rivals? Or someone frightened by her relentless busybodying? Murder is done before our heroine ties up the pieces in an all-suspects-together confrontation. Motive is eggshell-thin; there's much padding (of the snapping twig, noises in the night variety), to say nothing of one of those all-knowing cats so popular in the genre. The plot, however, is rather nifty; the touch mostly light, and the entertainment level moderately high.
Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1989
ISBN: 1433258463
Publisher: Warner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1989


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