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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Seventh Sinner

The Seventh Sinner - Elizabeth Peters

Well, they can't all be winners.


I'm a fan of the Vicki Bliss series and I've enjoyed several of Ms. Peters stand-alones.  I've read a few Jacqueline Kirby stories and enjoyed them, but this one... meh.


The opening chapter and dialogue grabbed me right away and I thought "Oh goody, another fun read" but it quickly fizzled out for me.  I found myself struggling to understand a lot of the dialogue; it felt vague and choppy - almost like the author was speaking a shorthand she assumed all her readers would be clued into.  Jacqueline Kirby is a main character, but the story is told from the 3rd person POV of Jean, an art history fellow, so the reader is never privy to Kirby's thoughts unless she chooses to share them with Jean.   The middle portion of the book moved a bit slowly and my attention flagged.


The mystery though, was fiendishly clever.  I'd have to read it again to be sure, but I think all the clues were there to figure out what was going on, if not exactly who the murderer was (that required information the police had, which wasn't revealed to the reader).  I quite liked the denouement - that scene definitely had my attention.


The book ended rather abruptly, I thought, but I suppose that the ending was consistent with the abruptness of the rest of the narrative/dialogue.  


I'm not at all sorry I read it; I'll even keep it on the bookshelf and perhaps re-read it one of these days, but it's definitely not Ms. Peters best work by a long shot.  Still, her mediocre output is still better than a lot of some authors' best work, and I'll continue to search out her books.