Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Murders of Richard III
Miss Lemon must tell you that she likes to ponder that tricky bit of history every now again. So it was with great pleasure that she picked up The Murders of Richard III (1974), by Elizabeth Peters, wherein the main characters seek to suss out the truth behind the much-maligned reign of dark King Richard.
Their parlour-games of re-enactment, however, quickly turn treacherous as one by one the various characters that were supposed victims of Richard III fall into mischief and even worse.
Will Jacqueline Kirby, Ms. Peters' spirited librarian-cum-sleuth who sets on the case with her prodigious handbag and formidable store of knowledge sort out the tangled histories and the mystery of the Ricardian trickster in time to stop a murderer?
Miss Lemon leaves it to her readers to find out.
The Daughter of Time, which the book gently spoofs. For if there was ever a figure from history who has swirling about him more mystery than Richard III, Miss Lemon would like to meet him.
Elizabeth Peters is one of the nom de plumes for Barbara Mertz, a respected historian and author of nearly 70 books, including works of nonfiction. Two of these are now considered classic works of popular history: Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs and Red Land, Black Land. She earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago in 1952. Mystery Writers of America awarded her the MWA Grandmaster in 1998.
When it comes to the past, Ms. Peters knows whereof she speaks.