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Borrower of the Night (Vicky Bliss #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  4,122 ratings  ·  271 reviews

A missing masterwork in wood, the last creation of a master carver who died in the violent tumult of the sixteenth century, may be hidden in a medieval German castle in the town of Rothenburg. The prize has called to art historian Vicky Bliss, drawing her and an arrogant male colleague into the forbidding citadel and its dark secrets. But the treasure hunt soon turns deadl

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1973)
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After three Amelia Peabody Egyptian mysteries, I decided to branch out and try something else by the author. Enters Fraulein Bliss, a contemporary (cca. 1973) American art historian, feminist alter ego of Indiana Jones, hunting for lost treasures among the tombs of the past. Borrower of the Night takes her to Bavaria and a 16 Century castle turned into a hotel, where a priceless wood sculpture from the time of the Reformation may be hidden.

There are some parallels that can be drawn betwe
Jacob Proffitt
I had a really hard time with this novel. The story took forever to go anywhere and all of the characters were kind of jerks most of the time. Indeed, I very nearly quit about halfway through as I just didn't care about anything—not the characters, not the setting, certainly not the "mystery".

And I never did figure Vicky out, much. She's oddly detached most of the time, but with nearly constant hints that undermine that detachment. She vacillates between coldly logical and strangely sentimental
I hope this isn't representative of Elizabeth Peters' work, 'cause I was looking forward to reading her stuff, but I felt kinda like I was reading a novelised Scooby Doo episode. I suppose it's not that far from Mary Stewart's work, in a way, but the narration just made it feel cartoonish, more than anything else. And I don't think Mary Stewart ever set anything in a gothic sort of castle with ~mysteriously moving~ suits of armour.

Not to mention her protagonists are usually a lot more likeable a
Well, that was .... a book. Really, I'm having a hard time finding enough in the way of feelings about it to say much more - it did pass the time*, and, I guess, allow me to read the other books knowing I haven't missed anything by starting mid-series. I was warned that this is neither necessary nor a good place to start, though, so the positive is outweighed by the negatives.
*(Though come to think of it, that isn't exactly a plus either, with a to-read shelf containing several years' worth of
Ana T.
I've heard so much about this Vicky Bliss series that when I finally had the chance to pick it up I was almost afraid that my expectations would be too high and I would be disappointed. I'm happy to say that I wasn't. It was a fun, cosy, gothic read, just the kind you pick up when you need a comfort read. The book has very funny quotes as it is written in the first person and Vicky has the kind of self deprecating humour that appeals to me.

Vicky Bliss is an Art Historian; when the story opens sh
I've been hearing about Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss and Amelia Peabody books for quite awhile now and for some reason just haven't found my way to reading any of them until now. I noticed these re-issues of the Vicky Bliss series and decided to pick up the first one and see.

Vicky is an art historian with a delightful sense of humor and a certain dry acceptance of her statuesque stature and tendency to intimidate those around her. When we first meet Vicky, she is teaching at a college in the M
Kristen Jones
I loved the Amelia Peabody series, so I tried this one. I do not like Vicky Bliss! Aside from her constant "I'm not being vain, but I'm ridiculously hot" comments, I was SICK TO DEATH with her women's lib rhetoric. I know this was written in the 70's and that was more topical, but really, a women that fixated on what men are, can, or should be doing for her, is not liberated.
So many things about this book bugged me. In fact, I'm struggling to think of what I DID like about this book. I guess the ambiance was nice. Set in an old castle in Germany, all the crawling about in the ruins and discussion of history. I liked that. But...

The characters were not engaging. Our heroine and narrator, Vicky, was a smart, independent woman of un-delicate proportions (her self-description as being a "bouncing Brunhilda" was pretty funny) and competitive spirit. She has declared that
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 1999.

One of Elizabeth Peters' earliest novels (the first of the Vicky Bliss series), Borrower of the Night does not quite have as well developed a sense of satire as many of her later books. It is more like the romances of a writer like Victoria Holt than a spoof of the genre.

Some elements of the romance genre are made fun of. The character of Vicky Bliss is made deliberately too good to be true: not only does she fit into an accepted notion of femini
Dec 08, 2013 C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1
I’ve enjoyed my first encounter with Elizabeth Peters. The funny thing is, I collected a great deal of it a long time ago. I sifted through my collection only recently, determining which series belonged together and other works. It is worth the wait and I am eager to delve into her works much more. It took thinking to decide whether or not I’d dole 4 stars. There are two matters that resulted in 3 stars, with high praise.

‘Dr. Vicky Bliss’ self-deprecates being tall and robust but is confident in
*This is a review of the audiobook version. The book itself is 4 stars, but the audio narration bumps it up to 5.*

I liked this book a lot. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much reading it as I did listening, because the narrator is fantastic. I love the tone in Elizabeth Peters's books, and Barbara Rosenblat really delivers. Her voice is extremely flexible, and she did a great job with accents and the range of characters.

Vicky Bliss, an extremely tall and buxom historian, finds what sh
Vicky Bliss decided at a young age that she would not ever get married. Her tall height and high IQ was what kept boys away when she was ten years old. However, now men seem to be determined to change her mind. Vicky must battle with her coworker Tony who is determined to prove himself her intellectual superior in order to dominate over her and make her his wife. They compete to find the long lost Riemenschneider shrine in Rothenburg, Germany. Vicky soon discovers that she has more people to com ...more
I hear the library keeps Elizabeth Peters' books under lock and key so I had to read one to see what the fuss was all about. I'm not head over heals in love with sleuth, Vicky Bliss, certainly not comparable to the girl crush I had on Nancy Drew and Linda Craig (she had a palomino horse I soooo coveted) when I was in my formative years, but nonetheless I might just be at the infatuation stage, and could possibly move into an "in a relationship" facebook status with this art historian, brainiac f ...more
This series is covered in praise and high recommendations. After reading the first book, I really can't see why. The introduction was messy, the pacing was slow, the reasoning for searching for the treasure flimsy and the main character was not someone that anyone could identify with. I actually wanted to give up about 100 pages in, but decided to push through just to see if Vicky and Co. could actually find the ancient treasure. Vicky is narcissistic, pushy, cowardly, and egotistical. Tony, her ...more
Trudy Pomerantz
Another one of those meh books. This is the second Elizabeth Peters' book that I have read and I can't say that I particularly like either of them primarily because I do not like the protagonist - in this case I found her boring, self-centred and histrionic - and most amazing of all she ended up with both of the heroes liking her. This simply strained my credulity beyond what it was able to bear. Oh well, at least I am borrowing the audiobooks from the library and did not waste time reading them ...more
The goodreads teaser is more melodramatic than this send-up of a classic horror tale, in a Bavarian setting. The book itself is a romp, fast paced and with many touches of humor.

It is the first Vicky Bliss book, and she refers to it fairly often in the later books of this series that I have read. The later books, and I think her later books in general, are far longer and more complex than the earlier ones, against the trend of churning out shorter and more formulaic books that many authors fall
Lynn Spencer
I read this book years ago, but it was definitely time for a re-read. While the Amelia Peabody series seems to get the bulk of the attention with regard to Elizabeth Peters' work, I've always preferred Vicky Bliss, Jacqueline Kirby, and her various other characters.

This book, which introduces Vicky Bliss, captured my imagination. We get a fabulous setting, as most of the story takes place in a somewhat crumbling German castle which has been converted to a moderately creepy hotel. We also get won
This was a fairly unremarkable mystery/thriller with supernatural trappings. I found Vicky's assertions of toughness and her triumph over the (not just shown to be, but frequently referred to as) male chauvinists fighting with and against her to find an ancient Germanic treasure to be rather self-conscious; the tone of the whole book, actually, is like that. I'm told the series gets much better with the next book, so I will give it a shot, but this volume really didn't do much for me.
Mar 10, 2015 Keeley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: cheapthrills
I enjoyed this light art-historical mystery caper, but come to think of it I still have no idea why it's called "Borrower of the Night." I think Peters hits her groove with Vicky Bliss in later books; this one is not as amusing as Trojan Gold. It's still fun. In many ways the story and situations are still fresh, but occasionally the technology (writing for an airline reservation) or fashion remind me that the book was penned half a decade before I was born. There was one moment when I was swift ...more
Kat Lebo
Borrower of the Night
Vicky Bliss, book 1
By Elizabeth Peters

The late Elizabeth Peters, a/k/a Barbara Michaels, i/r/l Barabara Mertz, has long been one of my favorite authors. I read her (as Barbara Michaels) Gothics voraciously as a teen and young adult, and looked ridiculously forward to each new book in the Amelia Peabody series. I’d read at least one of the Vicky Bliss novels before, and a couple of the Jacqueline Kirby adventures. I’ve had this book, “Borrower of the Night,” in my nightstand
Annie Walker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2.5 stars, rounding down?

IDK. (view spoiler)
Mistress   ~ ♠ Mistral's Kiss ♠ ~ (Mist)
Had it's moments, but all in all not my cuppa. I hear the series gets more interesting with the intro of a reoccurring art thief character, but I don't see my self hunting it down
Jul 05, 2008 Shannon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Shannon by: Michelle Rock
It was hard for me to get into this at first but as soon as I did I couldn't put it down. Apparently it is a series so here I go. I am going to have to keep reading:)
Jane Chizmar
Another great read ...a lot of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Love her sleuth, Vicki almost as much as Amelia Peabody in her other series.
Just plain fun. And you'll actually learn a lot (as you always do with her novels) about history - this time it's German/medieval. :)
Historian Vicky Bliss and her sometime boyfriend Tony are competing to see which one can find the lost masterwork of a famed Gothic sculptor. If the piece indeed still exists, it's probably hidden in a German castle--conveniently made into an inn--but there are other people on its trail, and there's a beautiful heiress who is being slowly driven mad by the fear that she's channeling a remote ancestress who was tragically killed. Fortunately, Vicky doesn't believe in ghosts, and she does believe ...more
I read a Vicky Bliss novel by Elizabeth Peters in Book Club a few years ago and recently thought about that strong, funny female character - I think a lead up to her Amelia Peabody Books.

I looked at the library in surrounding small towns and e branch online but they are in short supply. I did find one at my local book store -From My Shelf Books- who have a collection of new and old and "I'll find it for you " material, But she couldn't find any either. She did have the one I had read before and
Having been a librarian, I've heard of the author before (in several guises under different names) and knew that she was quite popular.

I wasn't expecting it to end up being so...not...popular with me.

It wasn't terrible by any means, but the audio really pointed out all of the "he said", "I said", said, said, said, said, said...

Sometimes people tell or ask or even exclaim, "ENOUGH ALREADY WITH THE 'SAID'S!"

Vicky herself grated on every last nerve I have. How many times do we need to be reminded
Another reread in my nostalgic trip back through a number of “cozy” mysteries. I initially rated this four stars (years after I actually read the book) and I think it is still a four star read for me. The first book in the Vicky Bliss series by Peters (lesser known than her Amelia Peabody books), I thought this was a good intro to the character and her schtick. Vicky is a tall, really curvy blonde and does come up a little too often. But, she also has men occasionally forget how to speak around ...more
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Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also writes as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Fred ...more
More about Elizabeth Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Vicky Bliss (6 books)
  • Street of the Five Moons (Vicky Bliss, #2)
  • Silhouette in Scarlet (Vicky Bliss, #3)
  • Trojan Gold (Vicky Bliss, #4)
  • Night Train to Memphis (Vicky Bliss, #5)
  • The Laughter of Dead Kings (Vicky Bliss, #6)
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2) The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6) Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4) The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)

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“Everything has happened before - not once, but over and over again. We may not be able to solve our problems through what are pompously called "the lessons of history," but at least we should be able to recognize the issues and perhaps avoid some of the solutions that have failed in the past. And we can take heart in our own dilemma by realizing that other people in other times have survived worse.” 11 likes
“love has a very dulling effect on the brain” 6 likes
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