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The Night of Four Hundred Rabbits

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  1,568 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews

An unexpected "gift" has arrived for Carol Farley this Christmas: an envelope bearing a newspaper clipping and no return address. There, blurred but unmistakable, is a photo of a man missing for years and feared dead—Carol's father. It is a siren calling her to a world she has never known, to a place of ancient majesty and blood-chilling terror. Now, surrounded by towering

Mass Market Paperback, 247 pages
Published April 15th 1989 by Tor Books (first published 1971)
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slight spoilers ahead

I love Elizabeth Peters (and her alter-ego Barbara Michaels). I've adored her books for several decades, and have most of them in my bookshelves. I noticed that this one wasn't in my bookshelf, so I checked it out of the library. I'm sure I read it long ago. Now I know why it isn't in my collection.

Quite frankly, it sucked.

Reading Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels is my literary equivilent of snack food. I read her books to laugh, to get the heebie-jeebies, to take myself aw
Jan 08, 2015 C. rated it did not like it
I’m shocked such easy dynamics for an adventure were squandered on drugs. This was as disinteresting as could be; a waste of setting. It is scarcely about Carol’s father. We wonder where he stood in the equation and whether a relationship were possible but that stood at a distant sideline. Every scene was about a boyfriend keen for marijuana. The single shred of belated adventure comes from pursuing cheesy villains. It had little to do with pyramids or México. It could occur anywhere.

If it were
Mar 20, 2014 Skeetor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I see a lot of people didn't quite like this one, but I have to say, I loved it!
I love Elizabeth Peters but had, prior to this book, only read from the Amelia Peabody series. The characters in this book are quite different but just as enjoyable.
Feb 12, 2008 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed the Amelia Peabody mysteries, so I thought I would give another Elizabeth Peters a shot. Finally finished- did not like as well as the Amelia Peabodys- the main character just wasn't quite at captivating and interesting, nor was the plot.
Jul 10, 2012 Molly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Elizabeth Peters fan and count Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss as two favorite protagonists. However, no matter how many times I tried, I just could not get interested in this story. Thank goodness I only paid ten cents for the book at a rummage sale.
Katharine Ott
"The Night of Four Hundred Rabbits" - written by Elizabeth Peters and first published in 1971. A dud from an author who has written many better offerings.
Judith Hoeflinger
Definitely not my favorite Elizabeth Peters.
Sarah Rhea Werner
Nov 05, 2013 Sarah Rhea Werner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
GUYS. I do not even know what to say about this book.

Well, I do, actually. It was weird as hell, especially for esteemed mystery madame Elizabeth Peters. Light spoilers ahead, so be warned.

A quick primer: Elizabeth Peters is the pen name of Barbara Mertz (a.k.a. Barbara Michaels as well), and she's well known for writing clever, adventuresome thrillers and mysteries with romantic and often gothic twists. Her heroines are realistic (exception: Vicky Bliss), her heroes are lovably Byronic, and her
Daniela Kraml
This is the one I like least, although it takes place in middle America.
Oct 15, 2012 Carly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, title-love
**edited 01/30/14

Book summary in one sentence: Hey, kids, don't do drugs.

Longer summary: college student Carol loads up her mysterious past and deadbeat druggie boyfriend and goes down to Mexico to find her long-lost father. She meets up with him and quickly becomes perplexed and afraid of the mysterious behaviour of the people around her. Throughout, Carol fights constantly to pull her boyfriend away from the diabolical lure of drugs; the conclusion is obvious from the first dire foreshadowing
Jeanette Johnson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2015 Tifa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going against all the other reviews here when I say I actually really like this book. Sure, it has flaws, but I've enjoyed re-reading it several times over the years. I love that Elizabeth Peters has tried different things as an author during her career, including adding characters who are less than sympathetic. In fact, after many of the books I've read lately, I'm even more appreciative of the way Peters crafts characters. I've always been in awe of her writing--the words she uses and the ...more
Jul 08, 2008 Roxanne rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An interesting yarn about a college student's week in Mexico. She's looking for her father, who abandoned the family when she was 12. In addition to lots of description of Mexican culture, manners, and antiquities, it deals with a bunch of mysteries, in addition to the original one about why dad left. Why is her boyfriend acting so strange? Who is that scruffy man that keeps showing up wherever she goes? What is the elderly maid trying to tell her in Spanish? It's an enjoyable tale that kept me ...more
Jul 30, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is an adventure of a young women vacationing in Mexico while trying to reunite with father that was absent in her childhood. She meets a cast of shady characters including the mysterious Ivan and Ines with whom her father lives. This book was written so long ago, it almost portrays the 'drug trade' as very docile compared to what we know of it today. I did enjoy the book but it comes no where near the mark when compared to her 'Amelia Peabody' mysteries.
Apr 05, 2009 Robin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I picked this one up at a library book sale for a quarter. I'm not sure it was worth that much. Ugh. To be fair though, I had already experienced early Elizabeth Peters and wasn't thrilled, so it's not like I had high expectations. The plot was dated, the characters uninspiring, and I was kind of annoyed by the main character's continual references toward dark portents ahead. But-- it was short, quick, and I am able to take another book off my shelf.
Oct 13, 2013 Frances rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Like watching one of those idiotic movies on the dangers of marijuana in the 60's. If one can ignore the lectures, a readable tale.

I just reread this book and I wasn't as vehemently opposed to the drug descriptions in it as I was 4 years ago. I was more into the story and it held together except once in a while it got very dated. But, I have upgraded it from a 2-star to a 3-star. Interesting characters well developed plot and good dialogue.
I'm a fan of Elizabeth Peter's gothic-romance/mysteries but I found this one to be below her usual standard. Along with other reviews I found the descriptions of drug use to be the main culprit. They were dated, distracting, and on occasion illogical. Otherwise it's a quick entertaining read-great for the work-commute bus ride.
Linda O
Jul 25, 2009 Linda O rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1971. 343 pgs. A departure for Peters from the Amelia Peabody series. This was a more modern-day setting, whereby a girl is drawn to find a father that she thought long dead. Lots of Mexican ruins and intrigue. It is SO era 1971!!! - mention of 'Fuzz,' Kent State, experimentation of LSD, peyote, etc., Vietnam War, NO Cell phones! It was enjoyable.
Feb 02, 2010 Effie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book was written in the early 70's, and it is very dated. Marijuana is the drug being smuggled from Mexico to the US. At different points is called weed, joints, dope, etc. Getting high is referred to as turning on, turning out, high, doped up, etc. LSD is the new evil coming up. If only the world was still as simple.
Jan 06, 2014 Ginny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is there a way to give a book negative stars? This author is one of my favorites, but this book really was terrible. None of the characters were compelling and the plot centered around drugs. Blah. Although it was nice to see that even favorite authors write duds. And it was interesting to see her style already emerging in one of her earlier novels.
Jenn Estepp
Of all the Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels books I've read, since going on a massive kick starting last spring (I think? Maybe last winter.) this is probably the book that has held up the least over time. It's super dated - drugs! hippies! - and I still enjoyed it for what it was, but it's far from her best moment.

this was quite a departure from the other books i've read by peters thusfar; a lot darker.

the title implies humor, but there is absolutely none. material is a bit dated [1970s], but illegal drug trade is still an issue. quite suspenseful. carol has to deal with family secrets and pain, also pain in other relationships. but she handles everything very wisely for a young college woman.
Nov 08, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads, mystery
One of Peters' weaker works - but that's like saying it's not the best ice cream you've ever had. The plot ages less well than some of her others due to the drug angle, the heroine is nothing special, and the love interest is a tacked-on nothing, but the setting and historical detail compensate. Makes me want a Mexican vacation.
The story was in the first person narrative, it was slow to start and very dated in writing,1971. If you can get past that it was an alright story of college student Carol and her boyfriend Danny going to Mexico during vacation and being caught in a mystery that started with her fathers disappearance 13 years ago.
I confess did not finish this book. I couldn't not figure out where she was going with it and kept letting my mind wander. A sure sign that it was time to call it quits. Ah well. So, I'll refrain from rating it. :)
Feb 09, 2011 Maryann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story was definitely dated... written in 1971. It was evident in the dialogue and in the way people related to each other. The story itself was okay. It was evident that the characters didn't understand drug addiction, but I guess that's appropriate for the date it was written.
Michelle Wardhaugh
Good. It lacked the humor many of her novels have that I enjoy the most, but it had a properly engaging couple of characters and a fairly involving plot. The romance at the end felt forced and tacked on to appese some established pattern or exacting editor.
Jun 17, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mexico
This was a very interesting story and it evoked my memories of the sixties and seventies.
Sarah Sammis
Jun 07, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pc, read-in-1999
My mother gave me this book right after I got back from Mexico City. And I stubbornly waited 10 years (!) to read the book. It was wonderful. What the heck was I thinking?
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  • The Dark on the Other Side
Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote 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 Frede ...more
More about Elizabeth Peters...

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