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The Murders of Richard III (Jacqueline Kirby #2)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,308 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews

In a remote English manor house, modern admirersof the much-maligned King Richard III—one of Shakespeare's most extraordinary villains—are gathered for a grand weekend of dress-up and make-believe murder. But the fun ends when the masquerade turns more sinister . . . and deadly. Jacqueline Kirby, an American librarian on hand for the festivities, suddenly finds herself in

Audio CD, 200 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1974)
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Fairly average, predictable and try hard 'English Country House' mystery with a quirky American librarian as the sleuth. The subject matter was not dissimilar to Tey's The Daughter of Time but I'm afraid that's where the comparison ends. However, I did enjoy that this book characterized fanatical Ricardians as complete nutters and I couldn't resist awarding it an extra star for that fact alone ;-).
I really, really dislike this character Jacqueline the librarian, and am shocked by it, because I enjoy Peters' other two series very much, especially Vicky Bliss. Maybe it's the third person narrative that keeps the reader more an audience than inside the character's head along for the ride. The character has a lot of Amelia Peabody if she were a late 20th-century divorcee with no binding attachments, but it is the binding attachments and a family of characters that allow us to see into the dee ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Murder and mayhem among the Ricardians, c. 1974.

I didn't enjoy this as much as the Amelia Peabody mysteries I've read, by the same author, but it was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon in bed when I wasn't feeling well.
Apr 23, 2014 Meadow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then I need a light, easy read. My preferred genre in that case is mystery. I'm self-limited by a low tolerance for anything gruesome or too violent. I love the old fashioned mysteries like Sherlock Holmes or Lord Peter Whimsy. Elizabeth Peters isn't quite in that league, but her books are clever and enjoyable reads. Her characters stand out as originals, and her plots have elements other than just "crime".

This book was fun for me because I just watched a documentary on the exhumat
An amusing mystery story about a group of Ricardians with an attractive lady 'detective' given to a dose of sarcasm.

You don't have to be a Ricardian to enjoy the story, but being a bit of one myself, this was my main motivation for reading this - and it made me think I should probably take up the old study (last endulged something like ten years ago now) again.

The book was written in the 1970s, and it shows. In a positive way in the brevity of the book - ah, the good old times, when bestsellers
Jun 29, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ricardians, mystery-novel fans, lovers of meta
I had feared there would be too much about the mystery in modern times and not enough about Richard III, but there was enough discussion of the past (and love for the long-dead man) to suit my tastes. As for the more modern goings-on, they were certainly amusing enough to hold my interest. And since there was more than one mystery, while I solved one of them well before the reveal, the other one snuck up on me.

Elizabeth Peters is one of my favorite writers, and so far none of her books have disa
Jan 28, 2013 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
Okay, I am hoping that Goodreads readers can help me.

I was really excited to read this as I am a staunch Richardian. However, after the page where the character goes on and on about how Charles II was sexy and didnt care about the paintings about those who were not? Yeah, I just made the decision then not to invest my time.

I am not saying that all I read is first rate is just that that particular scene turned me off just ever so much.

Can anyone tell me that I am wrong and it is
I love Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series. This was my first foray into the Jacqueline Kirby series, and the book just didn't resonate with me. It's a fine line that an author walks: I adore Amelia Peabody--she's smart, opinionated, stubborn, and strong-willed. Jacqueline Kirby shares many of the same characteristics, but in her, the traits are annoying instead of endearing.
The mystery itself is great fun for fans of Richard III. A society of Richard III enthusiasts meet at a country estate
Lance Lumley
Feb 15, 2015 Lance Lumley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that know some of Richard's history
Recommended to Lance by: library booksale buy
I have been reading a lot of Mystery themed books this year and discovered this book via a library book sale. I have to admit, the back cover got me very interested but it was a struggle to get through. This is not a knock against the author, but it was VERY detailed about the history of Richard III that took away some of the appeal of the story for me.
The story is about character Jacqueline Kirby is invited to the English country mansion with a bunch of other people who are intensely fans of
C.P. Lesley
Sep 18, 2015 C.P. Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I've been a Ricardian sympathizer since I first made my way through Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time—in high school? college? I can no longer remember. Since then, a lifetime spent studying Europe from the 5th to the 19th centuries has given me a healthy appreciation of the willingness that rulers displayed to dispatch even close relatives who threatened their power, but the case against Richard still strikes me as weak. So I am a perfect audience for this updated, at times hilarious, revisi ...more
Holly Booms Walsh
Aug 10, 2007 Holly Booms Walsh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, British history buffs
Shelves: mystery
This is a Jacqueline Kirby mystery, and I like her even if she is a too-perfect Mary Sue. The book is fun, a drawing room mystery where all the suspects are within one social group, gathered in one house. The group in question are re-enacting the history of Richard III, so the history and theories about the late king are a bonus. This is a quick, easy read.
Jun 22, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Not too exciting of a mystery, but I enjoyed the character of Jacqueline Kirby enough to get through. She certainly stole the show from the stupid, whiny, preposterous protagonist. The rest of the characters are pretty one-dimensional but they are good enough to prop up the plot.
Apr 14, 2009 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-dunits
I didn't like the main characters as much as I did Amelia Peabody and her gang, so I wish I could give this one a 3.5. That, and there needed to be more actual death, rather than the constant 'practical joke' teases. But otherwise highly enjoyable, Christie-esque reading.
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
Like Die For Love, Murders was a fun read. This book, however, is about a group of devotees of Richard III, and how hellbent they are on proving his innocence for the murders of his nephews. Peters had the most concise, easy to understand explanation of that time period. I love Tudor history, and most of the details of the War Of The Roses go over my head, and yet she managed to explain it in a way that made sense! It definitely felt well-researched, and I was reminded of Austenland, for some re ...more
May 06, 2015 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Checking her bibliogrpahy, this book precedes the first Amelia Peabody book by one year. So, I guess Jacqueline, Thomas, and Percy can be viewed as first attempts at Amelia, Emerson, and Ramses. They certainly share the same annoying and endearing traits. But, I found the contemporary (though, 1974) setting of this book made them all less bearable than the more remote Peabody mise en scene. More, the self-conscious "this is real life and not a murder mystery" tone was also offputting - meta-fict ...more
While I loved the Richard III historical references, the plot and characters failed to really grab me in this highly anticipated read. The 3-star rating aptly describes my feelings toward The Murders of Richard III, it was OK.
Aug 11, 2011 Bev rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, mcpl-book
Grabbed this one because it mentioned Richard III in the title...been a little hooked on that subject since reading Tey's Daughter of Time.

This is a good one. Three and a half stars.
A light, fluffy bit of a pseudo-detective romp. You can't call it a murder mystery since there is no murder. Certainly the most interesting part is the discussions among the characters about Richard III's culpability for the murder of the princes in the tower. That had me surfing around for more information. Other than that, there isn't a great deal of content or plot-turning surprises. The meta quality of the fiction is amusing, with references to Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen, and frequent ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Actually, I'm not sure that this book is brilliant. In many ways, these books by Peters (especially off the Peabody series) are purely pulp. But, in other ways, they are such enjoyable pulp that I think they are well worth it.
I appreciate this character, and there is a lot of literature/academic-world reference that is appealingly self-deprecating and humorous.
In this book, in particular, I enjoyed how Peter's folded in the history of Richard III, and the commentary on the difficulty of knowing
Not my favorite Jacqueline Kirby, but still good fun. This time she's off to England to validate a letter that could clear Richard III of murdering the two little princes. So much fun now that they've found the body of said King.
Anyway, she's full-in for a LARP experience before people even know what that was. It's fantastic to read about this thing from the point of view at that time.
Lots of little pranks start occurring. Will they culminate in someone's death? Or can Jacqueline come to the r
Dec 07, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
When I finally sat and finished this mystery, I liked it. Written in 1974, it's very talky, all the action and violence is off stage, and the prankster is unexpected. The plot revolves around the title and its grammatical conundrum. Oh my, I've given readers a giant clue. Nevertheless, if you stick with it, you'll enjoy Peters' mystery. I think I'll try some of her other older mysteries. By the way, the real talent amongst the characters is Jacqueline, the librarian. She solves the mystery, bein ...more
Oct 02, 2013 Alisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the historical stuff more than the actual mystery, which didn't end up being all that intriguing. But the history! This is what makes Elizabeth Peters different. This book also takes on a little more significance in view of the fact that Richard III's remains were finally discovered last year under a parking lot in Leicester, England. I'm glad Elizabeth Peters was still alive to hear about that discovery. It was a pretty big deal. Anyway, not being much of a Shakespearean, I didn't know th ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 29, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
I find this book tremendous fun for several reasons. First, it features Peters' detective Jacqueline Kirby--She of the Purse. While she's perhaps not as brilliant a creation as her Amelia Peabody, I'm very fond of this not so mild-mannered librarian amateur detective.

But then this book also caters to my interest in things Richard III, sending up "Ricardians" (defenders of the maligned king) with gentle affection. In that regard you can rather see this as a homage and sequel to Josephine Tey's Th
Nov 21, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Elizabeth Peters was my favorite author (in all her incarnations; i.e. Barbara Michaels) many moons ago. I know I read this book many moons ago, too. When I ran across this on my local library site for ebooks, I thought I'd revisit it again.
This was a good read and enjoyable; but surprisingly, a bit dated. I guess over time, the writing style conventions change. It seemed a bit too stilted and contrived. I honestly am still surprised that I feel that way. Barbara Mertz (Elizabeth Peters) was suc
Jul 29, 2013 Tara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a huge fan of Elizabeth Peters (or at least, I only read one or two of her Peabody mysteries before losing interest in her stories), but a murder mystery set at a Ricardian conference was kind of irresistible to someone who's a bit of a Richard III geek too.

So now that I've read it, I guess I'll have to say that I'm still not a huge fan of E.P. The book was okay, but I found the so-called "heroine" to be completely distasteful, to the point that it also soured me on the so-called "hero" who
Aug 23, 2012 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Again I must repeat my gripe that goodreads does not allow half star ratings. Because I did enjoy The Murders of Richard the III, It's just that I've enjoyed other books, even stock murder mysteries so very much more. For starters, (and really I suppose this isn't Elizabeth Peters's fault) the back cover synopsis flat out lied to me. Let me quickly recap the basic plot so this makes sense. A group of obsessed Englishmen and women meet at a weekend house party to prove that King Richard III was t ...more
May 26, 2013 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would have liked to give this 2.5 stars, because neither "didn't like it" with two stars, nor "liked it" for three is entirely correct. This book was okay, but is probably the first Elizabeth Peters book I've read [and between the other books written under her own name, and those written as Barbara Michaels, I've read a fair number] that I would not say I loved.

The story of the company of Richard III proponents who have a modern society dedicated to clearing the reputation of Richard, whom the

American librarian, Jacqueline Kirby, has arrived at an English manor house for a weekend of research, debate, and all things surrounding the legend of Richard III of England. She has been invited to join this group of scholars to determine whether a letter, that purportedly vindicates Richard in the deaths of his two nephews, is authentic.

When accidents start occurring to the guests, in the order of Richard’s other victims, suspicion is heightened that th
May 30, 2011 Patty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin11
When I was scanning the library shelves for a good book to read I came across this one by a favorite mystery author, Elizabeth Peters. I, and probably you too, know her as the writer of the popular Amanda Peabody series. This book was done in 1974 and I wasn't even sure if this could be the same writer. It doesn't take place in Eqypt or during an archeological dig.

However, as you get into the story the main character, Jacqueline Kirby, attractive American librarian visiting London, begins to ha
Joy Weese Moll
Apr 23, 2014 Joy Weese Moll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacqueline Kirby is an American librarian last seen in Italy solving the mystery of a student’s death at a pagan temple in The Seventh Sinner. The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters takes Jacqueline to an English manor house. A collection of academic characters gather in determination to prove the innocence of Richard III, maligned by Shakespeare and others as the murderer of the Princes in the Tower. The country house party is all fun and games, at first, complete with costumes and play ...more
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  • Smoke and Mirrors
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

Jacqueline Kirby (4 books)
  • The Seventh Sinner (Jacqueline Kirby, #1)
  • Die for Love (Jacqueline Kirby, #3)
  • Naked Once More (Jacqueline Kirby, #4)

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