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Borrower of the Night (Vicky Bliss, #1)
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Borrower of the Night (Vicky Bliss #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  3,605 ratings  ·  233 reviews
Meet art historian Vicky Bliss, She is as beautiful as she is brainy--with unassailable courage, insatiable curiosity, and an expertise in lost museum treasures that often leads her into the most dangerous of situations.

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 Ger
Mass Market Paperback, 310 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Avon Books (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
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
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
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
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
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.
Annie Walker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
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:)
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
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
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
Later this year I will be spending an afternoon in Rothenburg so was excited to see a book that was actually set there. Added to this was the fact that the treasure they were hunting for was a ‘long lost’ piece of work by Bavarian wood carver Tilman Riemenschneider, and St James church in Rothenburg is famously known for its Holy Blood altar piece by Riemenschneider. Obviously I was meant to read this book.

Sadly it wasn’t the greatest cozy mystery I have ever read, however there were lots of lov
Vicki Bliss is a historian who has just had the find of a lifetime fall into her lap, proof that a shrine built by Remenschneider (I listened to the book so spelling may be suspect) actually existed. A race between herself and her lover, Tony Lawrence, as well as treasure hunter George Nolan, takes them all to Germany in an old, supposedly haunted castle.

In the setting of the book, the castle is now a hotel run by the final countess (who married into the family) and the last surviving Drachenste
I listened to the audio book version of this. I do not know if I liked the book less because I heard rather than read the story.

First, something I liked:
I liked that this was a cozy mystery that was not about a murder at the beginning of the book but rather more of a search for treasure, albeit also about the ancient whodunit.

Second, something I did not like:
I really did not care for any of the characters. I did not dislike the bad "guys" because I did not care enough. I did not like the good
Lady Knight
I love Elizabeth Peters! I love Amelia Peabody Emerson (and company), and I really like the Vicky Bliss mysteries, too. I recently realized that although I've read both series numerous times, I had never actually read the very first Vicky Bliss (mainly I think since it does not feature Smythe...). So I went back and read it. Honestly, this is the worst novel Elizabeth Peters has written. Compared to many others in the genre it isn't bad, but I can't say that it was outstanding.

Vicky Bliss is th
Lisa Kay
★★★½✩ Well narrated by Susan O'Malley, this audiobook by Ms. Peters is a nice little ghost story set in an old German castle with secret passageways, that eventually leads to a séance, then a treasure hunt. I liked the (brilliant) Vicky Bliss and her lover, Tony, well enough; I enjoyed their trying to “one-up” each other in their challenge, and that their sparing never turned mean-spirited. But, I’ll be honest and say I liked Amelia Peabody in her series more. What am I saying? I loved Amelia
Barbara Brien
Oct 20, 2013 Barbara Brien rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like mysteries, history, strong female characters
Shelves: mystery, audio
My friend and I listened to this book on a drive from Georgia to Massachusetts yesterday and today. My friend was not overly impressed with the book, although I liked it quite a bit.

I liked the heroine's strength, and the story was good, with a dual mystery to be solved, and a couple of surprises at the end. My one issue with the book was that a couple elements did not stand up to time well.

One of these elements was the "feminism," especially noticeable in the first part. The author's desire t
Feb 01, 2012 Sam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in the 5 book Vivki Bliss Series. I've wanted to tryout Elizebeth Peters for some time, without getting drawn into her longer running series, and this seems like a nice start. Vicki is a history instructor at a small Midwestern college, with a passion in art history and a professional rivally with a fellow colleague and suitoir Tony.

Whlie reviewing books for his editor Vicki and Tony come acorss some text that put them on a competing path for a long lost shrine carved by
2 1/2 stars

Originally posted on my blog here.

After getting hooked into the FRIGGIN' AMAZING world of Amelia Peabody I had high hopes for this series also by Elizabeth Peters. I shouldn't have gotten so excited.

After the hilarious dry humor and wit of Amelia, Vicky was too light and modern, not enough substance to her as a character or to the story line as a whole. I've heard that the series gets better as time goes on (as in a better guy shows up...hey, romantic tension is one way to keep me int
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  • The Dancing Floor
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...
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.” 9 likes
“love has a very dulling effect on the brain” 6 likes
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