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The Love Talker

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,430 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Laurie has finally returned to Idlewood, the beloved family home deep in the Maryland woods where she found comfort and peace as a lonely young girl. But things are very different now. There is no peace in Idlewood. The haunting sound of a distant piping breaks the stillness of a snowy winter's evening. Seemingly random events have begun to take on a sinister shape. And do ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Avon (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Having been a die-hard Barbara Michaels fan for years, I was almost reluctant to read her Elizabeth Peters persona. I know they're more popular but I thought that the changes would turn me off a bit. After reading The Love Talker, I'd recommend it as a good place to start for anyone else making the transition. Supposably this book is the closest to her Barbara Michaels style while still being a little different.

Since the story borderlines on the paranormal, but it never goes there, I can't help
Lis Carey
Dec 26, 2013 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audiobooks
This is one of the very early Elizabeth Peters books, when Barbara Michaels was still finding her way with this new voice. It's not as polished as the later Peters books, or the Michaels books, but it's very enjoyable.

Laurie Carlson is in Chicago, laboring on her dissertation in mediaeval history, when a very alarming letter arrives from her great-aunt, Ida Morton. Great-aunt Lizzy, Ida's younger sister, has a new enthusiasm, fairies, and is acting even odder than usual. Can Laurie please come h
Aug 28, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok
Read on audio. I love, really LOVE Elizabeth Peters in all guises but this book is the pits. My public library offers this streamed through Hoopla, read by Grace Conlin. The characters are not very differentiated, and they all seem petulant, childish, or angry. There are many places where the "wrong" voice is used for dialogue, which could be partly the fault of Peters because this book is messy. It relies on some stereotypes rather than characterization and some really antiquated psychological ...more
Sep 10, 2012 Laina rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2014 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters. We have a very educated woman with liberal leanings brought into an estate where, though everything seems cozy and comfortable on the surface, there is something brewing beneath it all. Trouble escalates slowly until there's real danger and our heroine, with some help from some attractive guys, must figure out what's really going on and save the day. Which, of course, she does. There was a nice twist at the end too, which was not less enjoyable for the ...more
Nov 10, 2010 Judy rated it it was amazing
Something evil and dangerous and beyond reason was plaguing young woman's her great aunts. Many complicated and twisted characters. Her half-brother comes to help; no love lost here. Another "writer" lives in to assist the elderly aunts with everyday work. Old uncle slips away to the woods all the time. Keeps you guessing until the end.
Jun 19, 2015 Libraryassistant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-mysteries
I adore almost all of Elizabeth Peters' books, but this one seemed particularly quirky and fun. New England is a different locale for her and the inter familial relationships added interest to the usual strong, witty heroine-dangerous puzzle scenario. Loved it.
Karen Murk
Jan 05, 2013 Karen Murk rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Read many of Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michael books when I was younger. So happy to find an audiobook of a title I had not read. Will be looking for more.....
Heather L
Spent most of the afternoon finishing this. A good mystery and not a bad introduction to Elizabeth Peters.
Lisa Greer
Jan 16, 2009 Lisa Greer rated it really liked it
Another I haven't yet read. So far, it's pretty good. Trying not to get too stuck on reading it since I have things to do today though! :)
Pat Beard
Jun 03, 2015 Pat Beard rated it it was amazing
Oh my, an unexpected plot twist, lots of off-beat characters, Peters getting into her stride. I loved this one.
Oct 28, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
The mystery in this one was a little bit weird, but I still liked the book. Maybe because the main character is named Laura :p
Aug 19, 2008 Marita rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
It was time to read another Mystery. In this one nobody dies! Funny and very clean!
Jan 11, 2017 Carmen rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Oct 18, 2016 Sheila rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
2.5, I guess. I love Peters, but this is definitely the bottom of the barrel.
Aug 08, 2016 Charybdis rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothic
Laurie is asked to stay at Idlewood, the old family home and present residence of two aunts and an uncle, to find out if something is wrong with her youngest aunt, Lizzie, who claims there are fairies in the woods. Laurie's older halfbrother, Doug, will be there as well. A handsome handyman, Jeff, has been looking after the elderly people for the last few years.
Aunt Lizzie has photographs of the fairies that are so well done that Laurie starts wondering if perhaps they could be real. Both aunt L
The Love Talker has Elizabeth Peters' signature banter between likeable witty protaganists, intriguing mystery, humor, and quirky characters. Her heroines are almost always scholarly, yet fun-loving, funny, and down-to-earth. This one has more shades of her Barbara Michaels personae because of the seeming paranormal element of the fairies in the woods. However in a Barbara Michaels version, (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Kari rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, 2013
I'm a fan of Barbara Michaels aka Elizabeth Peters, so I thought I would see if The Love Talker was like the other Barbara Michaels books I have read in the past. It was very similar, but it ended up being just an OK read for me It may have been the narrator of the audiobook. Her voices blended together too much so that it was sometimes hard to figure out who was talking. I may have liked it more if I had read it instead.

The mystery was easy enough to figure out. Even the reveals/twists at the
Jun 24, 2010 C. rated it really liked it
I love how dated this book was. Published in the 1980s, it lacked all the current technological advances. No cell phones, lap tops, pda's, pagers, internet, etc. I found it refreshing. And the story was fun, too. Peters' heroines are always sharp-witted, driven, and fallible in a way that makes sense and keeps the pages turning. I adored the two aunts and uncle and the set up with the fairy photos. Nice resolution, too, that was happy without being gushy. I don't think I've ever read a book by h ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2010, audio
This review is based on an audiobook version of the story. The mystery itself was entertaining but I never really warmed to any of the characters - though some of this may be due to the reader's choice of "voices" to represent each of the characters. If I didn't like the voice, I tended not to care for the character. There were enough twists and surprises in the plot to hold my interest and the ending was unexpected - clever but a little disturbing. Not the same caliber of story telling as found ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Jean rated it really liked it
The Love Talker feels more like a Barbara Michaels novel. I could also believe that Mary Stewart wrote it. There's very little romance, but there is a nice little mystery. I didn't expect some of the twists, but in hindsight the trace was laid to be followed. The main family had thoroughly likeable characters. I could relate to Laurie's trials with her elderly relatives and her half-brother. The book was a fun read.
Dec 29, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
I read this book while on a bus trip and I must admit it was a page turner. Quirky characters, secrets hidden in the past and quite a few twists made the time fly. It starts out simply enough, a woman is worried about the great aunts and uncle who raised her. She travels home and meets her half-brother and it goes from there. Fairies, sleep walking, mysterious music in the night and the past returns all lead up to an exciting ending with one last twist that explains a lot of past behavior.
Jun 18, 2015 Catherine rated it it was amazing
A story about a charming pair of old ladies who believe that fairies have been found on their property, inspired by the Cottingley fairies hoax in England in the 1920s. Interesting and unusual story, skillfully written, with likable characters and an unexpected conclusion (unexpected, at least, by me!).
May 27, 2013 Besha rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I just reread this, and wow! I remembered the fat-shaming (guys, the main character is 5'7 and 127lbs, i am not making this up), but I'd forgotten about the incest vibes. I always enjoy MPM, but this has not aged as well as the rest of her oeuvre.

I was, however, delighted to realize that this was where I first heard of "Goblin Market."
Feb 07, 2015 Tifa rated it it was amazing
I don't know how I missed this one when I first binge-read all the Elizabeth Peters' books in the local library years ago, but I really enjoyed it. The characters are quirky and remind me so much of my relatives of a certain age in that part of the country. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Sep 28, 2011 Linda rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- This book has the usual plot holes typical of an early Peters, but it's a fun read nevertheless and holds the reader's attention. Much more detailed characterization would have raised this book to another level, yet it was an engaging story.
Mary Stenvall
May 20, 2016 Mary Stenvall rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Elizabeth Peters. This one, not one of my favorites. The characters are not as well drawn, the mystery is cluttered. Peters is also author Barbara Michaels, so I'm moving on to Barbara.
girl writing
Feb 26, 2012 girl writing rated it liked it
Entertaining, fast read. Fun, quirky characters. Story skirts the edges of paranormal (this one has fairies) as do many of her books (esp under Barbara Michaels). The mystery itself wasn't too hard to figure out and all loose ends neatly tied up by the end.
Stephanie Hughes
Apr 28, 2008 Stephanie Hughes rated it liked it
This book was really intriguing. It was not at all what I expected. There were a couple of slow parts, but it keeps you guessing until the very end!
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  • Vanish with the Rose
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
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