The Seventh Sinner
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Seventh Sinner (Jacqueline Kirby #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,679 ratings  ·  84 reviews
At first, Jean Suttman thought she had died and gone to Heaven when she was granted the opportunity to study in Rome. But the body that's lying in the ancient subterranean Temple of Mithra--the murdered corpse of a repulsive and disliked fellow student--isn't her idea of heavenly. Now she is truly frightened, not just because small "accidents" seem to be occurring around h...more
Paperback, 258 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Avon Books (first published 1972)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukePleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonFatal Fixer-Upper by Jennie Bentley
First books of some good cozy series
130th out of 301 books — 357 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichDead Until Dark by Charlaine HarrisDark Lover by J.R. WardThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
Series with Sass
66th out of 181 books — 131 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,401)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Barbara ★
I absolutely love Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series so I thought I'd give her earlier work a try what a mistake. There really wasn't a likable character among the bunch. Nope not even the main character, Jacqueline Kirby. Jacqueline is a librarian who sort of horns in on a group of college students working on projects to maintain their grants. The seven semi-friends meet every morning at the local cafe for coffee and feel compelled to include a disagreeable fellow who refuses to get lost....more
Carolyn F.
Audiobook. I have the cassettes, not the CDs.

I can't believe I'm categorizing this as a period piece since I was alive then but it is written in the 1970s and so does have dialogue from that time period, "Right on" and calling cops the "Fuzz". As I was alive during that time period, I can safely say no one in my impoverished, crime riddled neighborhood in the Bay Area of California called the police the "Fuzz". So, I'm thinking at the time she wrote this, Elizabeth Peters wanted to appear up to...more
For some bizarre reason, I have ignored the many books of Elizabeth Peters despite consistently favorable reader reviews. Stupid move, because I really enjoyed this one, written several years ago and reissued. I listened to it on my Audible player while traveling, and it was a very enjoyable 6 hours. Apparently, Peters has become known for her Amelia Peabody series, Amelia being known for an acerbic wit and getting herself into and out of difficulties. Jacqueline Kirby must be a forerunner of Pe...more
The plot and a couple of the characters stood out as real people but Jacqueline Kirby, this series' sleuth was not one of them. I was most of the time repelled by her. She's a little like the Wizard of Oz bringing about a final resolution to problems, and occasionally being maternally protective without an iota of grace, but we never get a peak behind the curtain. We learn she is free of obligations and her apparent goal is to fully indulge her freedom in any way that entertains her, and with a...more
Lynne Tull
This is the first book of the Jacqueline Kirby series although not shown as such above...

I think I have found my next mystery writer. Thanks to a GR friend for recommending Elizabeth Peters. I am not sure why this mystery is classified as fiction. The book could be non-fiction with the amount of ancient Roman history that Ms. Peters wove around her mystery. The mystery was almost secondary, but she presented it in such a way that I didn't mind at all. Jacqueline Kirby is a librarian and is the d...more
This was an enjoyable read, although I didn't like it as much as the first Elizabeth Peters mystery I read a week or so ago, The Murders of Richard III. I'm glad I read that first, as my impression of the author was initially better than it would have been if I'd read this one first.

I'm excited to have found a new mystery author with a plethora of books for me to dip into.

On a random note: I read of a 119 pound girl being described in this book as "chubby," although the extra weight was distribu...more
This one was not as good as Peter's Amelia Peabody stories. One of the main characters, Jacqueline, was strange and the narrator was not the best choice for the story. However, the setting of ancient Rome gave it the historical/archaeological feel that Peters tends to have in her stories. Also, the idea of the main characters as modern scholars studying various aspects of the ancient city was interesting, but I felt that the listener/reader would have understood the ending of the story better if...more
I loved the scholarly atmosphere of this one. I was a bit disappointed to discover that I must have read this once way back when - I didn't even remember whodunit (though I put the clues together much quicker than usual, presumably because I unconsciously remember who the perpetrator was) but I did remember the seven students and their gathering. Regardless, it was a fun and quick little mystery.
Weird 70s-era mystery from Elizabeth Peters (author of the Amelia Peabody books) centering on seven young graduate fellows in Rome. Peters' amateur detective, fortyish librarian Jacqueline Kirby, stumbles onto the group and is coincidentally there when one of them--the fellow no one liked--is found horrifically injured in a catacombs. Was it suicide or murder?

The premise sounds interesting, but the characters are all unlikeable in various ways--jealous, snipey, rude, etc.--that it becomes really...more
Yes, another Elizabeth Peter's series. This one is the first in the Jacqueline Kirby mystery series. Jacqueline is a querky American librarian who falls into hillarious mysteries. How could you not adore her adventures???
Ah, Elizabeth Peters {Barbara Mertz}, how I miss thee. So much so, I've gone back to read some of your earlier work that I've missed until now. I haven't read your Jacqueline Kirby series yet (even though I've read all the Amelia Peabody and most of the Vicky Bliss books), so I'm working on that series now.

It was fun, slightly dated now (published in 1972) and has the delightfully expansive cast of characters you handle with aplomb.

I miss your writing. I miss eagerly ordering your latest work a...more
Lady Knight
Yet again, and rather surprisingly, Elizabeth Peters has disappointed me. Now, I will admit that I did listen to this as an audiobook and so some of my dislike may be attributed to my utter distain for the narrator (the name is NOT pronouned Jack-Qwill-In! And how on earth do you substitute an upper-crust British accent for one that changes every line. It starts out as more of an Irish brogue, then heads into Cockney territory and at one point it sounded distinctly Austrailian!), but everything...more
Can I just say that I have read a LOT of Elizabeth Peters books and I have loved every one of them. I think that the part I like the most about her books are her characters. The main characters are all eccentric academic types that happen to solve mysteries for a hobby. The women are all strong willed, intelligent, and hopelessly fearless. At least they never allow their fear to rule them. The interaction of the characters is always entertaining and you really get into the their dialog. I must w...more
Nancy Bennett
A little background:
1. I absolutely love the Amelia Peabody series written by Elizabeth Peters. I have read the entire series, plus the extra book on Egypt. Just LOVE the series.
2. Though middle-aged, I just became a librarian 3 years ago.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know where I am coming from. I was so excited when I stumbled upon the Jacqueline Kirby series ( it's not new, because first book was published in 1972.). A book about a librarian sleuth written by an author I th...more
Catherine Thompson
Jacqueline Kirby meets Jean and Michael at the university library in Rome. Jean and Michael are students studying in the city on grants; Michael is an art student, while Jean is studying art history. They introduce her to the rest of their group, named the Seven Sinners by Andy Scoville, an archaeology student and son of famous archaeologist Sam Scoville. During a tour of some of the city's famous catacombs, a young man, Albert, is killed. Jean discovers him as he lies dying; Albert leaves her a...more
Debra Anne
I read this as a teen, and recently as an adult. As a teen I was captivated by the mystery among students in faraway Rome, and found the older character Jaqueline Kirby very interesting and cool, and I could see her very clearly based on the author's description of her appearance and idiosyncrasies. I was stunned by the conclusion of the book, and one sentence regarding a certain betrayal stayed with me for years more or less intact. "As he condemned his daughter for betraying his son."

The main...more
Jean Poulos
When I heard Barbara Mertz died on August 8, 2013, I looked her books up to see if there was any I had missed reading. Mertz wrote under the name Elizabeth Peter and Barbara Michaels. Under Peter’s she is well known the Abigail Peabody series and under Michaels the Vicky Bliss series. Mertz was an archeologist who wrote mystery novels with an archeology background. I had never heard of the Jacqueline Kirby books until now. I had read all the other books so decided to give the Kirby book a try. M...more
An excellent mystery. Un liked Albert is.murdered. It must have been one of the "seven sinners", A group of students studying in Rome. I takes librarian Jacqueline Kirby to solve the case and get the handsome detective in the end.
The narrator of theis audio book is by far the worst I have ever encountered.

* She attempts an "upper class English accent" for one character that sounds much closer to an Irish brogue.
* Her inflections are dreadful --- you're an audiobook narrator; read ahead a bit to see what your tone should be at a given time.
* The story is set in Rome. Take the time to learn to pronounce the locales and some Italian words and phrases, at least. It's the Via VEN e to, not the Via Ven ET o; its Tras TEV eh...more
Jaqueline Kirby is introduced in this novel and she is somewhat of a cipher. She is kept in the background and all the other characters are better drawn.
This is one the first of Peters published books in the mystery genre and it was a little un even.

But I do like the location ,the history and the interesting trips into catacombs, old churches as a search for a murderer spreads out . A very unlikeable character is murdered leaving a written clue of seven in the dust beside his body. We get to l...more
I forgot how much I love Elizabeth Peters! The mystery itself flies along and while I didn't figure it out until the very end I could look back and see all the clues she laid out through the story. Jacqueline Kirby is a librarian spending the summer in Rome and falls in with a crowd of graduate students and scholars. When a man on the edge of their circle is killed they all come under suspicion. When strange accidents begin to happen, Jacqueline must find the murderer before they strike again. W...more
Kelly Elmore
I liked this first Jacqueline Kirby mystery better than the second one about Richard III. This one was fun. Nothing special, but fun.
My introduction to the Elizabeth Peters character, Jacqueline Kirby. I'm looking forward to reading more!
One of Ms. Peters' first novels, the Seventh Sinner is an enjoyable read. There's no doubt about it. Her writing is quite captivating. Her attention to details and great storytelling are impeccable.

I've read many of Peters' books, mostly her Amelia Peabody series and a couple of Vicky Bliss novels. Compared to these books, however, the Seventh Sinner isn't as good a mystery, but it is a compelling one. It's an interesting setting to stage a mystery to boot - in academia, a highly competitive and...more
Amanda Caldwell
The mystery for this one wasn't as good as the two Vicky Bliss mysteries I read from the author, but it was good nonetheless. Plus, it was short which is always a bonus. I was a little confused about who exactly the main character was... Jacqueline (this series if The Jacqueline Kirby Series) or Jean. It seemed more like Jacqueline was just a side character since the book was basically about Jean. But maybe that's just how this series is. Jacqueline is just kind of the sleuth along for the ride...more
re-read 8das dritte Mal) --> Ich liebe Jacqueline Kirby. Und Michaels Zeichnungen.
Kristen Jones
I really liked her other books, so I tried this series. It was so firmly set in the 1970's I had some trouble seeing past it, and I must admit that part of my dislike for this book might have been for the person reading it. (Grace Conlin) They way she interpreted the characters made them absolutely unsympathetic for me, and so I just didn't care about any of them. Perhaps if I read it myself, I could have made at least one of them seem more likable. I guess I'll never know, as this is the last I...more
This audiobook was very well read. Crime novels sometimes require this reader to flick back a few pages to verify an event or to recall a person's remarks. The story advances at a cracking pace, the murderer unmasked and the final sentence leaves one wondering...
Rachel Piper
Pretty good, but not great. It was really dated, which normally I don't mind, but apparently the 1970s is a decade I loathe reading about, attitudes-wise and fashion-wise. The characters were pretty dull, and despite the supposed close friendship of the seven, most of their time together is spent making snide comments about one another. Jaqueline was an entirely inexplicable character, too, which I suppose was the point, but I had a hard time really caring.
Lisa Greer
Oh, I love Elizabeth Peter's/Mertz/Michael's books.So I picked this one up from my bag of thrift store finds to read at my parents' house this weekend (when I needed an escape). So far, so good. Two likeable heroines. The only thing is that Mysterious Press made several annoying typos like name misspellings. C'mon. How hard can that be? Anyhow, the story is interesting, and Peters has her usual witty and strong women characters I'd like to know.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 80 81 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Crying Child
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)

Share This Book

“You don't sound like a librarian," she said.
"I'm on vacation," Jacqueline laughed. "Well, I supposed there is an image, isn't there? But stereotypes are awfully misleading. there are typical librarians, but not all librarians are typical. Any more than any other profession.”
More quotes…