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Legend in Green Velvet
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Legend in Green Velvet

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,559 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Scotland is Susan's passion and obsession, and the opportunity to join a Highland dig is a dream come true for the young archaeology student. But then a sinister stranger slips Susan a cryptic message in ancient verse--and is later found viciously slain. A mysterious peril has unexpectedly emerged from the mists to haunt Susan, sending her running for her life in the compa ...more
Audio CD
Published September 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published March 1st 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
4 biased stars ("I really liked it.")

The good: Elizabeth Peters is the equivalent of comfort food; I read a lot of her books in high school/college and I'll always have a soft spot for them. This book isn't so much romantic suspense as romantic comedy with some suspense thrown in. It's lighthearted and silly; the best word to describe this whole book, I think, would be "caper." The historical elements are added with a light hand (as always--Peters is so good at that), characters are vivid, and d
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

After coming off a major book slump of 3 library books that became "did-not-finish"-ers, I decided to go back and re-read an oldie from my Elizabeth Peters collection. Sure glad I did, since this offering was just the kind of light-hearted escapism I needed.

Peters knows how to craft an irreverent, campy romp of a novel, and this one is no exception. There's Scottish history aplenty, sarcastic young heroines, less-than-alpha heros, villians to be avoided, and kitten
I've read this book actually several times over the years, probably the first time when I was a teenager. Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels is one of my mother's favorite authors and her books crowded the book shelves in the living room. I have my own copies of these books now and read this one again recently. It does not hold up well to my memory of the book.

Young archaeology student Susan is in Edinburgh, Scotland for the first time in her life when she becomes embroiled in a criminal affair s
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, audio, 2014
Interesting story which, unfortunately, showed its age. By this I mean the heroine was a pushover as far as men went and didn't think anything about it. At least at the beginning of the story. Toward the end she developed a backbone.

The Scottish history bits were told in such a way that even if history isn't your forte, it would be interesting. At least it was for me but I enjoy this sort of stuff.

The adventures through the Scottish landscape was with peril, but fun to listen to. And I liked th
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Three and a half stars rounded up because it was just what I was in the mood for. A light comic adventure-romance with enough Scottish history woven in to keep me interested. Not as good as Peters' Amelia Peabody novels but fine for a quick beach read.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I’m addicted to Elizabeth Peters and couldn’t pass up the chance to read a mystery set in Scotland. The mystery and setting were great as usual, but the main characters were not the best. Susan is a Scottish history buff who receives a message not intended for her and, as usual, it draws the bad guys’ attention. This, of course, leads to chaos for our heroine. Susan isn’t a bad heroine, she’s just… average. Nothing stood out about her personality and a lot of the time it felt like her only main ...more
Laura de Leon
I enjoy reading an Elizabeth Peters romantic adventure, and this one was no exception. I'm not sure how I managed to miss it until now!

Susan has a passion for Scottish history, (and so I learned a number of tidbits as the story advanced) and this leads to a case of mistaken identity, and gets her embroiled in a nasty affair, with bad guys trying to kill her. Luckily her wits and the resources of the guy that gets dragged into this with her are enough to keep them a step or two ahead.

Bonus points
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scotland
I've been an admirer of Elizabeth Peters' work for years, so I was delighted to find a book I hadn't yet read.

In this one, archaeology student Susan is on her way to a dig in the Central Highlands. She has a very romanticized idea of what Scotland is like, and is finding herself disappointed on numerous levels -- especially when she winds up being framed for a murder that pulls her into unwanted intrigue.

Along with her is Jamie Erskine, a young Scot who is heir to the ancestral title and wants n
I'm not sure how to classify this. Is there a genre for very silly romantic suspense? If not, this book shows the need for one. Susan is an American archaeology student with a passion for all things Scotland - especially Bonnie Prince Charlie and Scottish poetry and lore, which are layered into this book with a garden spade. James is a young Scot who despises all that and scorns those who prefer to live in the past. Of course they are thrown together when Susan travels to Scotland and they manag ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm obviously biased toward Elizabeth Peters' books because she is one of my favorite authors, but I re-read her novels because they are fun, comforting and a wonderful palate cleanser after some of the new stuff I try to read. After seeing reviews on this site, I realize Peters isn't for everyone. But, I absolutely love all her books--from the series to the stand-alones like this one. She brings to life interesting characters, especially women who are real yet strong and independent. She includ ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Was a big Elizabeth Peters fan many moons ago. Came across this book and did not remember reading it and it sounded interesting.

I think I did read this, but so long ago I didn't remember it. It was a fun read, easy read. Lot of Scottish history came up, which was interesting. This book hints that the Stone of Scone never actually left Scotland. That is part of the mystery here, but there is a bit more going on than meets the eye.

Enjoyable read.
Pat Beard
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun, this early work is a clear forerunner of the Emerson and Peabody books in its characters, humor, and plot twists. In reading the author's earlier books I have really enjoyed watching the development of her style. This is one of my favorites so far.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Not Elizabeth Peters's finest.
Lori McD
A fun romp of a mystery though Scotland, complete with all the kitsch an American gal sold on Scotland and the Highlands could want - including a hero who looks like a member of the Royal family without his beard! (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book.

Susan has been fortunate enough to get a chance to participate in an archaeological dig in Scotland. She has dreamed of this since she was a young girl.

In an Edinburgh park, she hears an elderly man who is speaking about Scottish history in a very emotional speech. This same man appears in her life several times over the next few days.

After a few days and a series of strange events, she spies the same man following her. When she tries to follow him to find out why,she finds he
Scott Rhee
Perhaps best known for her mystery series involving Amelia Peabody, an archaeologist/detective who solves murder mysteries in exotic locales, Elizabeth Peters has apparently written numerous stand-alone novels throughout her extensive literary career. "Legend in Green Velvet" is one of her stand-alones, and it is the first of hers that I have read. Peters has a crisp prose and a snappy flair for dialogue, and her professorial intelligence (She has a Ph.D. in Egyptology) clearly shows. While I am ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I'd forgotten the astonishing '70s sexism, but MPM's writing is balm to my soul. And her take on Scotland was a nice antidote to Outlander.
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was a dream come true.

"Susan loved all things Scottish. So, when the opportunity presented itself, there was no question in her mind but that she would go on the archaeological dig in the Highlands. It was everything she could have wanted. And more. Much more.

"It was a living nightmare.

"A cryptic message slipped to Susan by a sinister soap box orator was the first puzzle. Why did he choose her? Why was he chasing her? And why, Susan had to wonder, were she and the handsome young laird Jamie
I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I downloaded this one. I picked it because of the Semi-Charmed Kind of Life Summer Reading challenge. The category was to find a book that was in the bookstore or library. "Pick any bookshelf. Read the third book from the left on the fourth shelf from the top." Then I just checked the library to see if it was in e-format or audio and this was the pick.

I would not have picked it had it not been for the challenge. The main character was definitely
BJ Rose
An enjoyable cozy-mystery about a young American woman, Susan, who is about to take part in her first archaeological dig in Scotland. While enjoying the sights of Edinburgh, she gets caught up in some melodrama and a murder, and ends up on the run with a look-a-like of one of her favorite historical figures.

I enjoyed the history about Mary, Queen of Scots, and about Bonnie Prince Charlie, but got turned off a couple of times by Susan 'lecturing' to others about Scottish history. A little bit her
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't high literature, but it is such good fun, one of my all-time favorites when I want a light, entertaining read. I have a very battered old copy that has pages falling out of it, and I've read it so many times I've lost count. It's set in Scotland, and since moving to Scotland myself, I realise now how cheesy a lot of the Scottish brogue dialogue is, but I don't care, because the yarn is such a fun one: atmospheric, windswept, with a sweet romance in the bargain, and a plucky heroine wh ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hurrah for Jamie and Susan, a very lovable set of sleuths caught up in a weird plot involving the murder of a strange old man, odd verse, professional and very amateur conspirators, and rafts of characters that look like historical or unnamed famous people. This is where Peters hit her stride, just past the first Amelia Peabody mystery, and while Legend in Green Velvet wouldn't stand comparison with Crocodile on the Sandbank (some definite plot difficulties and abandoned threads) it is much bett ...more
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Perfect escape reading. Light hearted but filled with mystery (both historic and contemporary), characters that mock their "stock figure" status, and a romance that never descends into sappiness.

The only drawback in this one? Our hero bears a resemblance to...well, I won't spoil it. But suffice it to say, that if this figure was ever a heartthrob, it was WELL before my time. I wish authors would take note of this trouble. If you compare your hero to a current pin-up or movie star, your future re
Sep 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
I'm on an Elizabeth Peters kick because I've found them readily available to download and listen to from my local library. This one is another fun adventure. It is set in Scotland. Susan loves Scotland and is thrilled to work in a dig. She gets caught up in intrigue with Jamie who looks a lot like Bonnie Prince Charlie; to his chagrin and Susan's delight. Who wouldn't want to be on an adventure with a living embodiment of your fantasies? Cases of mistaken identity with Jamie have a few fortuitou ...more
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Susan is a young archaeology student with a passion for Scottish history. She comes to Scotland to work on a dig and becomes entwined in an antiquities theft ring. She meets James, the sarcastic son of a Scottish laird, who even lives in a relic of a castle. James helps her uncover the thieves and restore the antiquities, mostly while running desperately across Scotland.

This was a fun, quick read with a fairly straightforward plot. I liked the quirky, wacky characters. James' father was hilario
Aug 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one follows the formula that most of Peters' stand-alones follow--girl travels somewhere by herself, crazy things happen, girl gets chased around by bad guys and is helped out (usually reluctantly) by a sexy foreign guy. In this case, the sexy foreign guy is one Jamie Erskine, and he wears a kilt. I read this one like 5 times in high school--I dunno, that Jamie just got to me. Well, ok, I'll admit that I've read it a few times since high school as well. It's definitely not good literature, ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Part of the reason I enjoy Peters's Amelia Peabody series so much is that Amelia is such a delightful character. Susan and Jamie/James/Prince Charles lookalike are barely characters at all. The only personality traits they have are those which exist to move the story along. I kept wanting to like it because it's a murder mystery that takes place in the Scottish highlands. It turns out that the two main characters could have gotten themselves killed and not made much of a difference. If you're go ...more
Jenna Littlewood
As always I am never disappointed while reading an Elizabeth Peters book. She is soul food for the eyes, your favorite pair of jeans.

She puts just the right amount of silly, romance, suspense, and lets not forget her sarcastic male romantic lead. As for her female lead Susan, its pretty much the same, a pushover. I do feel she started to get a small backbone by the end. But by then its to late.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know, I generally love Elizabeth Peters, but this one left me cold. I didn't like the main character, who comes across as both prudish and easy, know-it-all and clueless, depending on the plot device used at the moment. Hiking back and forth across Scotland, with her brave man (spitting image of the current royal Prince, apparently) in a kilt, the whole thing just felt totally contrived. I was listening to it, and I had trouble finishing it. Don't bother.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on a road trip. I adored the Scottish setting, and, like the archeology student heroine, I am a sucker for Scottish history. Peters plots deftly, but the somewhat clunky prose and awkward weaving in of descriptions of the characters' appearance tells you this is one of Peters' earlier books. It lacks the mastery of her delightful Amelia Peabody series. Still, it's a fun read if you're an Elizabeth Peters fan.
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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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