Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer of the Dragon” as Want to Read:
Summer of the Dragon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer of the Dragon

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,741 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Fledgling Anthropologist D.J. Abbot accepts Hank Hunnicutt's offer of summer work, despite her rich new employer's reputation as a certified oddball. Neither Hunnicutt's penchant for funding all manner of weird projects -- from alien conspiracy studies to a hunt for dragon bones -- nor the charms of handsome professional treasure hunter Jesse Franklin are going to sidetrac ...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published May 28th 1979 by Dodd, Mead & Company (first published 1979)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer of the Dragon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Summer of the Dragon

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,741 ratings  ·  130 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Summer of the Dragon
It is hard to believe this is a full length novel---the plot almost doesn't seem sufficient for one. The villain was super obvious. And the threats and antics only just appear to start up before everything wraps up.
But it was entertaining. The characters are vivid, the setting intriguing, and the romance cliche but appealing. It cuts out all the "fat" of a mystery/adventure story and leaves just the bare bones. But those bones work well.
Sarah Booth
I usually like Peterson's characters but this one I was pretty ambivalent about. She was argumentative and ate all the time. I can relate to this sadly but didn't seem to be all that endearing. Hank was an interesting character as his right hand man, but she made you wonder. All the descriptions of food made me hungry. ...more
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes Elizabeth Peters reminds me strangely of Diana Wynne Jones ... esp. this book, which has several very Deep Secret moments, such as the eccentric convention of odd characters. It's a good thing! The only part about this book that I really couldn't stand was the fact that she kept mentioning the hero's moustache ... I just couldn't picture him as attractive when the only image coming to my mind was 70s cowboy ... yuck. Apart from this point, which I fully admit is totally shallow and wit ...more
2018 Review
This book really is the perfect quick comfort read for me. It's the best of what brain-candy fiction can offer. It's smart, funny, and fast-paced. I wish I had more room in my house for a bookshelf dedicated solely to Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels books. Maybe if I get rid of the dining room table....

D.J. Abbott is a grad student at a Cleveland-area university specializing in anthropology. Because she has failed to plan ahead, it is nearly the end of the semester and her fellow st
3/24 I am not finding this particularly interesting. I am puzzled by the high ratings, because, while there are some interesting characters in this, mostly it's been chit-chat, low on plot. ...more
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining but seemed very dated. Kind of funny, all the sexist comments. But I'm a huge Elizabeth Peters fan and will read just about anything she's written. ...more
I enjoyed listening to this mystery. I would rate it higher, but I'm trying to save 4 and 5 star reviews for superlative work. There wasn't anything wrong with this, though, and I wish we could award 1/2 stars, because it deserves 3 1/2. ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the protagonist!
Jacob Tolley
I chose to read Summer of the Dragon, by Elizabeth Peters for my October Book Report. In this book, the main character is a young girl, who goes to a ranch in Arizona for the summer. She is a graduate student who is studying archeology at the ranch. After a series of accidents happen including when Hank, the owner of the ranch goes missing, the other guests soon begin to accuse each other.

In my opinion, Elizabeth Peters did a really good job at making the book flow. The whole book is written in
Well this story read a little bit too slowly for me. I stuck with it and did finish. I liked the snarky character of D. J. Abbot. She was really likable and her sarcasm was fresh. The title of the book mislead me a bit as I am a lover of all things "Dragon". Overall the storyline was good as it turned out. I would really like to read another adventure about D.J.. Desperate to get far from her parents and in need of a job, D.J. accepts a position with rich but eccentric oddball Hank Hunnicutt. He ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading Elizabeth Peters since I was a teenager and went through all her books in the local library. Then I found out that she also wrote as Barbara Michaels and went through all those as well. But I'd never seen this one before and now I'm glad I found it, just wishing she'd used these characters for a book series. I really liked the spunk of D. J. Abbott. She's a great personality and a fun narrator. The story is set in the western states, so not sure why the description has Clevelan ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Ms Peters has done it again. I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on another one of hers. I started this last night, had read the first seven chapters before I had realized it and devoured the rest this morning. The characters are pretty well rounded with enough zany crazy ones to keep it interesting. The heroine is sassy, smart, well educated and independent and, as I said before, fluent in sarcasm; something I can directly relate to. I like that Ms P's heroines don't go off doing s ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Elizabeth Peters, a gem as true as they’ve ever come. Having picked this up in a bargain bin for $1, I wasn’t expecting much. Imagine my surprise when I realized (quite early on, too) that I was in for a treat.

Only 75% of my way through the book did I think to look at the publication date: 1979, and still relevant, witty, adventurous, and enjoyable— that’s true talent.

Plus, a strong female protagonist in the (albeit late) 70s? Yes, please. 🙌

There’s no doubt about Peters’ education and smarts;
Claude Dancourt
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, I enjoyed every minute. I loved D.J. She is snarky and sarcastic and real and both sane and insane and perfectly imperfect. Tom and Jesse are fantastic specimen of the male species. Hank is... There's nothing I can say about Hank unless I borrow from Tony Stark. "I want one."

Add to those fantastic characters the flamboyant desert of the South-West, and you are sure to have a great great time.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is, by far, my favorite elizabeth peters book. the protagonist is absolutely wonderful and sarcastic and keeps the book interesting even in the parts i find boring in other e.p books, like the more technical descriptions of the book. probably one of my all time favorites, i absolutely devoured it and loved the story, the characters, and the ending (which wrapped up every plot point ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY!) in one emoticon: (☆_☆)
Tara Carpenter
A super cute little mystery/romance by a favorite author. While I will always love the Amelia Peabody series, these stand alones are fun too. Cute and lovable narrator, hunky smart guys, lots of eccentric characters, and tons of humor. Lots of chuckling. This is clean in language, sex, and even super mild in violence.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
DJ, a student anthropologist, gets a cushy job with an extremely wealthy crackpot, Peters fills her time with zanies and the less zany, everything wraps up neatly, romance included. Much better than the few I’ve listened to recently, although grouchy heroes aren’t quite to my taste, hungry heroines make up for it.
Flora McGowan
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Elizabeth Peters book I read and I was hooked. Many years later I reread it and while possibly it had dated a little, or perhaps because her writing improved with later novels, it did not hit me with quite the same force, I still think of it fondly.
Sue Kimmet
I enjoyed another of Elizabeth Peters winners although I found the plot to be thin and the characters less well developed than in others I have read. I was disappointed in the romantic element, which felt contrived. Nonetheless, an enjoyable read.
May 12, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had higher hopes for this book. I really loved the Vicky Bliss and Amelia Peabody series but this one is cliche and stereotype filled, plot is weak. It seemed like a pilot for a new series that never materialized.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Modern style can never go wrong with this author!
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Not bad, but not the most interesting mystery I've read - it's pretty cookie-cutter. Every other chapter was like "we need to find Hank!" all the way to the end. Lol. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a page turner, but I loved the setting.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorites of the Peters' standalone novels. ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
maybe it was just ok cause i had just finished a 5 star listen and this was lackluster
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I listened to the audiobook version. It wasn't bad. Not something I would normally pick, but I'm not mad I did. It was nice to recognize some of the things mentioned in the book. ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to find an Elizabeth Peters novel that I hadn't read. That is, until I started reading it. What a disappointment! ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So now I am expanding into a re-read of Elizabeth Peters at the same time as Barbara Michaels. This is one of my favourites.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute. Formulaic of her books but I enjoyed it and the Arizona setting.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Shattered Silk (Georgetown, #2)
  • Rose Cottage
  • Vanish with the Rose
  • Stormy Petrel
  • Stitches in Time (Georgetown, #3)
  • Madam, Will You Talk?
  • Ammie, Come Home (Georgetown, #1)
  • Into the Darkness
  • Sons of the Wolf
  • Copy Cap Murder (Hat Shop Mystery, #4)
  • At the Drop of a Hat (Hat Shop Mystery, #3)
  • Witch
  • Assault & Beret (Hat Shop Mystery, #5)
  • Death of a Mad Hatter (Hat Shop Mystery, #2)
  • Patriot's Dream
  • Buried to the Brim (Hat Shop Mystery, #6)
  • The Ivy Tree
  • Flash
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Twists, turns, red herrings, the usual suspects: These books have it all...and more. If you love mysteries and thrillers, get ready for dozens...
107 likes · 26 comments
“The mountains were rough amethysts, against a sky like a giant stage backdrop—layers of gauzy scarlet and gold and amber, lit from behind by mammoth spotlights.” 1 likes
More quotes…