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Die for Love (Jacqueline Kirby #3)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,903 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
This Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, who writes as both Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels, has long been a favorite with romance readers. In Die for Love, she offers a satirical look behind the scenes at a fictitious romance
writers' convention. Jacqueline Kirby (the sharp-tongued, quick-witted, good-looking librarian from Coldwater College, Nebraska) is eager
Paperback, 274 pages
Published February 15th 1987 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1984)
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Simon Mcleish
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in November 1999.

The third Jacqueline Kirby novel is one of Elizabeth Peters' most outrageous. Setting a mystery at a romantic novels conference enables her to write several over the top spoofs of a genre almost beyond parody. Like her heroine, she clearly enjoys the bad taste piled on in such huge amounts; enough kitsch becomes fun.

Yet there are aspects of the romance industry of which Peters does not approve, and which this book criticises: the deceptions c
Ivonne Rovira
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Acerbic, clever Jacqueline Kirby has had it with her college librarian job in dreary, desolate Coldwater, Neb., and she makes her way back to the Big Apple for a romance writers’ conference — more as a vacation than as a future vocation. While she’s there, Jacqueline witnesses the death of Dubretta Duberstein, a tabloid reporter-columnist who lets it be known that she is hot on the trail of serious — possibly criminal — shenanigans involving some of the romance writers and an unscrupulous harrid ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Elizabeth Peters writes some of my favorite, lighthearted, sassy mysteries.  Some know of my secret addiction to trashy romance novels...this books mocks the entire romance culture and illustrates why I enjoy reading them.  
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, mystery
Set in the midst of a conference for romance writers, this mystery features my favorite Peters character Jacqueline Kirby, a librarian from Coldwater College of undetermined age. Eager to escape the rain in Nebraska, Kirby sets off for NYC to attend the Historical Romance Writers of the World conference because she thinks she can write off the cost as business deduction on her tax return(!). Sandwiched in between the clues of the exciting mystery plot are magnificent tongue-in-cheek looks at bod ...more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery, mystery
Elizabeth Peters novels are my comfort food. Rereading Die for Love years after I initially read it reminded me why Jacqueline Kirby can hold her own with Peters' better-known heroines (Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss) thanks to her clever deductions and acerbic wit.
Lisa Greer
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm a sucker for anything by Elizabeth Peters. She has a Ph.D in Egyptology AND writes first class mystery novels full of wit and trivia. Oh, and she's in her 80s or close to it and is still writing novels.
This book was seriously ridiculous—and seriously awesome. The whole time, I kept wondering if it was a brilliant work of satire or an outlandish and absurd farce. In the end I decided it is both. But who cares? I was wildly entertained, and that’s all that matters.

Only Barbara Michaels/Barbara Mertz/Elizabeth Peters could write a book where I cannot stand the heroine, do not understand the murder, do not care about the victim(s?), cannot fathom the setting’s existence, but yet enjoy every minute
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my top three Elizabeth Peters' novels but is also one of my favorite books of all. I love everything about Peters' writing here. Her wit is in top form, and Jacqueline is perfectly acerbic and smart. I adore how Peters gently (yet perfectly) pokes fun at the romantic novel industry, from authors to readers. She keenly hits on many of the problematic issues of the genre that are still problems decades later. Everything about this book is funny yet on point, and I'm starting to real ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about a year ago. I'm a fan of Peters' Amelia Peabody series, and this (along with Vicky Bliss) is a somewhat less well-known series.

I enjoyed the lampooning of the Historical Romance community. As an avid HR reader, I think it helps to have a sense of humor, as its all just too silly to be taken seriously. I also like the Jacqueline Kirby character, though she can come across as harsh sometimes. The mystery was well formed, and it wasn't until the last 15% or so that I had an
Inane, I couldn't keep my mind on it, it was so boring.
Asst. Head Librarian at Coldwater College in Nebraska, Jaqueline Kirby, decides to take a trip to NY making it tax deductible by attending a convention of the Historical Romance Writers of the World. What follows is supposed to be funny, but it's not; it supposed to be entertaining, but it's not. I don't even want to go into details, if you like this kind of book read it yourself.
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
I picked this up only because Jacqueline Kirby was the only character I liked in Peters' The Murders of Richard III. She is back in this fluffy book full of more cardboard characters and predictable plot. Ms Kirby's character herself seemed a little bit splintered... my least favorite of her books.
Shonna Froebel
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Love the intelligent, sexy librarian main character
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, summer-2018
So I still feel very torn about this book. It has a lot of the old fashioned tropes of the other Kirby books that I don’t like (fat=evil, etc). It’s set at a Historical Romance Conference, which was at times hilarious and at other times annoying. This book was published in the hey day of Old School Romance, so there’s a lot of talk about romance being not feminist and full of rape, which was true at the time. There’s a lot of poking fun at romance as well as enthusiasm for romance, so it was har ...more
Emily M
Somehow lacks the charm of the Amelia Peabody series. I have tried one other contemporary Peters, and her modern heroines come across as full of themselves. I enjoyed the satirical perspective on romance novels and those who write them, but the mystery wasn't that interesting to me, nor did I care about any of the characters. Maybe I would have cared more about the protagonist if I had read the previous books in this series, but I don't plan to go back and find out. Disappointing.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Librarian Jacquelin Kirby attends an historical romance writers conference out of boredom and enters a maelstrom of intrigue and hate and fear. When a reporter who plans an expose on the top literary agent for some unknown reason, dies Jaqueline is convinced she was murdered. So she sets out to discover the culprit and does, but not before there is another death. An excellent read.
T. Rhodes
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly entertaining!
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, library
I found Jake to be annoying in this book. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't terribly good either.
Deborah Wysinger
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jacqueline Kirby was more outrageous than usually. The over the top characters at the romance convention were just what she needed to offset the boredom she was feeling at work.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A refreshing piece of fluff after a series of difficult and depressing books. Peters includes so much humor and wit in her work, I think I would enjoy reading anything she writes, even her grocery list. This silly cast of characters, romance writers of all types and disguises, swarms through this ridiculous NYC convention like ants at a picnic. Not as good as an Amelia Peabody story, and a little dated, but still fun.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
funny and satirical. Well worth reading this first volume of Jacqueline Kirby series.
Ea Solinas
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Elizabeth Peters is one of those rare authors who can mingle intelligent whodunnits with sheer lunatic hilarity. And rarely did she show this as expertly as in "Die For Love," a brilliantly twisting whodunnit that expertly lampoons romance novels and the writers who churn them out. Peters surrounds her acerbic heroine with mounds of puffy pink luvvyluv, but also tosses in a startling murder into the mix.

Jacqueline Kirby, seeking to expand her horizens and get out of a romantic rut, travels to Ne
It feels to me like Peters floundered a bit as a writer until she developed Amelia Peabody. Both Vicky Bliss and Jacqueline Kirby have whiffs of Mary-Sue-ishness that I find a bit off-putting (of course they're beautiful, slim, stacked, well dressed, and well coiffed AND clever, incisive, resourceful, AND popular with the boys), and her protagonists' sharp tongues and combative banter only reach their full potential when paired with regular sparring partners who match their irreverence and erudi ...more
Amber Spencer
I liked this quick mystery, but I felt like I was missing something just jumping into the series in the middle of it. Some language I could do without. Funny parts and guessing of "who done it".
Amber Foxx
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Librarian/amateur sleuth Jacqueline Kirby attends a romance writers’ conference, at which a sudden death that she suspects is a murder takes place. Was it poison? I wonder if this book, written twenty years ago, was meant as a subtle satire on the amateur sleuth novel, as well as a broader satire on the historical romance.

I enjoyed learning about such predecessors to the modern erotic romance as the Victorian epistolary novel The Lustful Turk. I never heard of it until reading this book, and do
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read all three of the Jacqueline Kirby novels in a row. What started out as a series about a middle-aged mom out on her own and solving mysteries, has devolved into a protagonist who gets more and more attractive as we progress from book to book, who uses her looks to get the information she needs and takes longer and longer to solve the mystery. The amount of information given on the topic each book centers around is extensive. It shows a love for the subject and a desire to share it, to bri ...more
Tara Carpenter
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed this take on the opposite side of romance novels. Our heroine, Jacqueline Kirby, plans her vacation around attending a convention for romance writers and fans. She is there purely for entertainment sake and goes all out to jump into the culture in her own satirical way. But when someone is poisoned she reverts to her mystery-solving ways and rounds up the usual suspects to unmask the murderer.

Even though I've read one of this series before, this one really seemed to jump into the plot
"This may be one of the funniest mysteries I have ever read. The antics of the people at the romance writers' convention, authors and fans alike, were hysterical. As was Jacqueline's convoluted rationale for her vacation.[return][return]Anyway. The mystery itself was pretty good, with a solution I wasn't expecting (granted, I'm almost always surprised). The equal attention to professionals and fans at the convention was nice, and several of the fans were fairly well fleshed out. Jacqueline's arg ...more
Lynne Tull
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I think I am going to have to read something more current by Ms. Peters. This series was written some thirty years ago. The books are touted to have 'humor and romance' along with the mystery. However, Jacqueline Kirby's humor is a combination of the silly and acerbic. The romance is disjointed. There is a different 'friend' in each book. I have no idea how they got there and why they are there. The interaction doesn't come across as romantic...more like adversarial on her part. Not to be a spoi ...more
Dharia Scarab
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

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  • Smoke and Mirrors
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
More about Elizabeth Peters

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Jacqueline Kirby (4 books)
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