Finished Elizabeth Peters
' Die For Love
, 3rd in her Jacqueline Kirby mystery series.
Between this and that Mercedes Lackey short story
, I'm beginning to get this impression that fictional recountings of romance writer professional gatherings are a hotbed of pointless squabbling, passive-aggressive backstabbing, vicious catfighting, and silly costume-wearing. I have got to start finding more of these things to read.
In any case, this was a very funny case of an academic librarian's visit to a trashy genre publicity event where nothing is what it seems, everybody has it in for everybody else and a couple of former friends may or may not harbour deep dark secrets which drive them to kill and kill again. With bonus mockery of stereotypical romance novel prose.*
The whodunnit was pretty good, with a completely different character than I thought being the obvious victim getting killed (I'd have pegged the initial victim as a murder suspect), and the character whom I'd then thought would turn out responsible for the death being eliminated from consideration. I'm usually fairly bad at these things, so mysteries where I don't guess the answer before the amateur sleuth does get bonus marks.
Highly recommended for entertainment value provided by good clean satirical fun. This was the only one in the series my library had in e-edition, but I'll be happy enough to look at the rest in their paper collection.
Now if you'll excuse me, I feel the urge to go plagiarize The Lustful Turk
under an assumed name. Valerie von Drachenstein†, perhaps.
* Kind of like Sharyn McCrumb
's Bimbos of the Death Sun
, come to think of it, only set at a romance instead of a sci-fi convention.
† Started on Borrower of the Night
, 1st in Peters' Vicky Bliss series, but it's not grabbing me nearly as much.