Thursday, 11 November 1999

Elizabeth Peters: Die For Love (1984)

Edition: Souvenir Press, 1985
Review number: 386

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 carried out on the readers, the bad treatment of the only slightly less naive authors. (As in many genre fiction, most authors start out as fans.)

As a crime novel, Die For Love has an easy puzzle, though it helps if you know some Shakespeare reasonably well. It is the background which makes it fun, along with the acerbic quality of Jacqueline.

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