Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: Orginally 1973, this audio edition 1993
Length: 7 hours, 21 minutes
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
From the publisher:
A missing masterwork in wood, the last creation of a master carver who died in the violent tumult of the sixteenth century, may be hidden in a medieval German castle in the town of Rothenburg. The prize has called to art historian Vicky Bliss, drawing her and an arrogant male colleague into the forbidding citadel and its dark secrets. But the treasure hunt soon turns deadly. Here, where the blood of the long-forgotten damned stains ancient stones, Vicky must face two equally perilous possibilities. Either a powerful supernatural evil inhabits this place . . . or someone frighteningly real is willing to kill for what Vicky is determined to find.
I read and adored Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. I listened to the entire series and all but the first couple were narrated wonderfully by Barbara Rosenblat.
It’s been a while since I finished that series and after my last audiobook I wanted something light and not too long. It was time to finally give Peters’ other series a try. I knew the Vicky Bliss series was quite different from Amelia Peabody but I’ve heard from friends that it’s fun.
I wasn’t expecting a lot but it’s pretty obvious that this book is from the author’s earlier days of writing mysteries. It’s the first in this series and was written even before the first Amelia Peabody book.
It’s really not all that good. The mystery is convoluted and the characters aren’t all that likable. Even Vicky borders on annoying here and there. I was glad I had the audio edition because I have no idea how to pronounce all the German names and locations.
I generally enjoy Barbara Rosenblat’s narration but this was really just average for her too. Even the production as a whole seemed average with too much mouth noises and paper shuffling.
Knowing the author’s history and that this was such an early book I’m willing to not give up on the series. I’m willing to write this off as a misfire. I’ll give the second book in the series a try some time but if that isn’t much better I won’t listen to any more.
Rating 2/5 for the book
3/5 for the narration