by Elizabeth Peters
So I recently read the first book in the Vicky Bliss series, Borrower of the Night, as those of you who actually plowed through my ridiculously long entry of mini-reviews will have discovered. Street of the Five Moons takes place nearly a year after the events of the first book. Vicky is now working for a museum in Germany, but she’s ready for adventure when her boss, the rather absurd Professor Schmidt, sends her haring off after a possible forger of antiques.
Much of this story rang as vaguely familiar – a “master criminal” at work behind the scenes, an expert forger of crimes, and a dashing anti-hero were all elements that I recognized from the Amelia Peabody series. However, here’s the trick – Street of the Five Moons was written before all of the Amelia books except the first (which, when written, was not intended to be a “first” but to simply be). Looking forward, the rest of the Vicky books are written at the same time the Amelia books are being written, so who knows which ideas came first?
At any rate, Street of the Five Moons was a fun romp of a read. While belief must be somewhat suspended to make it all come together, it’s still a fun story with sharp, witty dialogue. While I don’t like Vicky as well as Amelia, she’s still an entertaining narrator. These first two Vicky Bliss books have definitely been more campy (for lack of a better term) than the Amelia Peabody mysteries, a very tongue-in-cheek tale with cloak-and-dagger elements running strong.
I prefer my books to be a bit on the lighter side, so I enjoy Peters’s humor. Street of the Five Moons is a 4/5 for sheer fun and entertainment, even if the criminal procedural side requires the acceptance of a few gaps in logic!