Friday, February 6, 2015

Case Study No. 1825: Jacqueline Kirby

Naked Once More
Naked Once More. By Elizabeth Peters. She may be a bestselling author, but ex-librarian Jacqueline Kirby's views on th...
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Author of the book in this video:
Elizabeth Peters

The book in this video is published by:
Warner Books


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Naked Once More Hardcover
by Elizabeth Peters

Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (August 1989)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446514829
ISBN-13: 978-0446514828

She may be a bestselling author, but ex-librarian Jacqueline Kirby's views on the publishing biz aren't fit to print. In fact, she's thinking of trading celebrity for serenity and a house far away from fiendish editors and demented fans when her agent whispers the only words that could ever make her stay: Naked in the Ice.

Seven years ago, this blockbuster skyrocketed Kathleen Darcy to instant fame. Now the author's heirs are looking for a writer to pen the sequel. It's an opportunity no novelist in her right mind would pass up, and there's no doubting Jacqueline's sanity...until she starts digging through the missing woman's papers--and her past. Until she gets mixed up with Kathleen's enigmatic lover. Until a series of nasty accidents convince her much too late that someone wants to bring Jacqueline's story--and her life--to a premature end.



Jacqueline Kirby, spirited librarian-turned-romance writer (Die for Love), returns to lightheartedly skewer the publishing world in the latest from the prolific Peters, who (as Barbara Michaels) also writes romantic suspense novels.

Outspoken Jacqueline wins a competition to write the sequel for a major bestseller whose author, Kathleen Darcy, has been declared legally dead seven years afer disappearing in the Appalachian hills near her home. But soon Jacqueline, ensconced with her word processor in Kathleen's home town, begins to have accidents paralleling those that once befell Kathleen. While writing on deadline, Jacqueline must also figure out who's after her and, of course, determine what really happened to Kathleen Darcy.

Among those she suspects of more recent murder are Kathleen's pompous brother, a handsome former suitor, an ex-lover, another romance writer with an ego to match her oversized body, and a greedy literary agent. Thankfully Jacqueline's forthright manner earns her more friends than enemies as she risks mortal danger to unmask the culprit with panache and mastery remarkably similar to Peters's own.



Jacqueline Kirby (known as "Jake" to her friends), a librarian turned romance novelist, enjoys nothing more than people who take themselves way too seriously. Whether it is history buffs exploring ancient Roman ruins or a convention of romance writers, Jaqueline enters into the spirit of the group. Her fellow enthusiasts are never quite sure whether Jacqueline is merely a new, enthusiastic convert, or if she is parodying them.

One thing Jacqueline does take seriously is detective work, chronicled in mysteries penned by Elizabeth Peters (also known as Barbara Michaels and Barbara Mertz):

* The Seventh Sinner - Jacqueline meets up with a group of art and art history students in the romantic city of Rome in an idyllic April. The idyll turns to fear after one of the students is murdered, and another is beset by a series of mysterious accidents. Jacqueline turns detective, in an effort to locate the murderer before he strikes again!

* The Murders of Richard III - Jacqueline joins her friend Thomas Carter in England, and becomes involved in solving one of most famous unsolved murders of all time: what really happened to the princes in the Tower. Before Jacqueline can solve that mystery, however, she has to tackle another - who's playing the possibly fatal practical jokes on the Richard III re-enactors?

* Die For Love - Jacqueline, in need of a tax deduction, travels to a writer's conference in New York city. It's a conference of romance writers, full of glamor, celebrity, excited fans, and excessive amounts of pink bunting. Romance sours, however, when an unpopular celebrity gossip columnist dies suddenly. Was it just an accident, or was it murder? Jacqueline puts romance writing on the back burner, while she tracks down clues to solve the mystery.

* Naked Once More - Naked in the Ice was an overwhelmingly popular novel by author Kathleen Darcy, who committed suicide before she could write the planned sequel. After seven years she has been decreed legally dead, and the heirs to the estate have requested that a sequel to Naked be written. This all seems like a dream come true to Jacqueline, who wants to break out of the romance field. But she becomes intrigued by Kathleen Darcy's life, family, ex-boyfriend, and dogged by competitors in the publishing field who think they should have been chosen to write the sequel. As Jacqueline sets out to discover more about Kathleen's past, she is haunted by a series of strange accidents. Jacqueline has to work fast to determine who is trying to silence her, and why.


"You don't sound like a librarian," she said
"I'm on vacation." Jacqueline laughed.
-The Seventh Sinner, p. 34.

"A librarian is a hanger-on around the fringes of the scholarly world. "
Jacqueline - The Seventh Sinner, p. 232

"Once a librarian, always a librarian."
Jacqueline - The Seventh Sinner, p. 164; and The Murders of Richard III, p. 15



Jacqueline Kirby is a librarian with a very large purse and a knack for solving mysteries.

Jacqueline makes her first appearance as an unwilling detective in The Seventh Sinner. Though it was intended as a stand-alone novel, The Seventh Sinner's portrayal of its protagonist's maturity, quirkiness, and pursuit of romantic relationships made the character stand out and generated a popular following. The character blossomed with Murders of Richard III and Die For Love; the latter featured her wearing increasingly outrageous costumes and launching on a career as a romance novelist. Jacqueline continued her new career in Naked Once More, writing a sequel to a "famous" prehistoric romance novel.

* The Seventh Sinner (1972)
* Murders of Richard III (1974)
* Die for Love (1984)
* Naked Once More (1989)

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