Street of the Five Moons (A Vicky Bliss Mystery)

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9780380731213: Street of the Five Moons (A Vicky Bliss Mystery)

Vicky Bliss, a brain with a body like a centerfold, often has a tough time getting people to take her seriously. But when it comes to medieval history, this blonde beauty knows her stuff -- and she's a master at solving mysteries that would turn the art world upside down.

Vicky gasped at the sight of the exquisite gold pendant her boss at Munich's National Museum held in his hand. The Charlemagne talisman replica, along with a note in hieroglyphs, was found sewn into the suit pocket of an unidentified man found dead in an alley.

Vicky vows to find the master craftsman who created it. It's a daring chase that takes her all the way to Rome and through the dusty antique centers and moonlit streets of the most romantic city in the world. But soon she's trapped in a treacherous game of intrigue that could cost her life -- or her heart...

Vicky Bliss, a brain with a body like a centerfold, often has a tough time getting people to take her seriously. But when it comes to medieval history, this blonde beauty knows her stuff -- and she's a master at solving mysteries that would turn the art world upside down.

Vicky gasped at the sight of the exquisite gold pendant her boss at Munich's National Museum held in his hand. The Charlemagne talisman replica, along with a note in hieroglyphs, was found sewn into the suit pocket of an unidentified man found dead in an alley.

Vicky vows to find the master craftsman who created it. It's a daring chase that takes her all the way to Rome and through the dusty antique centers and moonlit streets of the most romantic city in the world. But soon she's trapped in a treacherous game of intrigue that could cost her life -- or her heart...Vicky Bliss, a brain with a body like a centerfold, often has a tough time getting people to take her seriously. But when it comes to medieval history, this blonde beauty knows her stuff -- and she's a master at solving mysteries that would turn the art world upside down.

Vicky gasped at the sight of the exquisite gold pendant her boss at Munich's National Museum held in his hand. The Charlemagne talisman replica, along with a note in hieroglyphs, was found sewn into the suit pocket of an unidentified man found dead in an alley.

Vicky vows to find the master craftsman who created it. It's a daring chase that takes her all the way to Rome and through the dusty antique centers and moonlit streets of the most romantic city in the world. But soon she's trapped in a treacherous game of intrigue that could cost her life -- or her heart...

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

I was sitting at my desk doing my nails when the door opened and the spy sneaked in. He was wearing one of those trench coats that have pockets and flaps and shoulder straps all over them. The collar was turned up so that it practically met the brim of the hat he had pulled down over his eyebrows. His right hand was in the coat pocket The pocket bulged.

"Guten Morgen, Herr Professor," I said. Wie geht's?"

Wie geht's is not elegant German. It has become an Americanism, like chop suey. I speak excellent German, but Herr Professor Doktor Schmidt was amused when I resorted to slang. He has a kooky sense of humor anyhow. Schmidt is my boss at the National Museum, and when he's in his right mind he is one of the foremost medieval historians in the world. Occasionally he isn't in what most people would call his right mind. He's a frustrated romantic. What he really wants to be is a musketeer, wearing boots and a sword as long as he is; or a pirate; or, as in this case, a spy.

He swept his hat off with a flourish and leered at me. It breaks me up to watch Schmidt leer. His face isn't designed for any expression except a broad Father Christmas grin. He keeps trying to raise one eyebrow, but he can't control the muscles, so they both go up, and his blue eyes twinkle, and his mouth puckers up like a cherub's.

"How goes it, babe?" he inquired, in an accent as thick as Goethe's would have been if he had spoken English--which he may have done, for all I know. That's not my field. My field is medieval Europe, with a minor in art history. I'm good at it, too. At this point it is safe to admit that I got my job at the museum in Munich through a certain amount of--well, call it polite pressure. Professor Schmidt and I had met while he was under the influence of one of his secondary personalities--a worldly, sophisticated crook, like Arsene Lupin. We had both been looking for a missing art object and some of the good doctor's activities toward this end might not have struck his scholarly colleagues as precisely proper. No, it was not blackmail--not exactly--and anyway, now that I had been on the job for almost a year, Schmidt was the first to admit that I earned my keep. He didn't even mind my working on my novel during office hours, so long as I took care of pressing business first. And let's face it-there are few life-and-death issues in medieval history.

Professor Schmidt's eyes fell on the pile of typescript at my right elbow.

"How goes the book?" he inquired. "Did you get the heroine out of the brothel?

"She isn't in a brothel," I explained, for the fifth or sixth time. Schmidt is mildly obsessed by brothels-the literary kind, I mean. "She's in a harem. A Turkish harem, in the Alhambra."

Professor Schmidt's eyes took on the familiar academic gleam.

"The Alhambra was not-"

"I know, I know. But the reader won't. You are too concerned with accuracy, Herr Professor. That's why you can't write a popular dirty book, like me. I'm stuck for the moment, though. There have been too many popular books about Turks and harems. I'm trying to think-of an original example of lust. It isn't easy."

Professor Schmidt pondered the question. I didn't really want to hear his idea of what constituted original lust, so I said quickly, "But I distract you, sir. What did you want to see me about?"

"Ah." Schmidt leered again. He took his hand out of his pocket.

It didn't hold a gun, of course. I had not expected a gun. I had expected an apple or a fistful of candy; Schmidt's potbelly is the result of day-long munching. But at the sight of what emerged, clasped tenderly in his pudgy fingers, I gasped.

Don't be misled by the gasp. This is not gomg to be one of those books in which the heroine keeps shrieking and fainting and catching her breath. I'm not the fainting type, and not much surprises me. I'm not that old (still on the right side of thirty), but my unfortunate physical characteristics have exposed me to many educational experiences.

Let me make it perfectly clear that I am not kidding when I refer to my figure as unfortunate. I'm too tall, almost six feet; I inherited a healthy, rounded body, from my Scandinavian ancestors, along with dark-blue eyes and lots of blond hair; I don't gain weight, so the said body is slender in what are supposed to be the right places. As far as I'm concerned, they are the wrong places. All you Ugly Ducklings out there, take heart; you are better off than you realize. When people love you, they love the important things about you, the things that endure after wrinkles and middleaged spread have set in--your brains and your personality and your sense of humor. When people look at me, all they see is a blown-up centerfold. Nobody takes me seriously. When I was younger, I wanted to be little and cuddly and cute. Now I'd settle for being flat-chested and myopic. It would save a lot of wear and tear on my nerves.

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Elizabeth Peters
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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group. MassMarket. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, GOOD, NOT EX-LIBRARY, Tanned edges, Hurt, 384 pages. "'A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key.' Washington Post Book World"What did it mean? The note with the hieroglyphs was found in the pocket of a man lying dead in an alley. The only other item of interest on him was a piece of jewellery, a reproduction of the Charlemagne talisman, but so well done that Vicky Bliss thought she was being shown the real thing. The gold work had been done by a master craftsman; the stones were of top quality synthetic. Vicky didn't know what it meant yet, but ion the sundrenched streets and moonlit courtyards of Rome, she was going to find out - if the dangerously exciting Englishman didn't get in her way!. Bookseller Inventory # 9593

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