Night Train to Memphis: Vicky Bliss, #5, by Elizabeth Peters
Ha ha ha ha ha. Best blurb ever:
"This time Elizabeth Peters has gone too far. The woman has been annoying me for years. She's a fairly good writer, actually, and this is probably her best book. Per usual it's funny and exciting, but this time she has gone overboard on the romantic stuff in flagrant imitation of me. This is actionable! I shall demand a share of the royalties!"
—Barbara Michaels*, author of Houses of Stone
Vicky Bliss knows a lot about a lot of things. Egyptology is not one of them. Despite that, when the need arises for an operative to help foil a robbery attempt on a Nile cruise, her old friend Karl from the Munich Police Department recommends her. She hems and haws and gets all bent out of shape (as Vicky will), but she ends up going.
Almost the first person she runs into when she arrives is, of course, John Smythe. And his mother. And his new bride. Yep. Bell, book and candle, John Smythe is married. For real. To the anti-Vicky.
Even though it's chock-a-block full of references to old country songs and Vicky's other adventures and even though there is a romance novelist on board** and there are a few references to Ameila Peabody***, Night Train to Memphis isn't one of my favorites****—the first half is very angsty, and I prefer my Vicky angst-free.
However, if the first half wasn't so angsty, the second half wouldn't be quite as awesome. (See? I can be reasonable.) And the second half is VERY awesome—if you haven't realized that Schmidt is the coolest guy ever before reaching this point, it'll happen here. (And if it doesn't, I don't know if we can be friends anymore. Seriously.) If Schmidt isn't a draw (WHAT??), there're some great moments between John and an old school chum... and yes, OF COURSE between John and Vicky. AND there are a few moments that suggest John's family may be related to the Peabody-Emerson clan (see ***).
Up until very recently, this was the last Vicky Bliss book. The end of this book feels very much like the end of a series—and up until recently, I was okay with that. I don't mind re-reading the same five books over and over and over again. But now I've got The Laughter of Dead Kings to look forward to—and I'm pretty confident that soon, I'll have six books to read over and over and over again. Ah, Bliss*****.
*For those not In The Know, Barbara Michaels IS Elizabeth Peters.
**EP is particularly hilarious when she riffs on the romance industry. Want proof? Read Die for Love.
***Does the fact that I love those moments make me a fangirl? Probably. Oh well.
****My favorites, in order: #4, #2, #3, #5, #1. But let's face it—that's just varying degrees of lurrrve.
*****See what I did there? I am a comic GENIUS.