I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
I read this book years ago, but it was definitely time for a re-read. While the Amelia Peabody series seems to get the bulk of the attention with regard to Elizabeth Peters' work, I've always preferred Vicky Bliss, Jacqueline Kirby, and her various other characters.
This book, which introduces Vicky Bliss, captured my imagination. We get a fabulous setting, as most of the story takes place in a somewhat crumbling German castle which has been converted to a moderately creepy hotel. We also get wonderful characters, in the form of Vicky, her rivals, and the various assorted guests and staff at the hotel. Best of all, readers get to enjoy a gothic-tinged mystery with roots in the 16th century Peasants Revolt, as the leads try to locate a lost piece of artwork.
Peters tells her story through Vicky's eyes, and Vicky has a lot of appeal as narrator. Intelligent and possessed of a strong personality, we see not only the unfolding of the mystery but also get a window into Vicky's life, insecurities and all. Borrower of the Night originally came out in the 1970s, so Vicky has to put up with a lot of sexist attitudes in academia, as well as a rival professor who alternately tries to woo her and engage in a battle of the sexes. I found the chemistry between these two both frustrating and engaging, and liked that Vicky stays true to herself without becoming anyone's doormat. Since the author herself had a PhD and published academic works as well as popular fiction, I've often wondered if parts of her own experiences in academia found their way into this novel.
If you enjoy clever repartee, mysteries with more than a touch of history woven through them, or simply mysteries with unusual settings, I suspect that you will probably enjoy following the offbeat characters in this book on their quest to find a lost masterpiece.