The Seventh Sinner

Rating: 3 out of 5.
seventh sinner book cover

Elizabeth Peters 1972 – Book 1 of the Jacqueline Kirby Mysteries. For more information and an in-depth review of the series, visit the Jacqueline Kirby Mysteries page.

Readers are introduced to Jacqueline Kirby, midwestern librarian and woman of mystery, as she assists a small group of Fellows in Rome when an outlier in their student group is killed.

Kirby is presented as a mildly eccentric, competent amateur detective in her late thirties or early forties – an unusual age for a heroine in the 1970s. The story is entertaining, but its greatest value might be as an example of vintage 70s popular fiction. The mystery itself is uninspired.

Series narrator Grace Conlon hasn’t quite hit her stride yet in this book; every time the British character speaks she has a different accent. Conlon gets better in future titles, and is the perfect voice of Jacqueline Kirby.