I had a lovely Christmastime; I hope everyone else did, too. And I hope you were all loaded down with gifts of fabulous books.
With all the traveling and family time in the past week, I didn't do too much reading, but I did fit in Elizabeth Peters' The Murders of Richard III. It's the second Jacqueline Kirby mystery, involving a group of Richard III defenders. In my opinion, it was an okay read, full of English history. For some reason, the reign of English kings from about 1300 to 1800 has never interested me. I don't know why; give me Russian history any day but keep away Henry VIII and all his women.
Anyway, one reason I wanted to read The Murders was this post on Bookshelves of Doom. Basically, The Murders of Richard III caused some drama. You can read Peters' interview here but this is the relevant quote:
"I have several favorite characters: Akhenaton the Heretic, Hatshepsut the Female King — and Richard III. He's a mystery writer's dream. Did he or didn't he? (Murder the princes in the Tower.) The clues are inconclusive and subject to endless debate. My fascination with him led me to write a book called The Murders of Richard III, concerning a group of modern-day Ricardians, as they call themselves, who have met to discuss their theories. The book offended the Richard III Society of England; they actually threatened to sue, and my British publisher caved in. They have now forgiven me, but to tell the truth I was rather thrilled to have a book that was too hot to be published."
See? Makes the book sound intriguing, eh? I told my brother about the various theories presented in the book and we started arguing about them. After a few minutes, we had to stop and laugh--why argue about something you'll never truly know the answer to? (Or for that matter, really care about?) With that attitude, I suppose I'll never be invited to join the Richard III Society....