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Publisher's Summary

Ellie is young, rich, engaged, and in love. In the carefree days before marriage and new responsibility, she decides to house-sit at Aunt Kate's palatial estate in Burton, Virginia. With its nearly invisible housekeepers and plethora of pets, Ellie feels right at home. But when she opens an antique book about the town's aristocracy, she finds disturbing secrets that extend to her own family.

Suddenly, Ellie's interest in the past is attracting a slew of unwelcome guests - some of them living and some perhaps not. Unwittingly, she has aroused a terrible vengeance that is now aimed at her.

©1997 Elizabeth Peters (P)1997 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"No one is better at juggling torches while dancing on a high wire than Elizabeth Peters." (Chicago Tribune)

What listeners say about Devil-May-Care

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    232
  • 4 Stars
    150
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    21
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Story
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  • 4 Stars
    95
  • 3 Stars
    62
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    12

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of Elizabeth Peters' best!

This is an older work of Elizabeth Peters (she of the Amelia Peabody mysteries) but remains one of her best. It's a well-written romance with overtones of the supernatural and one of the funniest books she's ever written, although that doesn't dilute the spookiness of the scarier scenes. There are characters you'll like and characters you'll cheerfully detest. I heartily recommend this for any circumstances, but especially for long drives when you want to stay awake -- you can't stop listening because you want to know what happens, although other drivers may wonder why you're laughing like a loon when you're alone in your car!

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Peters at her finest

Funny and entertaining with a touch of supernatural. Reminds me more of the books she writes in her Barbara Michaels personna.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Out of date

When I first read this book some 20 years ago, I remember it being a delight. It has not aged well, however. This time around, it seemed hopelessly dated, particularly with regard to all the allusions to then in-vogue "women's lib." When it finally wraps up and the mystery is solved, I found it hard to believe the motives of the villain/s.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

boring

narrator is stuffy and made the book more boring than it was . disappointed couldn't listen

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Numbing

I disliked the readers nonchalant voice .
I disliked her not being able to change her voice to distinguish between characters
The set up for the mystery was convoluted and tedious
The romantics tension or lack thereof was grueling
I listened to this while coping with life altering stresses- i could tune in and out without losing the plot-I suppose that’s why I endured it to the end

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fun enjoyable read

this is a book I have read more than once it's a great book when I want something that's a quick read that's got funny dialogue that's got great characters an interesting story all in all one of my favorite books

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great till up near end --a few too many characters

For once Grace Conlin's narration didn't ruin an Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels book for me. It starts out with a supercilious narrow-minded rich snot named Henry. Conlin's usual arrogant snide voice is perfect for Henry.
Henry is engaged to Ellie -- she fulfills all his requirements of beauty, upward mobility, yatta-yatta -- though what she sees in him I cannot fathom. Turns out Ellie has an Aunt Kate who lives on a huge manicured estate. They go to visit, and Henry immediately recalculates Ellie's value, figuring she is due an inheritance. Aunt Kate is rumored to be a witch, and Henry is willing to be indulgent about this given her net worth. Ellie remains at Kate's to house-sit while Kate is traveling; Henry leaves -- detouring to a hospital for a possible case of shingles, which Ellie told him Kate visited on another man she didn't like.
Ghostly apparitions start appearing, as does handsome young Donald, a doctor's son following in his father's footsteps, who's recuperating from health issues acquired by working above and beyond the call of duty for a charity. The two bicker but work together trying to solve the mystery....
A lot of characters "appear" -- all with possible motives for play-acting as ghosts... so by the time it's worked out, I felt a little as if I needed a score card. I also didn't buy the entire explanation of the mystery, which is why I downgraded overall to 3 stars. It was really good almost to the end.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

very good book

I really enjoyed this story. The characters were interesting and some were funny. I always enjoy humor in books. I think it's really a lot harder to write than a straight mystery. I look forward to more of Elizabeth Peters books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The literary equivalent of a TV movie of the week

Elizabeth Peters is known as one of the great mystery authors for her Amelia Peabody Egyptian archeological mysteries. This book was written some number of years before she became known for those books. What we have here is a literary equivalent of the old TV movie of the week crossed with a Scooby Doo mystery. While somewhat amusing, it is quite dated and it has trouble keeping the listeners/readers attention...or, to be fair, at keeping my attention.

It is a very light weight cozy mystery but lacks a driving mystery to propel the narrative. It's a series of interesting and somewhat curious events that loosely frame the story. If you are a fan of Ms Peters, you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for something a bit more.... you might want to look elsewhere. Odds are that you will forget this book quickly after finishing it... and that is a shame.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fun romp through the dark side.

I thoroughly enjoyed the narration. Light listening. Twists and turns a plenty. A delightful listen.

1 person found this helpful