August 27, 2017 by readingoutside
Despite this being my favourite author (Elizabeth Peters) and having the word rabbits (my favourite animal) in the title, The Night of Four Hundred Rabbits did not quite live up to my expectations.
The book starts out well enough, in the typical Peters fashion, with young Carol Farley receiving a mysterious package alerting her to her missing father’s whereabouts. Carol and her boyfriend head to Mexico to try and connect with him, and end up becoming entangled with her father’s girlfriend and her family, who all live together. It quickly becomes apparent that everyone is somehow involved in the drug trade.
Unfortunately this story dates itself quickly. Original readers of this book in the 1970s may not have known much about cross-border drug smuggling, but the average reader in the 2010s will not be astonished by the revelations in this book. Things get weirder and weirder and I kept hoping there would be some kind of pay-off, like a connection to the ancient Teotihuacán Pyramids Carol explores and her father’s disappearance, but nope. It’s just drugs.
Despite a nice little “unexpected romantic hero” trope thrown in, which is one of my weaknesses, it couldn’t save a disappointing ending with very little pay-off. As stories go, it’s alright, but it’s certainly not the best Elizabeth Peters to start with and I would only recommend it to diehard EP fans or those who enjoy 1970s mysteries.