ALICE BORCHARDT, 67 Wrote romance novels
Alice Borchardt, who began a second career writing historical romance novels after she worked as a nurse for many years, died July 24 at her home in Houston. The cause was cancer, said her husband, Clifford.
"Alice loved to write," Anne Rice said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. "She had a natural ear for beautiful language and was a natural storyteller."
Ms. Borchardt was in her mid-50s when the first of her seven novels was published. She is perhaps best known for her trilogy about werewolves in medieval Rome. In The Silver Wolf, Night of the Wolf and The Wolf King, the orphaned Regeane and the gladiator Maeniel both are part werewolf and part human. They contend with bullying chieftains, embattled emperors and supernatural interventions. The last book in the series was published in 2001.
Many reviews compared Ms. Borchardt with Ms. Rice. "She shares with her sister an ability to make a historical era come to life and a knack for placing sympathetic supernatural characters in them," wrote a critic for the Free Press of Ontario, Canada, in 1998.
Earlier in her literary career, Ms. Borchardt wrote more conventional historical romances. Her first novel, Devoted (1995), and the sequel, Beguiled (1997), are set in medieval France where Owen, a powerful bishop, and Elin, a sorceress raised by Forest People, struggle to escape marauding Vikings.
Devoted belongs in the "heaving bosom, swollen manhood" tradition, wrote a reviewer for Booklist. The story is at its best in the "gut-roiling battle scenes," according to Publishers Weekly in 1995.