November 15, 2009

The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters

From the Back Cover:
Victorian gentlewoman Amelia Peabody Emerson does not relish the joys of home and hearth, For while she and her husband, the renowned archeologist Radcliffe Emerson , dutifully go about raising their young son. Ramses, Amelia dreams only of the dust and detritus of ancient civilizations. Providentially, a damsel in distress-demands their immediate presence is Egypt. The damsel is Lady Baskerville, and the site is a tomb in Luxor recently discovered by Sir Henry Baskerville, who promptly died under bizarre circumstances. Amelia and Radcliffe arrive to find the camp in disarray, terrified workers, an eccentric group of guests...and a persistent rumour of a ghost on the grounds. Now the indomitable Amelia must battle evil forces determined to stand between her and her beloved antiquities-and make her foray into the truth a most deadly affair...

Another delightful mystery, the second book in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels, Barbara Mertz). The story is worth reading for the first chapter alone with the hilarity of Ramses Emerson's adventures and opinions, Amelia and Radcliffe Emerson's "catastrophically precocious" son. Despite Amelia's acerbic tone when describing Ramses, she has obvious pride in him though her mind yearns for Egyptian escapades. The author has a gift for creating very colourful secondary characters whether they are animals or ghosts, children or adults and gives each a distinctive voice and personality. I am looking forward to reading more about Ramses and the Egyptian cat that has adopted Peabody and Emerson as its owner.

I think the Amelia Peabody mysteries have captured me fully and I am well on the way to becoming obsessed with the series, like I already am by the Lady Emily Ashton series by Tasha Alexander and the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn, having purchased and already started reading The Mummy Case with The Lion in the Valley waiting in the wings. Very fitting as I believe Barbara Mertz pioneered the historical fiction mystery series featuring a strong female protagonist. No doubt I will end up reading the entire collection. So I highly recommend the the Amelia Peabody mysteries for those who like humor and wit with murder and mayhem in a historical context.

My Rating: 4.5


Related Posts:
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn
Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn

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