This series is my favorite of all times. I love ALL of these books (which I have read over and over) but especially the first 7 or 8 where Ramses is a child. While full of mystery and suspense, they often make me laugh out loud. Amelia and Emerson's escapades are larger than life and outrageously daring and you will just have to experience Ramses - he defies description. As an added bonus, they are also educational. Elizabeth Peters has a PhD in Egyptology and she brings all of that knowledge to play throughout this incredible series. The beauty is, however, that you don't realize you are learning, you are having so much fun.
This is the fourth in the series of about 19 Amelie Peabody mysteries. In 1895, Amelia and her Egyptologist husband, with their incorrigible eight year old son Ramses, have gone to Egypt for "season" of digging. While digging and searching for an entrance to the Black Pyramid, Peabody and Emerson become embroiled in a plot involving the Master Criminal, Amelia's nemesis. This is not your usual mystery, as it is written in 1890-style language of the indominable Peabody in her journal. Aside from being fun mysteries, these books are romances and views of family life of the era, and are very, very funny.
Classic, funny, exciting Elizabeth Peters here--Ramses is up to his usual tricks, Amelia is up to full detecting, meddling force, and Emerson is, well, Emerson. After having read a few of these, it's particularly interesting to see some character development over time: Ramses' growth as a 9 year old Egyptologist and linguist, and Amelia's strengthening of independence are developed in this book. But it's just fun to read!
If you like historical fact based mysteries and ones where you might actually come away smarter about the field than you started, you will adore this series. I also enjoyed the love story part of it as the couple is equally matched. Hope you like it too.
Another Amelia Peabody adventure. Amelia is a woman of the past that can be admired by woman of our century. Her independnce demonstrated while on archaeologic digs with her husband Emerson makes for and entertaining read.
Ramses is abducted and Amanda is sure she must deal with the Master Criminal again. Very good book
Interesting and entertaining. I loved Ramses and enjoyed his escapades as much as those of his parents.
I can't express in words how awsome Elizabeth Peters is. Every one of her books has captured me. I adore her work!
Elizabeth Peters has done it again! I just began reading her books a short time ago, and Lion in the Valley continues with her exceptional dialogue, intriguing story lines and witty, strong, and sometimes mislead characters. Of course, her descriptions of her beloved Egypt take the reader to the time and place of the story.
elizabeth peters srikes yet again'
In my opinion this author is nowhere near as good as the comments on the covers of her books say she is.
I am currently, but reluctantly, reading this book, the fourth in a series. Why? Because I dislike sending books away unread. Having read that Elizabeth Peters writes historical mysteries about Egyptian archeology, two of my favorite interests combined, I snatched-up five non-consecutive books in the Amelia Peabody series and three in the Jacqueline Kirby series. After reading two Kirby books, I actually just scanned the second, I placed all three on my Bookshelf, and I may do the same with the unread Peabody books.
It is the late 19th century and Amelia Peabody, an Englishwoman, having inherited tons of money in the first book, goes on a long trip and ends up in Egypt. There she meets Radcliffe Emerson, a rather brusque British Egyptologist. By the end of the first book, "Crocodile on the Sandbank," with the mystery solved, they find they are in love and get married.
Peabody is supposedly a feminist, but she allows Emerson, they call each other by their last names, to constantly berate and demean her in public throughout the books. He openly makes fun of and often sneers (Peters word) at most of her ideas, and privately, she disparages him also. So what is the attraction?
I think it is sex. Every time Emerson gets her alone, he puts the moves on her and ....fade out. After all, this is suppose to be a Victorian British mystery. It was bad enough in the second book, but in the fourth it seems to happen every third page. And Peters uses every literary trick to hint they are having sex without actually saying they are. Usually, when authors start doing this, it is a sure sign they have run out of ideas and are using filler.
Although Peabody constantly, but privately, wonders at Emersons ability to reason, while at the same time considering him the greatest archeologist in history, she also likes to constantly call our attention to his wide shoulders and manly chest that is visible when his shirt is open to the waist. Too many contradictions here for me to figure out their real relationship. As for Emerson, he is not really a developed character in the book as much as he is just a caricature of a boorish, snobby English gentleman who has a very low opinion of anyone who disagrees with him, even his wife.
Peters is also too obvious with the eventual romances of her other characters. It is almost as if they were wearing t-shirts that said Im going to marry him/her with an arrow pointing at the intended, aka the Im with stupid t-shirts.
Peabody and Emerson had a son sometime between the first and second book, a rather precocious youngster who spoke entire sentences in his first year and could read Egyptian hieroglyphics by the time he was three. Yep, he is that kind of kid, but then his name is Ramses. I bet he gets beaten up a lot on the playground. In this book, Ramses is eight years old. If his personality and the way he speaks is typical of English children of that age, then it is no wonder they were shipped off to boarding schools by their parents.
By the end of the second book, "The Curse of the Pharaohs," I decided that I would only read the books I had, so I skipped number three. In book four, "Lion in the Valley," Emerson, Peabody and Ramses arrive in Egypt to spend the season unearthing tombs again. Almost immediately, Ramses is kidnapped by minions of that evil genius.... well, Peabody and Emerson insist they must not mention his name (just like you-know-whose in the Harry Potter series), but they do so anyway on almost every other page. Actually, they do not know his name, so he is simply referred to as Master Criminal. And when they say it, you can almost hear the drum roll in the text. Ramses kidnapping is foiled by an Arab beggar who Peabody thinks is the Master Criminal, but whom even eight-year-old Ramses identifies as an Englishman in disguise due to his blue eyes. It is very obvious that Ramses is going to grow up to be a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. He already speaks fluent Arabic. Did I forget to mention the super-intelligent, Egyptian cat that follows him around?
Finally, Emerson, after stumbling around degrading everyone else and their ideas, is always available for the physical exertions required to rescue our heroine when it is necessary. In "Lion in the Valley" he manages to find her in a secret room hidden in the middle of Cairo with its thousands of buildings. How? Well, it seems Peabody hung a small piece of red flannel out the window and Ramses' cat smelled her, leading Emerson to the rescue. And of course, he bursts into the room, in the nick of time, with his shirt torn from his 'manly chest.' Oh, did I mention that the 'Master Criminal' made her change into the scanty clothes women wear in harems? So, as soon as Emerson saves the day, he puts the moves on Peabody again. I think this constant sex is a requirement if you want to be on the New York Times Best Seller list.
By this time, you probably think I have a problem with any strong female lead in the books I read. Actually, I have enjoyed numerous sci-fi and mystery series in which the principle protagonist is a strong female. Basically, I think what we have here in the Amelia Peabody series is outstanding marketing with over-glorified newspaper reviews. For example, the cover of Peters books display the quote A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key. I really find that hard to believe. But then, maybe I am missing the point. Perhaps her books are actually meant to be humorous parodies of other mysteries. That would certainly make more sense.
If you are really interested in well-written mysteries with an authentic Egyptian setting, I recommend Lauren Haneys 'Lieutenant Bak' series. Her eight novels take place over 3,000 years ago, are well researched, and actually treat the reader as if he or she were intelligent.
Another outstanding addition in the Amelia Peabody series.....who stabbed the odious count? And does Emmerdon have a rival? And Ramses.....well is Ramses! Too precocious for words!