Her Ph.D. in Egyptology enables Elizabeth Peters to portray a lavishly detailed turn-of-the-century Egypt in her lively tale of crisp wit and shivery suspense. The spirited cast including Amelia, her eccentric family, and an array of international characters bursts into life with Barbara Rosenblat's brilliant narration.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Elizabeth Peters can always be depended on to write an entertaining tongue in cheek adventure, containing mysteries, at least one murder, danger and wry commentary on the social mores of the day. In this 9th book in the Amelia Peabody series, she delivers one of her best!
The year is 1903. In the 3 years since the previous book, the Emersons' son, Ramses, and their adopted daughter, Nefret, have aged and grown. Ramses is 16 and is 6 feet tall, Nefret is 19 and has begun to take classes at a London medical school for women. Ramses and his friend David Todros have spent the summer with a sheik and his tribe and are consequently much more mature than the previous year.
The plot involves a search for the alleged murderer of a woman, led by the actual murderer; discovery of a tomb below the floor of the Valley of the Kings; a collapse of the tomb roof trapping Amelia; the saving of Amelia by Ramses; freeing an old friend from powerful delusions about an Egyptian princess; and Vandergelt's infatuation with and engagement to an Englishwoman involved in the princess delusions matter. Much of the last half of the tale creates a good deal of suspense and laughter.
I continue to be amazed by the astounding talents of narrator Barbara Rosenblat. She is, without doubt, the most versatile narrator I have encountered on Audible. The Amelia Peabody stories require not only a wide range of accents in both male and female voices. They require, and Rosenblat delivers superbly, the voice of one character, Ramses, aging from 4 and 5 to 8, 10, 13, and now 16, while remaining clearly recognizable as the same character. A real tour-de-force!
One of the best of this series.
After the disaster that was The Hippopotamus Pool, Seeing a Large Cat is a refreshing return to the novels of old. Back is the fun dialogue, the satiric eye-wink of a mystery, and wonderful banter between Emerson and Amelia. With this book, Peters has pushed the children into their middle to late teens, which provides for new an interesting voices to combat the bombastic Emerson and the lovingly know-it-all Amelia. The addition of David, the only good thing to come out of The Hippopotamus Pool, provides a refreshing new voice to the series and loving foil to Ramses and Nefret. Also new to this book is the addition of "Manuscript H," which provides a fictionalized voice to the adventures of Ramses, Nefret, and David. While I liked the addition of a new voice that allows for a perspective different from Amelia Peabody's, I found the way Peters chose to insert them into the novel annoying. I would rather have had her break the Manuscript H sections into seperate chapters, but she's the writer, not me. Overall, this was a nice return to the Amelia Peabody mysteries of old, but with new voices, new characters, the return of old favorites, and a much more dramtic turn than we've seen before. As usual, the vocal stylings of Barbara Rosenblatt are spot on. Her over-the-top vocalizations bring a wry humor to the already fun story.
Seeing a Large Cat has now become my favorite of all the Amelia Peabody series books. It even got 5 stars from me, which is not something I do very often.
The story was exceptionally good and I am in love with the grown up Ramses. I did not find him whinny or annoying (as another reviewer noted). I found him sexy and intriguing. I am very pleased with the grown up Ramses voice - I can't say the same for David's voice. In my opinion his voice should have been more British in light of his adoption by the Walter Emersons and subsequent British education.
The Emerson family is back in Luxor - and they have built a house nearby. They still have their boat (the Amelia). David and Ramses are staying in the boat and Amelia, Emerson and Nefret are staying at the house. There are visits (known and unknown) between the two locations. Cyrus is discovering a love interest and we find that Ramses has a love interest too. The mysteries in the story are quite perplexing and the entire family and crew are involved in solving them. Ramses female cat (I can't spell her name) from previous books has died, and Ramses is quietly and silently grieving over her death - they had a special bond. Nefret wants to ease his grief by trying to get him to pay attention to one of the deceased cat's kittens, but Ramses isn't consoled at all by the new kitten.
The book includes a character named Dolly, a Southern Belle from America whom I itched to slap. She has eyes for Ramses. She is so hateful and spiteful that she may come back in future books. Dolly is the type you love to hate and she is the polar opposite of Nefret. Needless to say, Nefret can't stand her either.
Unlike another reviewer, I absolute love the insertions of Manuscript H. I think they make perfect sense where they are placed and help move the story along. Also, the Manuscript H sections are apparently written by Ramses but he writes them as if they are a fiction story. They are really helpful to tell what is happening out of Amerlia's sight and provide a viewpoint other than Amelia's about events and people (including Amelia). I think they add spice to the series and keep the books from becoming monotmous, which they will do if we only hear Amelia talking all the way through every book. I love Amelia, but she can get a little stuck on herself sometimes.
This series is a favorite. The history is reliable, the style is authentic, and the plots are engaging. The the characters are likable and amusing; their development and their changing relationships pique interest in the ongoing saga.
A great plus in the audio versions is the amazing Barbara Rosenblat, who gives each character a distinctive and convincing voice.
Another delightful volume in the adventures of the Emerson clan. Some returning characters, and some new colorful additions pepper this season's mystery at Luxor and the Valley of the Kings with new challenges.
I quite enjoyed the additional point of views added by the narratives of "Manuscript H"; they added a new dimension to the story, both in terms of the development of the mystery as well as of the lives and relationships of the children - who are not such young children anymore. Ramses once again goes out and about incognito. I enjoyed the "all for one and one for all" collaboration they start in secret on board the dahabiya, and the foreshadowing about their futures.
I was most amused by how Amelia took to Ms. Jones, and how Cyrus did even more so. And I hope Miss Dolly gets what she deserves, spoiled ninny of a girl. I think the antics of the Cat Sekhmet were one of my favorite amusements throughout (R.I.P. Bastet).
Barbara Rosenblat narrated beautifully as always. She really brings a liveliness to the story, and gives unique voice to each of the varied characters (Cyrus is one of my favorite voices by her). Her slight adjustments to the children's maturing voices was expertly done.
I highly recommend the series and I look forward to reading the next installment.
The mystery within a mystery kept me on my toes!
Amelia, but then she is the heart of the story!
All of the characters in Barbara's expert hands are fabulous
Definitely. Both the novel and the reading have a timeless quality to them, a textural richness that makes me quite contented. This was actually the first of this series I ever experienced, hearing it as a child on a cross-country road trip. As an adult I decided to go back and read/listen to all of them, starting again with this one. I was not disappointed,
Mrs. Emerson. Each character in the family is by turns lovable, interesting, exciting, and exasperating, but Mrs. Emerson's unique balance of early feminist ideals and good-old fashioned English-ness is endlessly charming.
Every scene involving excavating the tomb. The author's love of, and attention to detail regarding archeology and Egyptology of this time is evident. These scenes heighten the excitement and tension of everything around them, and give you a window into why all of these characters are there in the first place. Egyptology is their shared love, their passion and inspiration.
Ramses. I love his development into a bright and talented young man. He knows more than he lets on, and he feels things even deeper. I think it would be wonderful to allow him space to be seen as a grown-up, and to be heard.
This entire series i excellent (as far as I know, I am still working my way through it), but this was my entry point into it. It serves as an important marker between the solo and then married adventures of the Emersons, and the beginning of the entire family taking an active role in mystery-solving as well as Egyptology.
This is the first installment in which we hear from Ramses and the other children, and I had forgotten how much that adds to the general enjoyment. While Ramses' narrations aren't as humorous as Amelia's, they provide an excellent counterbalance, quite a bit of action and even some much welcome romance. It's fun to see how everyone behaves when the elder Emersons aren't around! The plot of this particular episode is also one of the better ones. Definitely one of my favorites.
Yes, the books in this series are all quite formulaic, as is the case with mystery series in general. And yes, they all run together enough in my mind that I would have a hard time saying anything unique about any one of them. But I ADORE them. I keep coming back for more because Peters just does SUCH a great job with them, and Barbara Rosenblat is OUTSTANDING at bringing them to life.
I would never have guessed that I would be interested in books set in Egypt and about a bunch of Egyptologists. For that reason I resisted beginning this series for a long time, although my sister was sure I would love them. She finally brought the first one on a long road trip we took together and I was immediately hooked. The Egypt aspect is now one of the things I like most about the series - I have learned so much from these books! (I have listened to them all - not read them in print, but I sometimes wish I had the print version available to see how some of the words are spelled.)
The plots are well-done - yes, a little formulaic, but still keep you guessing about who the villain is until the very end, and with enough twists and turns in the action to keep things interesting.
But by far the crowning achievement of the series is the characters - especially those of Amelia, her husband Emerson, and their son "Ramses". These are three of the best characters in all of fiction, absolutely delightful in their various idiosyncrasies and the relationships between them. Much of their dialog is laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully quotable. I don't know whether or not I would have been as enthusiastic if I had first encountered them in print, rather than in audio format read by Rosenblat. She is simply astounding in her ability to portray countlesss characters of different genders, ages, nationalities, and personalities. And she does a SUPERB job with all three of the Emersons (as well as ALL the other characters).
It's amazing that Elizabeth Peters can keep the stories coming for so long, and the characters fresh and continually appealing through so many different books, but for me, it's still working on this, the ninth installment. I think I will never tire of listening to these books.
The characters are so much fun. I laughed out loud at Amelia more than once.
"Seeing a Large Cat"
I can only repeat that I love the Amelia Peabody books. The stories are good and educational, and the characters are brought to life by Barbara Rosenblat.
Really enjoyed this, in the style of an Agatha Christie novel. Good characters, well-read though with a couple of odd accents that just added to its 'old-style'ness'.
"Another button lost"
FANTASTIC - The Amelia Peabody books are fabulous, and the reader of the series of audio books, including this one, has added yet another dimention to my enjoyment of these stories. Brilliant.
"A perfect, fun audio book"
The narrator is exceptional. The story had the perfect amount of mystery and humour.
I have not heard her before. She is SUPERB!!!!!! I would forget it was just one person narrating.
This was the first Amelia Peabody series I listened to. It stood alone very well. I will be listening to the entire series, to be sure.
"Peabody strikes again!"
in the top three
Amelia Peabody's unending confidence, and seeing the children growing up
Everything! Her voice hits the spot every time
It made me smile
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