Vicky suspects the authorities really want her to lead them to her missing lover, the art thief and master of disguises she knows only as "Sir John Smythe". And right in the shadow of the Sphinx she spots him...with his new flame. Vicky is so furious at this romantic stab-in-the-back, not to mention the sudden arrival of her meddling boss, Herr Dr. Schmidt, that she may overlook a danger as old as the pharaohs and as unchanging, a criminal who hides behind a mask of charm while moving in for the kill.
©1994 Elizabeth Peters; (P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A clever plot combined with an exotic setting, well-crafted writing, wryly funny humor, interesting factoids about Egyptian antiquities, and lively, attractive heroine Vicky Bliss, who can hold her own against the meanest meanies." (Booklist)
If I hadn't already listened to all the previous Vicky Bliss mysteries -- all narrated by the incomparable Barbara Rosenblat -- maybe I wouldn't be grumping over the change of narrators for this one. However, with all apologies and respect due to Grace Conlin, she doesn't have Barbara Rosenblat's acting skill. I agree with the previous reviewer who said that Audible should be offering the Recorded Books version of "Night Train to Memphis," with Barbara Rosenblat narrating, in order to maintain continuity in the series and do justice to Elizabeth Peters' superb writing. To offer just one example of how Ms Rosenblat's version would have surpassed Ms Conlin's version: Ms Rosenblat would have 𝒔𝒖𝙣𝙜 the snatches of country songs quoted in "Night Train to Memphis," rather than merely speaking the lyrics, as Ms Conlin does. "Night Train to Memphis" marks an important turning point in the Vicky Bliss series, in that it moves into Elizabeth Peters' true area of expertise and passion: Egyptology. It also commences a subtle merging of Peters' Vicky Bliss series with her Amelia Peabody series. Vicky even mentions "Amelia Emerson" in this novel. In the following (and final?) novel in this series, "The Laughter of Dead Kings," Peters, herself, makes an appearance, à la Clive Cussler, as the researcher who is unearthing Amelia's journals from Sir John's family manse. (Oops ... I should have shouted, "Spoiler Alert!" before I said that, shouldn't I?) Long story short, "Night Train to Memphis," 𝒆𝒔𝙥𝒆𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 deserves Barbara Rosenblat's touch. Despite all my grumping about the narrator, however, I still recommend this audiobook to Vicky Bliss fans, assuming that you have listened to all the previous entries in the series, first. You will need to have listened to "Night Train to Memphis" before proceeding to "The Laughter of Dead Kings," the funnest episode of all.
The narrator was just all wrong for this book. Her reading of it made it slow and dull and I almost quit listening several times. It came off as a very slow, bad romance novel. Others say this is a good story but I can't even be sure of that. I just couldn't get the sound of her voice out of my head.
I love the book itself and remember enjoying listening to an audio version this book several years ago. Not enjoying this narrator at all. Wait until the Recorded Books edition, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat is available before renting this title.
The Reader's tones are all you can hear of this book. Buy hard copy. This audiobook is almost impossible to listen to, as the reader sounds like she is so absorbed in her own tones and not focused on the material, one could go to sleep -- AND this is a good book. the Listener has to re-hear author's voice. Shame on your indulgence, Reader. Shame. Get over it.
For fans of the Amelia Peabody series, Vicky Bliss continues in the tradition of Amelia P. Emerson. I simply became captivated with the John Smythe character and grew to love 'Papa' Schmitt. The performance enhances the story and quickly grabs the listening full attention. Start with the first Vicky Bliss and read on. You won't be sorry... until you find out that after this one, there's only one more left!
I love this Amelia Peabody series. The heroine is a feisty woman based in the late 1800's early 1900's. I have always been interested in Egyptology and this is a wonderful mystery series set in this context. Early feminine Activist. Great humor and character development.
Listened through the first half trying to figure why I was listening as the story never really caught on and made you want to continue.
Not one of Elizabeth Peter's better books, wouldn't bother to buy and certainly didn't finish it myself.
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