The Peabody-Emerson family has set sail for Egypt and the 1907 archaeological season. But a mint-condition papyrus of the Book of the Dead falls into their hands, and the prospects for the 1907 archaeological season turn deadly.
This captivating best seller showcases the talent that caused the Mystery Writers of America to name Elizabeth Peters a Grand Master. With Barbara Rosenblat's dazzling narration, you will find yourself held pleasurably in the balance of this exotic mystery.
©1998 Elizabeth Peters; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"An appealing cast of characters is led by a curious and adventurous heroine capable of handling any crisis that appears. The setting among ancient Egyptian ruins is an ever-fascinating one. Barbara Rosenblat's reading is lively, and her characterizations effective." (Library Journal)
also writing as Evelyn Vaughn
If one isn't familiar with the "Amelia Peabody" stories, then some plot elements might (per another review) seem irrelevant. But to those of us who love repeating characters, that is the true treasure of these books. The fact that they are mysteries about Victorian characters set in Egypt is significant, of course--because they're always dashing good mysteries! But the mysteries are rarely any more important than the interactions of Amelia Peabody Emerson (a wonderful example of a strong but human woman), her gruff but adored husband, her amazingly resilient if quiet-natured son nicknamed Ramses, and her adopted daughter Nefret--not to mention all the other wonderful repeating characters who await their return to Egypt each year. My mother loved these books, and I resisted them for a long time, but now I am an absolute fan, and buy the new one the moment it comes out each spring. If you like the time period and setting, if you enjoy delightful narration (both from the author and from the reader, Barbara Rosenblat), or if you enjoy finding a fictional family whom you'll want to revisit again and again, don't just try this book--try this series.
There are a few authors whose books I buy immediately without even reading the cover. And fewer who I will pre-order based on name alone. Elizabeth Peters is one of those authors. Her books are readable and of the best "who dunit" tradition.
As for Ms Rosenblat...to call her the best reader I have ever heard falls short of the mark. She is wonderful. Once you listen to her you cannot be satisfied with other duller, uni-dimensional narrators.
another terrific book from E. Peters. I continue to be hooked on B. Rosenblat's narration and can't listen to another!
Frankly, one would assume that Peters' storytelling would wane on occasion, but no. She crafts her stories with finesse, wry humor. Though I hold out for the next time she will describe her husband's 'sapphirine' eyes... a term too oft used, I am reaching for just anything that rubs me. I cannot really complain, the story as always is engrossing, the family web and intricate emotional subplot as Ramses and his closest friends try to decipher the secret life of Amelia. I really think the narrative device Ms. Peters starts to employ (the newly found texts - 'Manuscript H' written by other members of the family) so as to present other perspectives is truly well done. The first author I have followed from book to book. A must read series and The Ape Who Guards the Balance, one of my favorite of the lot; provided you are listening to Rosenblat, of course, no disrespect to other narrators intended, but frankly, only Rosenblat can do all these personalities, accents and such.
I have tried to establish a pattern of not giving 5 stars except for extraordinary and exceptional books and I have generally given 4 stars to the books in the Amerlia Peabody series. However I have to give this book a 5 for two reasons. It is very well written and has a good plot. More importantly, this series is so extraordinarily entertaining and addictive that it deserves 5 stars. I am totally hooked. As soon as I finished The Ape Who Guards the Balance, I immediately ordered the next two audio books (books 11 and 12). Since 13, 14, and 15 aren't available in audio, I immediately ordered them in paperback from Amazon. I am going to start listening to book 11 tomorrow morning.
These characters are like family to me. I want to dress up and go to dinner with them. I want to sit on the bed with Nefret and pet her cat. I love them all.
I am particularly engrossed with the story line for the grown up Ramses and grown up Nefti. They are so perfect for each other but Ramses just doesn't have the social skills or maturity or confidence to let her know he loves her and I don't think Nefret knows that she loves Ramses - yet. That's the main reason I am addicted. I just have to go through this situation with them.
Sethos is back in this book along with many other regulars. David finds love. The Emersons solve a mystery. The are deaths of villians and a death that made me sad. The cats and horses are all doing well, even if the cat Horace is a bit peculiar.
The narrator is absolutely awesome. She gives the characters their wonderful personalities. Elizabeth Peters is a talented author and she is lucky she team up with Barbara Rosenblat for this series. Together they have created magic!
This one starts fast and ends fast, but takes its time in between. I do feel tighter editing could have shaved off a few hours, but on the whole enjoy this one, particularly the Ramses portions.
I have a long drive each day and listen to audio books as I drive. Elizabeth Peters is my dessert. Fun books to listen to. Great narrator, Barbara Rosenblat has an easy voice to listen to.
Elizabeth Peters style is quite different. The various sections are presented as case notes and descriptive narratives from the diary entries and other manuscripts of the various family members sharing the experience being described. A very British attitude and dialogue is conveyed....and the book is written as an archeological adventure in Eygpt of the 1930s. I had a bit of trouble following the story.....but that is possibly also due to audio difficulties (as I listened to the story during a long road trip.)
I have read all the previous books in this series. It has been great not only following the plots of the mysteries but following the characters as they develop.
Amelia is always my favorite character, but it was great seeing the development of Ramses, Nefret and David.
Barbara Rosenblat is an excellent narrator - my favorite!
This book made me laugh out loud several times, particurarly when Amelia speaks about herself.
As usual the escapades of the Emersons is a true joy. The story is engaging and the narrating is supurb.
Events involving Abdullah near the end of the book. His relationship with Amelia is always wonderful and grows over the course of the series.
Amelia is her usual triumpant self. She is so certain that she is correct on every occasion.
I suggest reading the Amelia Peabody books in order -- though you may want to put them in order of the excavation season rather than the order of publication.
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