Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody Series #15)

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Overview

A Great War has ended, but evil still casts a long shadow over a violence-scarred land. One woman — an adventurer and archaeologist with a brilliant mind — must now confront a dreadful adversary more fiendish and formidable than any she has ever encountered. But by doing so, she may be feeding the flames of a devastating firestorm that threatens the fragile lives of the tender and innocent.


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Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody Series #15)

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Overview

A Great War has ended, but evil still casts a long shadow over a violence-scarred land. One woman — an adventurer and archaeologist with a brilliant mind — must now confront a dreadful adversary more fiendish and formidable than any she has ever encountered. But by doing so, she may be feeding the flames of a devastating firestorm that threatens the fragile lives of the tender and innocent.


About the Author

Elizabeth Peters was named Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. She earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. In addition to the Vicky Bliss mysteries, Elizabeth Peters is the author of the bestselling Amelia Peabody mysteries.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Elizabeth Peters has delighted historical mystery fans with the adventures of Victorian Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, a strong-willed woman with a talent for foiling criminals, for many years. Though the antiquities she loves remain the same, Amelia's world has changed a lot since her first visit to Egypt in 1884, and over her career, Amelia has gone from being an unconventional spinster to an independent-minded wife and a rather unorthodox mother. Now, as her 15th adventure, Children of the Storm, begins in 1919 -- one year after the end of the First World War -- Amelia has morphed again, this time into a delightfully eccentric grandmother. But her insatiable curiosity and passion for justice are as strong as ever, and that means her new season of excavation with her ever-expanding extended family is sure to uncover trouble…. Sue Stone
The New York Times
Peters has always known how to romance us; but by letting history sweep through her fanciful tale, she also proves herself a conscientious scholar. — Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
A fast-moving, intrigue-filled plot propels MWA Grand Master Peters's 15th novel (after 2002's The Golden One) to feature beloved archeologist and amateur sleuth Amelia Peabody Emerson. The end of WWI offers Amelia, now a grandmother, and her family little respite when mysterious events start to plague friends, allies and coworkers. One person dies after suddenly turning to religion, while others fall victim to sabotage. Valuable artifacts go missing, and Amelia's son Ramses is lured into a bizarre encounter with a woman who appears to be the living embodiment of the goddess Hathor. Given the growing unrest against British rule in Egypt, Amelia has to wonder if politics are behind the strange occurrences. In addition, the clan has made many enemies over the course of their adventures. While the preface does a good job of outlining the characters and their complicated connections, the previous 14 novels covered a lot of ground that new readers will find challenging to master. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable read in its own right, powered by evocative depictions of 1919 Egypt and the engaging voice of Amelia herself-a bright, independent woman, who relishes her role as family matriarch. Her affectionate, give-and-take relationship with her Egyptologist husband, Emerson, continues to enchant. Agent, Dominick Abel. (Apr. 1) Forecast: To honor Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters), the publisher will kick off the publicity campaign with a party at "Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo" (aka New York City's Plaza Hotel). Expect another run up bestseller lists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the latest and welcome addition to Peters's popular Amelia Peabody mystery series, World War I has finally ended, and the Emerson clan has returned to their excavations in Egypt. The family has expanded a bit, with the addition of Ramses and Nefret's precocious (naturally) two-year-old twins, Charla and Davy. Amelia, not one to let being a grandmother slow her down, immediately plunges into investigating the sudden disappearance of an archaeologist, along with valuable jewelry stolen from an excavation. The jewelry was promised to the museum in Cairo, and Amelia hopes to retrieve it before the authorities discover the theft. Meanwhile, a nemesis from the past reemerges: the "young serpent who also had poisoned fangs." This wickedly entertaining tale from the prolific Peters is an essential purchase for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/02].-Laurel Bliss, Yale Arts Lib., New Haven, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-World War I has ended and the Emerson family now includes several children of an entirely new generation. Everyone comes together in Egypt to work on the Emersons' newest dig. The adults are puzzled as strange, seemingly unrelated events occur: a theft, a murder, the appearance of a woman dressed as a goddess, the sinking of a boat, and attacks on a cousin. This complex series continues with witty dialogue, mysterious twists and turns, and delightful characters. A brief introduction summarizes relationships and provides a broad overview of the series, but it will serve best as a review for fans. Purchase where earlier titles have been popular.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061032486
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #15
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.

Biography

Neither the Great Depression nor the lack of a public library in her small hometown of Canton, Illinois, deterred Barbara Mertz (the future Elizabeth Peters) from becoming an avid reader. Yet, when her family moved to a suburb of Chicago, she was elated to discover the riches contained in the town's local library and proceeded to devour every book she could get her hands on. She began writing in high school; but by that time she had already decided to become an archaeologist.

Mertz received a scholarship to the University of Chicago, which boasted a world-famous Egyptology department. Her mother, an eminently practical soul, encouraged her daughter to become a teacher; but after taking only two education courses, Mertz knew a career in the classroom was not for her. Determined to follow her dream, she moved over to the university's Oriental Institute, and received her Ph.D. in Egyptology at the age of 23.

The post-WWII job market wasn't kind to women in general, much less to women seeking careers in archaeology. Mertz married and began a family, but never lost sight of her life's ambition. While she was raising her two children, she decided to try her hand at writing. Her first few attempts were never published, but they did land her an agent; and in 1964 she published her first book, Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt.

Mertz authored two additional works on archaeology before foraying into fiction in 1966. The Master of Blacktower is the first of several gothic suspense novels written under the pseudonym Barbara Michaels. (In her biography, she explains that the use of pseudonyms helps readers to distinguish various types of books written by a single author.) The supernatural elements in the thrillers penned under the Michaels name have kept readers on the edge of their seats for decades.

In the 1970s, Mertz began writing under her second, more famous pseudonym, Elizabeth Peters. As Peters, she has authored books in three different series. Beginning in 1972 with The Seventh Sinner (1972), the first series features a glamorous librarian-turned-romance novelist named Jacqueline Kirby (the final Jacqueline Kirby mystery, Naked Once More, won a coveted Agatha Award in 1989). The second series, starring American art historian Vicky Bliss, debuted in 1973 with Borrower of the Night (Vicky's last outing was 2008's Laughter of Dead Kings). Then, in 1975, Peters introduced her most famous protagonist, archeologist/sleuth Amelia Peabody, in a dandy adventure entitled Crocodile on the Sandbank.

From the first, readers loved Amelia, a plucky Victorian feminist who—together with her husband, the distinguished Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerston—has gone on to solve countless mysteries in the Middle East. Peabody fans received an extra treat in 2003 with Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium to Her Journals, a nonfiction stroll through ancient Egypt that included nearly 600 photographs and illustrations, plus expert academic articles.

In addition to her three series, Mertz has written several standalone suspense novels as Elizabeth Peters. She has this to say about her successful, prolific career: "The craft of writing delights me. It is impossible to attain perfection; there is always something more to be learned—figuring out new techniques of plotting or characterization, struggling with recalcitrant sentences until I force them to approximate my meaning. And nothing is ever wasted. Everything one sees and hears, everything one learns, can be used."

Good To Know

The pseudonym Elizabeth Peters is taken from her two children, Elizabeth and Peter. She uses three pseudonyms so readers can tell the difference between the three types of books she writes: nonfiction archaeology as Barbara Mertz, supernatural thrillers as Barbara Michaels and historical mysteries as Peters. For the record, Mertz has called the pseudonyms "a horrible nuisance."
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    1. Also Known As:
      Barbara Mertz, Barbara Michaels
    2. Hometown:
      A farm in rural Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 29, 1927
    2. Place of Birth:
      Canton, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      August 8, 2013

First Chapter

Children of the Storm

Chapter One

The encrimsoned sun sank slowly toward the crest of the Theban mountains. Another glorious Egyptian sunset burned against the horizon like fire in the heavens.

In fact, I did not at that moment behold it, since I was facing east. I had seen hundreds of sunsets, however, and my excellent imagination supplied a suitable mental picture. As the sky over Luxor darkened, the shadows of the bars covering doors and windows lengthened and blurred, lying like a tiger's stripes across the two forms squatting on the floor. One of them said, "Spoceeva."

"Russian," Ramses muttered. scribbling on his notepad. "Yesterday it was Amharic. The day before it sounded like -- "

"Gibberish," said his wife.

"No," Ramses insisted. "It has to mean something. They use root words from a dozen languages, and they obviously understand one another. See? He's nodding. They are standing up. They are going ... " His voice rose. "Leave the cat alone!"

The Great Cat of Re, stretched out along the back of the settee behind him, rose in haste and climbed to the top of his head, from which position it launched itself onto a shelf. Ramses put his notepad aside and looked severely at the two figures who stood before him. "Die Katze ist ganz verboten. Kedi, hayir. Em nedjeroo pa meeoo."

The Great Cat of Re grumbled in agreement. He had been a small, miserable-looking kitten when we acquired him, but Sennia had insisted on giving him that resounding appellation and, against all my expectations, he had grown into his name. His appearance was quite different from those of our other cats: longhaired, with an enormous plume of a tail, and a coat of spotted black on gray. With characteristic feline obstinacy he insisted on joining us for tea, though he knew he would have to go to some lengths to elude his juvenile admirers, who now burst into a melodious babble of protest, or, perhaps, explanation.

"Darling, let's stick to one language, shall we?" Nefret said. She was smiling, but I thought there was a certain edge to her voice. "They'll never learn to talk if you address them in ancient Egyptian and Anglo-Saxon."

"They know how to talk," Ramses said loudly, over the duet. "Recognizable human speech, however -- "

"Say Papa," Nefret coaxed. She leaned forward. "Say it for Mama."

"Bap," said the one whose eyes were the same shade of cornflower-blue.

"Perverse little beggars," said Ramses. The other child climbed onto his knee and buried her head against his chest. I suspected she was trying to get closer to the cat, but she made an engaging picture as she clung to her father. They were affectionate little creatures, much given to hugging and kissing, especially of each other.

"They're over two years old," Ramses went on, stroking the child's black curls. "I was speaking plainly long before that, wasn't I, Mother?"

"Dear me, yes," I said, with a somewhat sickly smile. To be honest -- which I always endeavor to be in the pages of my private journal -- I dreaded the moment when the twins began to articulate. Once Ramses learned to talk plainly, he never stopped talking except to eat or sleep, for over fifteen years, and the prolixity and pedantry of his speech patterns were extremely trying to my nerves. The idea of not one but two children following in the paternal footsteps chilled my blood.

Ever the optimist, I told myself there was no reason to anticipate such a disaster. The little dears might take after their mother, or me.

"Children learn at different rates," I explained to my son. "And twins, according to the best authorities, are sometimes slower to speak because they communicate readily with one another."

"And because they get everything they want without having to ask for it," Ramses muttered. The children obviously understood English, though they declined to speak it; his little daughter raised her head and fluttered her long lashes flirtatiously. He fluttered his lashes back at her. Charla giggled and gave him a hug.

The question of suitable names had occupied us for months. I say "us," because I saw no reason why I should not offer a suggestion or two. (There is nothing wrong with making suggestions so long as the persons to whom they are offered are not obliged to accept them.) Not until the end of her pregnancy did I begin to suspect Nefret was carrying twins, but since we had already settled on names for a male or a female child, it worked out quite nicely. There was no debate about David John; no one quarreled with Ramses's desire to name his son after his best friend and his cousin who had died in France in 1915.

A girl's name was not so easy to find. Emerson declared (quite without malice, I am sure) that between our niece and myself there were already enough Amelias in the family. It was with some hesitation that I mentioned that my mother's name had been Charlotte, and I was secretly pleased when Nefret approved.

"It is such a nice, ordinary name," she said.

"Unlike Nefret," said her husband.

"Or Ramses." She chuckled and patted his cheek. "Not that you could ever be anything else."

Charla, as we called her, had the same curly black hair and dark eyes as her father. Her brother Davy, now perched on his mother's knee, was fair, with Nefret's blue eyes and Ramses's prominent nose and chin. They did not resemble each other except in height, and in their linguistic eccentricity. Davy was more easygoing than his sister, but he had a well-nigh supernatural ability to disappear from one spot and materialize in another some distance away. The bars had been installed in all the rooms they were wont to inhabit, including the veranda, where we now sat waiting for Fatima to serve tea ...

Children of the Storm. Copyright © by Elizabeth Peters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Interviews & Essays

All About Amelia
Over the course of her 14 previous adventures, Victorian Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson has gone from being an unconventional spinster to an independent-minded wife and rather unorthodox mother. With Children of the Storm, which begins one year after World War I, she's become a delightfully eccentric grandmother -- but her insatiable curiosity and passion for justice are still as strong as ever! Ransom Notes asked Amelia's talented creator to talk a bit about Amelia's various tranformations:

Elizabeth Peters: I would say that, more than anything else, growing older has affected Amelia's views. Some people get crotchety as they age; some mellow; some gain wisdom and understanding. Dogmatic though she often sounds, Amelia is capable of learning from experience, and she has been strongly, if unconsciously, influenced by her husband's unorthodox religious and social views.

Of course, Amelia couldn't be who she is in any but this particular historical setting. It is her defiance of the customs of her time that makes her so funny and, I have been told, such an effective role model. I love doing historical research, especially about Egyptology, because that's my field. It has always been my passion, and (no false modesty here) I know a lot about it. I have to maintain a high standard of accuracy because readers are not slow to tell me when I go wrong. (I love hearing from readers. They can reach me through my web site, mpmbooks.com, or by writing me at Box l80, Libertytown MD 21762-0180.)

Ransom Notes: What do you like best about writing about Amelia and her family?

EP: One of the most interesting aspects of Amelia's development, to me, is the way in which she has come to appreciate her son, Ramses. As she admitted early on, she is not a maternal woman, and heaven knows, Ramses as a child would have tried any mother's patience. Also, Amelia's wholehearted devotion to her husband has at times made her jealous of those Emerson also loves -- even her own son. She is a typical Victorian mother in one sense, believing in discipline rather than "developing the whole child." It wasn't until Ramses showed himself a "true Briton," risking his life for his country and his principles, that she came to realize how much she loves and admires him, and was able to tell him so.

RN: In most ways you present Amelia as an extremely practical person. What made you decide to make premonitions part of her character?

EP: I like the contrast between Amelia's practicality and her "streak of superstition," as she calls it. Her premonitions are one of my little jokes, really, because half the time they are flat-out wrong. Her dreams have added a depth to her personality, a spiritual element that makes her more vulnerable and more sympathetic -- and more human.

RN: Amelia is a woman of strong opinions, wed to a man of equally strong and frequently opposed ones. What makes them such a good team, as coworkers, mates, parents, and investigators?

EP: As Amelia says, "I would not allow a man to dominate me, and I would despise a man who allowed me to dominate him." She and Emerson are perfectly matched because they accept and appreciate each other's weaknesses as well as their strengths. And of course there is that -- er -- other element that she would never name. Sex, in other words.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2003

    THE BEST OF THE SERIES!!

    I reread the entire series while eagerly awaiting 'Children of the Storm'. It was like visiting with dearly loved friends. 'Children' adds another generation to the wonderful Emerson-Peabody clan, and finally makes Sethos a real and important addition to the family. Ms. Peters' attention to historical detail is, as usual, magnificent. Her characters are wonderfully human, as well as being heroic, intelligent, eccentric... I can't recommend this series of books highly enough. When is the next one being published? Ms. Peters, your public (and of course, Amelia's) awaits.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    The one you've been waiting for!

    At last! The next generation. As always a terrific mystery and hilarious happenings as can only occur to the Peabody - Emerson's!

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    highly recommended! addictive! can't just read one!

    GOOD AS EXPECTED!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Excellent book

    The Amelia Peabody series is so entertaining I am able to re-read them, and enjoy doing so.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Great Peabody Adventure!

    If your like me and love to read the Amelia Peabody Series you can't leave this one out. This suspenseful book will have you reading all hours of the day. Absolutely wonderful as always.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    a real archeological pot-boiler (yet again!)

    i am pleased as punch to relate that the latest installation in the amelia peabody series is a winner. In 'children of the Storm', the author manages to re-capture all of the enthusiasm for her subject she made a literary name for herself doing. the characters (family, friends, & villains) are exceptionally well drawn and the denouement is a truly pleasant surprise. Highly reccommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2004

    It was very good

    I very much so, enjoyed this book. And I can't wait for the next one to come out.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2003

    absolutely enthralling, as usual

    Have read all her books.1 thru' fifteen..and have never been dissapointed. Ms. Peters cannot write other than wonderful books.This series has grown to now include Amelia's entire extended family. (well,perhaps?). the story is grasping..loving..exciting..hated for it to end...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2003

    the immortal writer

    Elizabeth Peters can write no wrongs! Having stayed up till 3 in the morning to finish this book i must say that i still could not fall asleep. I lay awake and thought only of the next wonderful installment(and the headaches from David John!). Reading about the Emerson clan is like coming home to welcome arms.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2003

    Rock On Amelia!

    Peters has done it again delighting her legion of fans with another exciting Peabody adventure. All our favorite characters are reunited for a rousing good time filled with intrigue, surprises and nasty villians. Don't miss this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2003

    Another Great Amelia Peabody Mystery

    This was another wonderful book from the series and Ihave read them all. The twins are adorable but they will give the Emerson clan a handfull I cant wait to see what kind of trouble they will get into in the next book. It was nice to see the whole family together and Amelia being Amelia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2003

    One of the best Peabody Mysteries ever!!!

    I've read every Amelia Peabody mystery (most a few times) and I have to say that this is most definatley one of the best ever! Being utterly in love with Sethos I loved that the was featured again, but the addition of Ramses and Neffret's children just made it all the more enjoyable. Who doesn't love those two, especially after the trouble they had getting together? A definate 'Must Read' and for any who haven't experienced Amelia and her adventures, you don't know what you're missing!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2003

    Order does not count!

    As yet I have not read this newest book even though I gave it 5 Stars; all her others are 5 Star therefore, I can not imagine this one falling short! I have several more to read before I am ready - but for those of you who have not read any of Elizabeth Peters books don't fret if you should read them out of context; which I did when first discovering her wonderful books! I find that the sheer joy of reading her books, regardless of the order, does not take away from ANY of the fabulous reading this author produces!!!! Like the movies, one must investigate on their own and ignor the critics....

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    The best Amelia Peabody mystery yet

    A full cast of characters and an elaborate mystery make this one of the best Amelia Peabody mysteries to date. The whole Emerson family is in Luxor for this one, along with several of the characters who enlivened previous books in the series. As usual, the mystery is well-developed, and the book is suspenseful up to its gratifying ending. For those new to this series, I recommend reading some of the earlier books first just to add to the enjoyment of this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2003

    WARNING to FANS

    WARNING - do not read the review from 'HARSTAN' if you are not caught up with the series. The reviewer gives away plot twists that are not revealed until after 'Ape who Guards' - I just wandered by and read a character twist that really spoiled the next 4 books for me. The exclamation and curses scared the dogs and my husband - clear out of the house. Shame on her! please use a review format, not plot summary.! Plus the 'Critic' can't spell and the 'Yahoo' link (how I got here) can't even get the character's name right - amanda peters??

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong historial amateur sleuth

    By December 1919, the Great War is finally over. Amelia Peabody and her husband, the famous archeologist Emerson, are in their Luxor, Egypt home along with their extended brood. This includes their son Ramses, his wife Nefret, and their two children, Emerson¿s brother Walter, his wife Evelyn, their daughter Lia and her husband David and their children as well as Emerson¿s illegitimate half brother Sethos and his illegit daughter Maryann. Emerson and Amelia¿s friend and colleague Cyrus Vandergelt has found a well preserved tomb in the Deir el Medina, the same place where Emerson is working on an archeologist site. Soon afterward, a trusted worker disappears with some of the treasure and his murdered body is found in the desert. A woman pretending to be the goddess Hathor kidnaps Ramses, but he escapes before he finds out what she wants. Maryann is attacked and someone sabotages the boat they are traveling on. None of the incidents form a pattern that makes any sense but Amelia knows someone is weaving a web around them and intends to trap them in it. It is fascinating to read about three generations of Emersons in the same book. CHILDREN OF THE STORM is the fifteenth mystery starring Amelia Peabody and it doesn¿t get any better than this. Elizabeth Peters brilliantly shifts from the first person to the third person so readers always know what is going on the minds of the characters. Old enemies reappear while the heroine of this amateur sleuth novel works overtime trying to figure out who is waging a vendetta against her and her family. Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 12, 2009

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    Posted May 24, 2011

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    Posted January 10, 2010

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    Posted November 14, 2010

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