The Golden One (Amelia Peabody Series #14)

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Overview

A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon an even more disturbing outrage concerns the intrepid clan of archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.

Yet this is nothing compared with the lethal fate that threatens...

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The Golden One (Amelia Peabody Series #14)

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Overview

A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon an even more disturbing outrage concerns the intrepid clan of archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.

Yet this is nothing compared with the lethal fate that threatens Ramses. Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Ramses must journey to this ancient, fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile, Ramses's wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own....

Once again the incomparable and bestselling carries us to a breathtaking realm of ancient wonders and crumbling splendor — from the hectic bustle of the Cairo markets to remote, sand-swept corners of the Egyptian desert where the gods of antiquity sleep. Returning visitors to the world of Amelia Peabody will be enthralled by the latest mesmerizing adventure from the award-winning grandmaster, and newcomers will succumb to her wiles as they are caught up in the tantalizing spell of the remarkable Elizabeth Peters and The Golden One.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her husband, Radcliffe Emerson, long for just one season of excavation uninterrupted by homicide, but happily for mystery fans, they never seem to achieve it. It's New Year's Eve, 1917, and once again the Emerson brood is off to sift through ancient Egyptian fields. But derailment occurs almost as soon as Radcliffe can brandish his trowel and whiskbroom: The dead body inside the looted tomb is decidedly not a royal mummy. Amelia and her spouse begin poking around for solutions to the murder(s), while their son Ramses undertakes another dangerous assignment and daughter Nefret attempts to keep a secret.
The Guardian (London)
“Unputdownable...the wily charm isn’t flagging.”
Publishers Weekly
The legions of Amelia Peabody Emerson fans will be overjoyed with this 14th in the series (after 2001's Lord of the Silent), for they're getting two books in one. First, MWA Grandmaster Peters offers another amusing if wordy Egyptian archeology mystery, set in 1917 and replete with grave robbers, a murder, the discovery of a richly furnished tomb and a cast of thousands. Halfway through the book, this plot is annoyingly left dangling when the British recall the Emerson's brilliant son, Ramses, for an espionage assignment in Gaza, where he must determine if a newly powerful figure, Ismail Pasha, is really the Emerson family black sheep, Sethos, master criminal and secret agent. The redoubtable Amelia; her eccentric husband, Radcliffe; Ramses's adventurous wife, Nefret; and their faithful foreman, Selim, follow him in disguise. Captured by Sahin Pasha, head of the Turkish secret service, Ramses later escapes, fulfilling his mission with his family's help. Then it's back to Egypt, where the Emersons and their friends the Vandergelts solve the murder and subdue the villains. Radcliffe even ejects intrusive tourists from fragile archeological sites. Peters's books divide the mystery-reading public. With a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, she provides an authentic historical backdrop. However, her long-winded explanations and preposterous plots frustrate many. Those who enjoy romance and find the hubbub of the Emersons and their devoted entourage entertaining will forgive the faults. Agent, Dominick Abel. (One-day laydown Apr. 2) Forecast: Increased wordiness won't daunt the author's faithful followers, who will lift this Mystery Guild Main Selection onto bestseller lists. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The Guardian (London)
“Unputdownable...the wily charm isn’t flagging.”
The Guardian(London)
"Unputdownable...the wily charm isn’t flagging."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380817153
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/5/2003
  • Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #14
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.02 (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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

When I am in one of my philosophical moods, I am inclined to wonder whether all families are as difÞcult as mine.

I was in such a mood as I dressed for dinner on the penultimate evening of our voyage. We would dock at Alexandria in two days, unless, of course, the ship was sunk by a German torpedo. A winter voyage from England to Egypt is never comfortable; but in that fateful December of 1916, after more than two years of war, the possibility of submarine attack had been added to the perils of rough seas and stormy weather.

I was not thinking of that danger -- for I make it a habit never to worry about matters that are beyond my control -- nor of the difÞculty of trying to keep my footing while the þoor of the cabin rose and fell and the oil lamps swung wildly on their brackets -- for mine is the sort of mind that rises above such things -- but perhaps these considerations did affect me more than I realized, giving a pessimistic cast to my normally cheerful reþections.

Mind you, I had no legitimate grounds for complaint about my immediate family. My husband, Radcliffe Emerson, is the most distinguished Egyptologist of this or any other era. His sapphirine-blue eyes, the cleft, or dimple, in his strong chin, his thick sable hair, and muscular but symmetrical frame are additional attractions to me and, I regret to say, to innumerable other females.

He has a few minor eccentricities: his command of invective, which has earned him the Egyptian sobriquet of Father of Curses, his explosive temper, his autocratic, arbitrary method of dealing with theauthorities of the Service des Antiquités, which had led in the past to our being barred from most of the interesting sites in Egypt...

Well, but no proud mother could have asked for a better son than mine. Ramses had been named for his Uncle Walter, but everyone called him by the nickname given him by his father in infancy. He was as handsome and intellectually gifted as his father, idealistic, kind, and courageous...A little too courageous, perhaps? He had been one of the most infuriating children I have ever had the misfortune to encounter, and his reckless disregard for danger, when he believed the cause he supported to be morally right, was one trait that I had been unable to eradicate. The most terrifying of his adventures had occurred during the winter of 1914-15, when he had taken on a secret assignment for the War OfÞce. He and his best friend, David, had completed their mission successfully, but both had been seriously injured, and Ramses's true identity had been exposed to agents of the Central Powers. I had hoped his marriage would sober him, but although he was as passionately attached to his beautiful wife as Emerson was to my humble self, Nefret had not been the calming inþuence for which I had hoped. She would have thrown herself in front of a charging lion if Ramses were its destined prey, but what I wanted was someone who would prevent him from provoking lions in the Þrst place.

Nefret had been our ward, dear as a daughter, before she married our son. As a Þrm believer in the equality of the female gender, I could only approve the determination with which she had achieved against considerable odds her goal of qualifying as a surgeon. As a person of high moral principles I could only commend her for spending part of her large fortune in establishing in Cairo a hospital for women that served even the lowest and most despised members ofthat sex. If only she would consent to settle down -- devote her ardent energies to medicine and to archaeology, and to Ramses -- and perhaps...

The boat gave a great lurch and I dropped the earring I was endeavoring to insert. With a muttered “Curse it” I lowered myself to hands and knees and began feeling about on the þoor -- without, I hardly need say, losing the track of my mental musing.

Honesty compels me to admit that the propensity of my son and daughter to become engaged with individuals who desired to wreak grave bodily harm upon them was not entirely their fault. Emerson and I tended to attract such individuals too. Over the years we had dealt -- effectively, I hardly need add -- with murderers, forgers, tomb robbers, and criminals of various sorts. Several of them had been related to us.

As I crawled under the dressing table in pursuit of the elusive earring, I remembered something Emerson had said about my side of the family, to the effect that not one of them had any redeeming qualities whatever. This was rude, but undeniably correct. One of my nephews had been -- I am happy to employ the past tense -- a thoroughly repellent human being. Sennia, his little daughter by a Cairo prostitute, who had been callously abandoned by her father, was now part of our family.

The boat bounced again and the top of my head came into painful contact with the underside of the dressing table. Since I was alone, with no one to overhear, I permitted myself a few expletives. I do not approve of bad language, but everybody else in the family employs it freely. It is Emerson's fault. He cannot or will not restrain himself and of course the children emulate him. There are times when Nefret's language...

The cursed earring continued to elude me, but I endeavored, as is my habit, to look on the bright side. Emerson's kin were exemplary human beings: his brother Walter, a true scholar and gentleman; Walter's wife, my close friend Evelyn; and their Þne brood of children, in which category I must include the husband of their daughter Lia. David, a talented artist and trained Egyptologist, and Ramses's best friend, was the grandson of our dear departed reis Abdullah. We...

The Golden One. Copyright © by Elizabeth Peters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    Another Peters' Can't Put it Down!

    Peters goes herself one better in the historical (and hysterical) settings of this one. She's spot-on with the WWI facts as well as the local flavor. The espionage sub-plot was my particular favorite, especially the descriptions of the disguises assumed by the family. I'm waiting with bated breath to see how she works T.E. Lawrence (subject of my dissertation) and Howard Carter's world-shaking find into the series! I read this one in one sitting - finishing at 5am.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2002

    AN EAGERLY ANTICIPATED ADVENTURE

    Few tales are as eagerly awaited as another in the addictive Amelia Peabody mystery series. After all, what other heroine is intrepid, tastefully dressed, and secretes a sword in her parasol - just in case. When first introduced in the 1975 'Crocodile On The Sandbank,' Amelia Peabody was a stalwart spinster who determined to use her hefty inheritance in pursuit of her overriding interest - Egyptology. It was 1884, yet she set out for Egypt where she was to be confronted with a number of perplexing circumstances. With 'The Golden One' it is 1917, and Amelia is married to Radcliffe, the most famous archeologist in Egypt. Ramses, their son is a chip off the old blocks; he is an investigator wed to Nefret, who is, of course, beautiful. Choosing to overlook German submarines lurking in the waters, this encourage sets out for Egypt. Their plans for an anticipated excavation are interrupted with the appearance of Sethos, Radcliffe's ne'er-do-well brother. Matters are further complicated when they hear that royal tombs have been robbed, and a body is found. Those who have read the Amelia Peabody series in the past will be thrilled with this latest adventure. Those who have not have a treat in store.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2002

    Peter's does it again!

    As an avid reader of Elizabeth Peter's books, and in particular the Amelia Peabody series, I must say this has been one of her best. The Emersons are up to their usual adventures, and followers of the series will be thrilled to see more of Sethos, the romantic exchanges, and the incomparable wit of these novels. I have no intention of giving away the plot, but I must say I found it hard to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Fun read!

    I enjoyed this book! I liked all the twist and turns, which kept it
    a very interesting read.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    I have really enjoyed this series from Elizabeth Peters. Now, wa

    I have really enjoyed this series from Elizabeth Peters. Now, watching Downton Abbey I am seeing some of the period costumes Amelia mentions. Both from the same time period, very fun.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Recommended

    I've read most of the Amelia Peabody novels and enjoyed them all. Elizabeth Peters combines a little history with mystery and humor from the characters. A fun read.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Love this series!

    If you like mysteries, if you like archaeology, if you like well developed characters, this is the series for you. Every time I finish one, I'm eager to start the next. I dread the day in the next few weeks when I finish the series. I will feel as though I have lost an entire family. Love this entire series!

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    jolly good book

    If you enjoyed the previous Amelia Peabody books, you will love this one. There all the drama of rescues, misunderstandings, disguises, etc. I really enjoyed this book.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    This was the first book by Peters that I had ever read. After I finished, I started reading the series from the beginning and am completely enjoying the series. I have passed my enthusiasm on to my husband, mother, friends, and as many people as I can. We are now in a competition to see who can catch up to the newest book first. Unfortunately for me, my husband is one book ahead, but not for long!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2003

    Engaging

    I love this,even though critics call it 'wordy'.It's great!I love all her books.Unfortunatly,I'm running out of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2002

    Another Gem

    What else can I say? Elizabeth Peters just keeps us happy, book after book. The Emersons are up to their usual mischief again here, but it's more interesting because of the split plot. As with the previous reviewer, I have no intention of giving away the plot, but I can tell you to expect some delightful new twists. As Engaging as ever, THE GOLDEN ONE succeeds in the highest regard. Now, I can't wait for the next one, but I hope the author brings David and Lia back and writes Cyrus into 'the inner circle' in future installments (after all, they've only known him for almost 30 years). Please keep writing these wonderful mysteries, Ms. Peters! ( And I hope you have a whopper up your sleeve to coincide with Carter's discovery of Tut's Tomb, just a few books away, I hope : )

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2002

    Engaging historical mystery

    By the beginning of 1917, the Great War makes travel across the Mediterranean unsafe. Still, the archeologist Peabody-Emerson family journeys from England to Egypt to begin another season digging up ancient history. However, their arrival at Luxor is accompanied by the word that thieves attacked a royal tomb with one of the criminals left behind dead. <P>Before the matriarch Amelia Peabody Emerson can fully investigate the crime as she always does, British intelligence draft her son Ramses to work for them. They need Ramses to ascertain whether Ismail Pasha, an individual quickly rising to power in Gaza, is really Sethos his brother and a criminal. Unable to resist, the Peabody brood follows Ramses on his trek to keep him safe and to learn first hand if Sethos has surfaced. <P> Fans of this series will enjoy this mixing of a World War I espionage tale with a who-done-it. However, historical mystery readers will feel disappointed as the intel mission intrudes on the investigation, which is left dangling while completing the espionage assignment before the family returns to solve the murder. This leaves the audience with two distinct story lines that never merge and a feeling of a novella inset inside a historical amateur sleuth mystery. Elizabeth Peters provides a wonderful look into Egyptology during the encroachment of World War I that along with the fourteenth return of the clan will delight series fans. <P>Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 12, 2009

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    Posted October 14, 2009

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    Posted June 3, 2011

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    Posted March 6, 2011

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    Posted November 19, 2011

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