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Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody Series #4)
     

Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody Series #4)

4.3 51
by Elizabeth Peters
 

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The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband Emerson, and their wild and precocious eight-year-old son Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind that roils the hot sands sweeping through the bustling streets and

Overview

The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband Emerson, and their wild and precocious eight-year-old son Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind that roils the hot sands sweeping through the bustling streets and marketplace of Cairo. The brazen moonlight abduction of Ramses—and an expedition subsequently cursed by misfortune and death—have alerted Amelia to the likly presence of her arch nemesis the Master Criminal, notorious looter of the living and the dead. But it is far more than ill-gotten riches that motivates the evil genius this time around. For now the most valuable and elusive prized of all is nearly in his grasp: the meddling lady archaeologist who has sworn to deliver him to justice...Amelia Peabody!

Author Biography:

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.

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
Peters really knows how to spin romance and adventure into a mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061429798
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/09/2008
Series:
Amelia Peabody Series , #4
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Lion in the Valley LP

Chapter One

My dear Peabody," said Emerson, "pray correct me if I am mistaken; but I sense a diminution of that restless ardor for living that is so noted a characteristic of yours, particularly upon occasions such as this. Since that happy day that saw us united, never a cloud has dimmed the beaming orb of matrimonial bliss; and that remarkable circumstance derives, I am certain, from the perfect communion that marks our union. Confide, I implore, in the fortunate man whose designated role is to support and shelter you, and whose greatest happiness is to share your own."

I felt certain Emerson must have worked this speech out in advance. No one talks like that in the course of ordinary conversation.

I knew, however, that the formality of his speech failed adequately to express the sincere devotion that had inspired it. My dear Emerson and I have been of one mind and one heart ever since the day we met inthe Egyptian Museum of Boulaq. (In actual fact, our first meeting was distinctly acrimonious. I was a mere tourist at that time, on my maiden visit to the land of the pharaohs; and yet, scarcely had I set foot on that fabled soil than the bright flame of Egyptological fervor was kindled in my bosom, a flame that soon became a roaring conflagration. Little did I suspect, that day in the museum, as I energetically defended myself against the unwarranted criticisms hurled at me by the fascinating stranger, that we would soon meet again, under even more romantic circumstances, in an abandoned tomb at El Amarna. The setting, at least, was romantic. Emerson, I confess, was not. However, a subtle instinct told me that beneath Emerson'scaustic remarks and black scowls his heart beat only for me, and, as events proved, I was correct.)

His tender discernment was not at fault. A dark fore-boding did indeed shadow the joy that would normally have flooded my being at such a time. We stood on the deck of the vessel that had borne us swiftly across thebroad Mediterranean; the breeze of its passage across the blue waters ruffled our hair and tugged at our garments. Ahead we could see the Egyptian coast, where we would land before the day was over. We were about to enter upon another season of archaeological investigation, the most recent of many we had shared. Soon we would be exploring the stifling, bat-infested corridors of one pyramid and the muddy, flooded burial chamber of another—scenes that would under ordinary circumstances have inspired in me a shiver of rapturous anticipation. How many other women—particularly in that final decade of the nineteenth century-had somany reasons to rejoice?

Emerson—who prefers to be addressed by his surname, since he considers "Radcliffe" affected and effeminate (his very words)—had chosen me as his equal partner, not only in marriage, but in the profession we both have the honor to adorn. Emerson is the finest excavator of Egyptian antiquities the world has seen. I do not doubt his name will be revered as "The Father of Scientific Excavation" as long as civilization endures upon this troubled globe. And my name—the name of Amelia Peabody Emerson—will be enshrined alongside is.

Forgive my enthusiasm, dear Reader. The contemplation of Emerson's excellent qualities never fails to arouse emotion. Nor is his excellence restricted to his intellectual qualities. I feel no shame in confessing that his physical attributes were not the least of the elements at made me decide to accept his proposal of marriage. From the raven hair upon his broad brow to the dimple (which he prefers to call a cleft) in his chin, he is a model of masculine strength and good looks.

Emerson appears to be equally appreciative of my physical attributes. Candidly, I have never fully understood this attitude. Mine is not a type of beauty I admire. Features rather less pronounced, eyes of a softer and paler hue, a figure greater in stature and more restrained in the region above the waist, locks of sunny gold instead of jetty black—these are my ideals of female loveliness. Luckily for me, Emerson does not share them.

His large brown hand lay next to mine on the rail of the vessel. It was not the hand of a gentleman; but to me the callouses and scars that marked those tanned and stalwart members were badges of honor. I remembered the occasions on which they had wielded weapons or tools in the course of his labors; and other occasions on which they had demonstrated a delicacy of touch that induced the most remarkable of sensations.

Emerson has many admirable qualities, but patience is not one of them. Lost in my reveries, I failed to respond at once to his question. He seized me by the shoulders and spun me around to face him. His blue eyes blazed like sapphires, his lips curled back from his white teeth, and the dimple in his chin quivered ominously.

"Why the devil don't you answer me?" he shouted. "How can you remain unmoved by such an appeal? What ails you, Peabody? I will be cursed if I can understand women. You ought to be on your knees thanking heaven—and ME—for the happiness in store for you. It wasn't easy, you know, persuading de Morgan to give up the site to us; it required all the subtle tact of which I am capable. No one but I could have done it. No one but I would have done it. And how do you repay me? By sighing and moping!"

It would have been immediately apparent, to anyone familiar with the circumstances he described, that Emersonwas again engaging in his endearing habit of selfdeception. The Director of the Antiquities Service, M. de Morgan, had yielded to us the archaeological site at which he himself had worked the previous year, and which had already produced a number of remarkable discoveries. However, Emerson's subtle tact, a quality that exists only in his imagination, had nothing to do with it. I was not precisely sure what had produced M. de Morgan's change of heart. Or, to be more exact, I had certain suspicions I preferred not to think about. it was a natural progression from those suspicions to the excuse I now uttered to account for my somber mood.

Lion in the Valley LP. Copyright © by Elizabeth Peters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
A farm in rural Maryland
Date of Birth:
September 29, 1927
Place of Birth:
Canton, Illinois
Education:
M.A., Ph.D. in Egyptology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1952
Website:
http://mpmbooks.com/

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4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Amelia and Emerson are back in Egypt for another season of excavation and archaeology. However, as the odds deem, murder strikes... yet again! Fear of the Master Criminal which Amelia is so sure of deepens the plot. The threat seems to be approaching closer... I have to say... Ramses, the couple's son, is probably my favorite character, with all his innocence, brilliance and sneakiness. He could talk your ear off on topics you've never even heard of! So lovable though. This was yet another great book from Elizabeth Peters. Adults with a sense of humor and a sense of wonder for adventure will enjoy it!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many of Elizabeth Peters books several times, this one included. We get to finally meet the Master Criminal - but having met him in the later books, he does not really strike me as the same man he develops into. But I guess that's hindsight. Amelia is always a fun read. She's always good for laugh and an eyeroll.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best in the series yet. And it feaurures Sethos!!
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I love this author, ELizabeth Peters. All of this Amelia Peabody series is about 1900 murder mysteries with archeologists Radcliff and Amelia Peabody Emerson and their family/asscociates in Egypt. Very intelligent read, very clean; I always learn so much (and have to look up words because she writes like a scholar.) Highly recommended - reading this series for the 2nd time around!
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