Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody Series #4)

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"The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, and their precocious (some might say rambunctious) eight-year-old son, Ramses. The long-denied permission to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor has finally been granted, and the much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid is now theirs for the exploring." "Before the young family exchanges the relative comfort of Cairo for the more rudimentary quarters near the excavation site, they engage a young Englishman, Donald
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1999 Mass-market paperback New. Clean and tight-unused copy-Excellent! ! Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 384 p. Audience: General/trade.

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New York, NY, U.S.A. 1999 Mass Market Paperback NEW PB. An Amelia Peabody mystery.

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Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody Series #4)

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Overview

"The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, and their precocious (some might say rambunctious) eight-year-old son, Ramses. The long-denied permission to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor has finally been granted, and the much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid is now theirs for the exploring." "Before the young family exchanges the relative comfort of Cairo for the more rudimentary quarters near the excavation site, they engage a young Englishman, Donald Fraser, as a tutor and companion for Ramses, and Amelia takes a wayward young woman, Enid Debenham, under her protective wing." But there is danger and deception in the wind that blows across the hot Egyptian sands. A brazen kidnapping attempt, a gruesome murder, and an expedition subsequently cursed by misfortune and death - all serve to alert Amelia to the likely 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 motivate the man known as Sethos. The evil genius has a score to settle with the meddling lady archaeologist who has sworn to deliver him to justice ... and he's got her dead-on in his sights.
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Editorial Reviews

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

  • ISBN-13: 9780380731190
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 384
  • 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

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.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 50 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Amelia Peabody rocks!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Amelia, Emerson, and Ramses are back!

    Best in the series yet. And it feaurures Sethos!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    Love this author! Great series!!

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    My sister and I really enjoy Elizabeth Peters' books featuring Amelia Peabody and Emerson. We have read all of them; I just started over.

    We live in the Arizona desert, so my imagination is not stretched much by the reference to the dry heat. However, I am not even remotely tempted to go outside and "enjoy" the wonderful heat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2009

    exciting

    once you begin to read and understand the family of characters, it is hard to put the book down. it is a series that is in order and you really need to read the first book to understand the others. if you would like to visit Eygpt one day, Ms Peters and her family help you to understand some of the history and discoveries, and makes you feel like you are part of her family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    Amazing

    This book is filled with love, hate, and seduction. It is the most prevocitive in the series. It is set on the Egyptian sands in 1895-96. When Amelia and her hot-tempered spouse come back to Egypt for their fourth season aconpaied by their 8 year-old son set out to The sandy waks of Dashoor. She is in heaven until her son gets captured and then Amelia herself by a man who is her restless admirer the Master Criminal. Does he run away with her or not? Read this action pacted thriller to find out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    great book

    this book was one of my favorites in the Amelia Peabody series. Every character is great and now im even growing to love sethos!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    So Interesting

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now I love Sethos.

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