The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Series #3)

The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Series #3)

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by Elizabeth Peters
     
 

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Emerson, Amelia Peabody's archaeologist husband, is on a dig where nothing seems worthy of interest, until a sinister murder suspect turns up at the site. Amelia can't resist following his trail, but danger mounts when she and Emerson look for answers in an ancient tomb that nearly becomes their grave. From the author of Night Train to Memphis.

Overview

Emerson, Amelia Peabody's archaeologist husband, is on a dig where nothing seems worthy of interest, until a sinister murder suspect turns up at the site. Amelia can't resist following his trail, but danger mounts when she and Emerson look for answers in an ancient tomb that nearly becomes their grave. From the author of Night Train to Memphis.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060878115
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/25/2006
Series:
Amelia Peabody Series, #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.66(h) x 0.91(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Mummy Case


By Elizabeth Peters

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060878118

Chapter One

I never meant to marry. In my opinion, a woman born in the last half of the nineteenth century of the Christian era suffered from enough disadvantages without willfully embracing another. That is not to say that I did not occasionally indulge in daydreams of romantic encounters; for I was as sensible as any other female of the visible attractions of the opposite sex. But I never expected to meet a man who was my match, and I had no more desire to dominate a spouse than to be ruled by him. Marriage, in my view, should be a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.

I had resigned myself to a life of spinsterhood when, at a somewhat advanced age, I met Radcliffe Emerson. Our first encounter was not romantic. Never will I forget my initial sight of Emerson, as we stood face to face in that dismal hall of the Boulaq Museum -- his black beard bristling, his blue eyes blazing, his fists clenched, his deep baritone voice bellowing invectives at me for dusting off the antiquities. Yet even as I answered his criticism in kind, I knew in my heart that our lives would be intertwined.

I had several logical, sensible reasons for accepting Emerson's offer of marriage. Emerson was an Egyptologist; and my first visit to the realm of the pharaohsplanted seeds of affection for that antique land that were soon to blossom into luxuriant flower. Emerson's keen intelligence and acerbic tongue -- which had won him the title "Father of Curses" from his devoted Egyptian workmen -- made him a foeman worthy of my steel. And yet, dear Reader, these were not my real reasons for yielding to Emerson's suit. I deplore cliches, but in this case I must resort to one. Emerson swept me off my feet. I am determined to be completely candid as I pen these pages, for I have made certain they will not be published, at least during my lifetime. They began as a personal Journal, perused only by a Critic whose intimate relationship gave him access to my private thoughts -- so he claimed at any rate; as his remarks on style and content of my writing became more critical, I decided to disallow the claim and lock up my Journals. They are therefore mine alone, and unless my heirs decide that the scholarly world should not be deprived of the insights contained therein (which may well occur), no eyes but mine will read these words.

Why, then, the gentle Reader will ask, do I infer his or her existence by addressing her, or him? The answer should be obvious. Art cannot exist in a vacuum. The creative spirit must possess an audience. It is impossible for a writer to do herself justice if she is only talking to herself.

Having established this important point, I return to my narrative.

Not only did Emerson sweep me off my feet, I swept him off his. (I speak figuratively, of course.) By current standards I am not beautiful. Fortunately for me, Emerson's tastes in this area, as in most others, are highly original. My complexion, which others find sallow and dark, he described (on one memorable occasion) as resembling the honey of Hymettus; my coarse, jet-black hair, which refuses to remain confined in braids, buns, or nets, arouses in him a peculiar variety of tactile enjoyment; and his remarks about my figure, which is unfashionably slender in some areas and overly endowed in others, cannot be reproduced, even here.

By any standards Emerson is a remarkably fine-looking man. He stands over six feet tall, and his stalwart frame possesses the elasticity and muscular development of youth, thanks to a vigorous outdoor life. Under the rays of the benevolent Egyptian sun his brawny arms and rugged face turn golden-brown, forming a striking setting for the sapphire brilliance of his eyes. The removal of his beard, at my urgent request, uncovered a particularly attractive dimple in his chin. Emerson prefers to call it a cleft, when he refers to the feature at all; but it is a dimple. His hair is -sable, thick and soft, shining with Titian gleams in the sunlight. . . .

But enough of that. Suffice it to say that the wedded state proved highly agreeable, and the first years of our marriage were fully as pleasant as I had expected. We spent the winter in Egypt, excavating by day and sharing the delightful privacy of an (otherwise) unoccupied tomb by night; and the summer in England with Emerson's brother Walter, a distinguished philologist, and the husband of my dear friend Evelyn. It was a thoroughly satisfactory existence. I cannot imagine why I, who am normally as farsighted and practical as a woman can be, did not realize that the matrimonial state quite often leads to another, -related state. I refer, of course, to motherhood.

When the possibility of this interesting condition first manifested itself I was not excessively put out. According to my calculations, the child would be born in the summer, enabling me to finish the season's work and get the business over and done with before returning to the dig in the autumn. This proved to be the case, and we left the infant -- a boy, named after his uncle Walter -- in the care of that gentleman and his wife when we set out for Egypt in October.

What ensued was not entirely the child's fault. I had not anticipated that Emerson's next view of his son the following spring would induce a doting idiocy that manifested itself in baby talk, and in a reluctance to be parted from the creature. Ramses, as the child came to be called, merited his nickname; he was as imperious in his demands and as pervasive in his presence as that most arrogant of ancient Egyptian god-kings must have been. He was also alarmingly precocious. A lady of my acquaintance used that term to me, after Ramses, aged four, had treated her to a lecture on the proper method of excavating a compost heap -- hers, in point of fact. . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Peters. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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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Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Series #3) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is wonderful. Ramses is perfect as the spawn of Peabody and Enerson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally love this series. Over time i have read this entire series several times and have enjoyed them every time. Amelia Peabody Emerson is one of the first true feminist who knows her own mind and stands up for what she believes. She and her tempermental husband, Radcliff Emerson, perfectly balance out each other. They both love their work. The series is entertaining, funny, and full of adventure. Every book just gets better.
LCol More than 1 year ago
If you like murder mystries and Egypt, these are the books for you. I enjoy the Amelia Peabody Series. They are always full of adventures.
MarionMarchetto_author More than 1 year ago
Intrepid Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her irrascible husband, who has been dubbed the "Father of Curses" by the Egyptian natives, once again set forth to uncover the treasures of the ancient pharoahs. This time they take along with them their young son nicknamed Ramses and John, a servant in their employ from England. Relegated to digging in an area deemed 'not worthy' by husband Radcliff Emerson, they are soon in the midst of a complex situation wherein a band of antiquities thieves are being lead by a Master Criminal. As Amelia tries to do her detective work she is stymied by a host of suspects and conflicting clues and information. After she and Radcliffe are thrown into the thick blackness of an ancient burial chamber in the Black Pyramid without hope of rescue, they are left to wonder if they have indeed met their fate. This reader found the plot confusing, as though it was searching for a way to untangle itself. The redeeming grace of this book is Ramses, who speaks with the vocabulary of a university professor with a lisp that makes him all the more endearing. The characters here are stronger than the plot and have earned this book four stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mummy Case is another outstanding story by famed writer Elizabeth Peters...I'm such a fan! This story is highly entertaining. The characters are GREAT and the plot exciting! I suggest you order your copy of this book today. You'll be glad you did!
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Great murder mystery to keep one guessing until the end. What a dynamic twist! To list a few things I enjoy so much from this series...  * The husband and wife "tension" between Emerson and Amelia is hilarious to watch.  * The random tidbits about the Bible thrown in, sometimes satirically, which add a bit of character to Christianity, I must say. * The ever-so-smart son, Ramses, who is just such a cutie. * The Victorian archaeological setting in Egypt is divine. Beautiful story! Can't wait for the next book.
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...especially if you like Archeology and Egyptology. The characters are not totally believable, sort of exagerated at times, but they are likeable and the mysteries are entertaining.
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