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A River in the Sky (Amelia Peabody Series #19)
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A River in the Sky (Amelia Peabody Series #19)

3.6 138
by Elizabeth Peters

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New York Times Bestseller

From New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Peters comes one of her most baffling and intriguing mysteries in her phenomenally popular Amelia Peabody series.

August 1910. Banned from the Valley of the Kings, Amelia Peabody and husband Emerson are persuaded to follow would-be


New York Times Bestseller

From New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Peters comes one of her most baffling and intriguing mysteries in her phenomenally popular Amelia Peabody series.

August 1910. Banned from the Valley of the Kings, Amelia Peabody and husband Emerson are persuaded to follow would-be archaeologist Major George Morley on an expedition to Palestine. Somewhere in this province of the corrupt, crumbling Ottoman Empire—the Holy Land of three religions—Morley is determined to unearth the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

At the request of British Intelligence, Emerson will be keeping an eye on the seemingly inept Morley, believed to be an agent of the Kaiser sent to stir up trouble in this politically volatile land. Amelia hopes to prevent a catastrophically unprofessional excavation from destroying priceless historical finds and sparking an armed protest by infuriated Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Meanwhile, Amelia's headstrong son, Ramses, working on a dig at Samaria, encounters an unusual party of travelers and makes a startling discovery—information that he must pass along to his parents in Jerusalem...if he can get there alive.

“Between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones, it’s Amelia—in wit and daring—by a landslide.”New York Times Book Review


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in 1910, the delightful 19th Amelia Peabody novel from bestseller Peters (after Tomb of the Golden Bird) takes Amelia and her husband, Emerson, to Palestine, where an English adventurer, George Morley, is planning to excavate Jerusalem's Temple Mount in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Gen. David Spencer, the director of Military Operations in London, suspects Morley, an amateur archeologist at best, of spying for the Germans, whose influence has been growing in the Middle East. Spencer wants Egyptologists Amelia and Emerson to stop Morley from undertaking a project sure to offend the three religious groups that consider the temple site holy. Meanwhile, son Ramses embarks on a treacherous journey to convey to his parents important information learned from two travelers he meets while on a dig in Samaria. Once again, MWA Grandmaster Peters uses vivid settings, sharp characterizations, and deft dialogue to transport the reader to another time and place. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Quelling a riot at the Temple Mount and chasing a villain through an ancient tunnel are the latest adventures of the Emerson family, as they detour to Palestine in 1910 when a mysterious German archaeologist, Frau Von Eine, and her Muslim partner, Mansur, kidnap son Ramses, who is working in Palestine. Ameila Peabody and husband Radcliffe, meanwhile, investigate amateur archaeologist Morley, who has ties to the villains. Much of the book centers around the search for Ramses and his escape. Descriptions of the history, culture, archaeology, and landscape impart significance and realism while educating the reader. Still, the plot is hazy, and the importance of the artifact, deemed so significant by the villains, is not sufficiently explained. Multiple shifts from "Manuscript H," which recounts Ramses's activities, to Amelia's first-person narrative may confuse readers. VERDICT The plot is less riveting than many Peters mysteries, but series fans will enjoy sharing another adventure with the forthright Amelia, powerful Radcliffe, and quick-thinking Ramses. Fans should note that this is out of chronological order from the rest of the saga. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/09.]—Sally Bickley, Del Mar Coll. Lib., Corpus Christi, TX
Kirkus Reviews
The Peabody dynasty finds danger in 1910 Palestine. While Ramses Peabody toils on a dig near Jerusalem, his parents, Amelia and Emerson, together with their adopted daughter Nefret and David, the Egyptian boy they've taken in, are relaxing in England until Emerson is approached by the government to sort out a problem with Mr. Morley, a treasure hunter who's secured permission from the corrupt Ottoman Empire to excavate near the Temple Mount. The enterprise would be guaranteed to cause trouble with members of the three major religious groups who hold the area sacred even if Morley weren't suspected of being a German spy at a time when Germany is trying to gain influence in the volatile area. Soon enough, Morley departs, deserting his colleague, the Reverend Panagopolous, who seems to be a mentally disturbed religious fanatic. Meanwhile, back in Palestine, Ramses is kidnapped when he learns too much about the German archaeologist Madame von Eine and her mysterious companion Mansur. His family arrives in Palestine, where they have permission to dig near Morley, expecting Ramses to join them. When he fails to appear, David sneaks off to find him. Indefatigable Amelia wastes no time organizing both the dig and the effort to find Ramses and David. Though the family receives help from a shadowy group known as the Sons of Abraham, they all face grave danger before their mission can be accomplished. Fans should welcome an installment significantly less convoluted than most of Amelia's adventures (Tomb of the Golden Bird, 2007, etc.).

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Amelia Peabody Series , #19
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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

A farm in rural Maryland
Date of Birth:
September 29, 1927
Place of Birth:
Canton, Illinois
M.A., Ph.D. in Egyptology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1952

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A River in the Sky (Amelia Peabody Series #19) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story takes place about 1910 and Ramses is in Palestine, escaping daily contact with Nefrit. The professor and Amelia are asked first to join a expedition to follow a map purported to the hiding place of the Ark of the Covenant, also in Palestine, then to keep watch on the expedition by His Majesty's government, which is watching the Ottoman Empire slowly collapse. By the time his parents arrive in Jaffa, Ramses has chanced upon a British agent, who shortly ends up in a shallow grave. Turkish soliders, a secret society, and an assortment of odd characters are either helping to reunite the family or trying to keep them apart . . . . which is anybody's guess! All the quirks, family tensions and humor that make the Peabody series fun to read are present. Only the 'Master Criminal' is missing but MO2's involvement ensures it has some of the flavor of the later books in the series.
CaseyMarie12345 More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this book. The plot was weak and I couldn't really believe the reasons for the trip or that Ramses was really in danger. I felt that the book was hastily written with little or no thought to how it would turn out. I am hopeful that the story line previously used will continue and that it will live up to the standards of the previous books. I have read and have all of the Amelia Peabody books in my collection.
AgathaHD More than 1 year ago
I loved all of Elizabeth Peters' earlier books featuring Amelia Peabody Emerson and company, right up to and including Lord of the Silent (2001). The characters are a hoot, and even though the plots are predictable, they are the perfect rainy day/escapism books and it's fun to be taken along on the Emersons' latest adventure. This most recent book is much shorter than usual (307 pages) and it just doesn't feel as though Peters' heart is in it. I've found that all of the books after Lord of the Silent have gone downhill and have gotten tiresome. Although I appreciate the history that she weaves into her books, the more recent ones are definitely lacking. I am also unimpressed with whatever editor didn't catch that fact that a character's name keeps changing in some of the more recent books. This latest one falls between Guardian of the Horizon and Falcon at the Portal, which Peters has done before, but I think more successfully with Guardian of the Horizon. I would say you can give this one a miss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Amelia Peabody books are a major component of my personal library and I found this to be an enjoyable addition to the series. The characters are the usual zany mix you expect from this author, and although the plot is a little slow in places, the setting and the characters make up for any small deficiencies of plot. There is, as always, a lot going on, with a story told by two narrators, and it a wonderful way to escape for a while to a different place and time.I would certainly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys offbeat characters, an unusual setting and well researched historical detail.
Sansabiel More than 1 year ago
If you love the Emersons and all their adventures, you'll love this one. Peabody is at her deductive best and Ramses in a fix as usual. Just the kind of light mystery to relax with over the Holidays.
Annette Dammer More than 1 year ago
A Peters fan, I re-read her oldies every summer. This summer I decided to try the Emerson's new voyage. Surely I would miss Egypt! How stupid I was. As a Christian, I feel blessed that Elizabeth Peters struck for a place so critical to my faith. With her usual aplomb, she mixes adventure with history, never leaving the reader behind, yet never preaching a lecture. Thank you, Elizabeth Peters, for once again brightening my own summer adventures! Annette Dammer
annie729 More than 1 year ago
I do recommend this book. If your a fan of Elizabeth Peters character, Amelia peabody, you have to read this book. I have all of them, and still enjoy rereading them. This one is not one of her greats, but very enjoyable. I got used to the way she wrote in third party, manuacript H, in parenthises, and it wasn't as whimesical as the others. But overall I really liked it. Maybe I liked them mostly in Egypt and England, don't know. I was besides my self when there were no Amelia Peabody books for almost 3 years, I kept calling the bookstore and was on the internet looking for them, am glad she's back. annie729
peabodyFan More than 1 year ago
not quite my favorite overall, but a good continuation and fun to fill in the 'missing years'...
Ladyylizabeth More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy reading this series most of the time. This one was not up to par. The story concept was ok however it lacked the suspense of the others. I knew what was happening before Amelia did. Next one I hope will be better. Not enough going on. These novels are usually action packed and I have a hard time figuring them out. Usually I can't put one down. This one took me over a week to read. Please stick to Egypt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to see a new installment in the Peabody/Emerson family archeological mysteries. I rushed to get a copy and read it quickly. It was an adequate read, but disappointing for an Amelia Peabody fan who looks forward to the twists and turns her mysteries usually supply. It has all the familiar characters with little of their pizzazz. The premise was interesting and the method of returning the family to a prior time, out of sequence, was plausible and will give this pre-WWI plot a sequel. But the tension was missing through most of the story. I hope the next novel isn't so long a wait, but that it does have the twists, turns and picante of its predecessors.
GariThesnal More than 1 year ago
Book of course as usual met up to Amelia Peabody standards...I am so glad Ms. Peters continues to grace us with her writing presence. BUY IT, it's well worth it :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peters brings the events alive while writing an absorbing mystery. This is another of her finest Amelia Peabody books!
leonardevens More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed the Amelia Peabody thrillers in the past, and I looked forward to reading this one. I was not disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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ebooks18 More than 1 year ago
"River in the Sky" was not up to the standard expected from Elizabeth Peters. I found the book boring and never finished it. A first for this series. If there is another is the Peabody/Emerson series, I'll definitely read it, despite the disappointing 19th in the series.
tuggytoot More than 1 year ago
I have read the complete series 3 times and will probably read it again. I enjoyed them all immensely
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
xyz47 More than 1 year ago
Easy enjoyable read.
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AnneAR More than 1 year ago
I know this is the last book that was written in the series, but I wish it had been numbered where it fits in the series chronologically. After reading #18, you think you will get more about the future lives of the characters, but the disappointment when you are reading about a much earlier time in their lives. But as with all of her books -- Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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