The Serpent on the Crown (Amelia Peabody Series #17)

( 39 )


"A unique treasure obtained by unscrupulous means, the small gold statuette of an unidentified Egyptian king is a priceless relic from a bygone era. But more than history surrounds the remarkable artifact - for it is said that early death will come to anyone who possesses it." "Enjoying a world finally at peace, the Emersons have returned to the Valley of the Kings in 1922. With the lengthy ban on their archaeological activities lifted, Amelia Peabody and her family look forward to delving once more into the age-old mysteries buried in Egypt's
... See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$9.99 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (42) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $5.01   
  • Used (37) from $1.99   
The Serpent on the Crown (Amelia Peabody Series #17)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price


"A unique treasure obtained by unscrupulous means, the small gold statuette of an unidentified Egyptian king is a priceless relic from a bygone era. But more than history surrounds the remarkable artifact - for it is said that early death will come to anyone who possesses it." "Enjoying a world finally at peace, the Emersons have returned to the Valley of the Kings in 1922. With the lengthy ban on their archaeological activities lifted, Amelia Peabody and her family look forward to delving once more into the age-old mysteries buried in Egypt's ever-shifting sands. But a widow's strange story - and even stranger request - is about to plunge them into a storm of secrets, treachery, superstition...and murder." "The woman, a well-known author, has come bearing an ill-gotten treasure - a golden likeness of a forgotten king - which she claims is cursed. Already, she insists, it has taken the life of her husband, and unless it is returned to the tomb from which it was stolen, more people will die." Intrigued by the mystery, Amelia and her clan resolve to uncover the secrets of the statue's origins, setting off on a trail that twists and turns in directions they never anticipated - and, perhaps, toward an old nemesis with unscrupulous new designs. But each step toward the truth seems to reveal another peril, suggesting to the intrepid Amelia that the curse is more than mere superstition. And its next victim might well be her irascible husband, Radcliffe, their beloved son, Ramses, his lovely wife, Nefret...or Amelia Peabody herself.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In this installment of fictional Egyptologist Amelia Peabody's fascinating exploits, the year is 1922. The Great War is over, and Amelia and her beloved husband, Emerson, are eager to resume their excavations. However, their work is soon interrupted when a flamboyant widow -- famed for the lurid, gothic tales she writes -- begs the eminent Emersons to save her from a cursed statuette, which she declares has claimed her husband's life and now threatens her own. Though Amelia and Emerson are quick to dispute the validity of the curse, the artifact itself is both genuine and extraordinarily rare. Of course, the danger that accompanies such an incredible find is also real…and adds delightfully chilling complications to this tale of Amelia and Emerson's long-awaited return to the Valley of the Kings. Sue Stone
Marilyn Stasio
Peters lays out her scenes of romantic derring-do with such a lavish hand that it seems a bit nerdy to draw attention to the deeper pleasure of the rich scholarship involved in these archaeological mysteries.
— THe New York Times
Publishers Weekly
MWA Grand Master Peters delivers another winner that you can't put down and yet don't want to see end, the 17th entry in her bestselling series to feature Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson and her extended family (after 2004's Guardian of the Horizon). Early in 1922, novelist Magda Petherick, the widow of noted collector Pringle Petherick, interrupts the tea that the Emerson clan are enjoying on the veranda of their house by the Nile. Mrs. Petherick wants Emerson, Amelia's eminent archeologist husband, to dispose of a beautiful golden statuette that Pringle acquired shortly before his death because she believes it carries a curse. All are intrigued. News travels fast, and such a magnificent artifact soon attracts all manner of collectors, museum authorities, journalists and evildoers. Emerson's illegitimate half-brother, Sethos, formerly a dealer in illegal antiquities, arrives in disguise, but unfortunately he's followed by the gentleman he's impersonating. Tomb excavations, mountain treks, brutal attacks, an abduction, an exorcism and murder keep the plot hopping. The author's droll sense of humor and picture of a leisurely and less complicated age add to the appeal. Agent, Dominick Abel. (On sale Mar. 29) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Intrepid sleuth, archaeologist, and matriarch Amelia Peabody returns in her 17th appearance to date. In autumn 1921, widowed Mrs. Petherick gives Amelia and husband Emerson a valuable gold statue, pleading with them to remove the curse on it that killed her husband. Peabody, always a skeptic, wonders why Mrs. Petherick is so eager to unload the statue when she and her stepchildren could clearly use the money a sale would bring. Emerson vows to uncover the tomb from which the statue was stolen, which requires extensive excavations in the Valley of the Kings. Could the statue be from an undiscovered tomb in the valley? Perhaps famed archaelogist Howard Carter could help investigate. The narrative contains the usual disappearances, muggings, chases, and clever disguises we have come to expect from the Emerson family. The book suffers, though, from minimal character development and a skimpy plot. In-jokes for "Informed Readers" aside, this isn't Peters's best work, but is certainly a required purchase for any public library. Peters lives in western Maryland. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/1/04].-Laurel Bliss, Princeton Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
More murder and mayhem for the indefatigable Amelia Peabody and her friends and relations. It's 1922. Peabody and Emerson, her handsome, clever, duplicitous Egyptologist husband, are excavating at Deir el Medina along with their son Ramses, his wife Nefret and the usual supporting cast when well-known collector Pringle Petherick's widow Magda arrives and presents Emerson with a solid-gold figure of a king she claims is cursed. The valuable statue soon attracts a rush of other aspiring owners: Magda's stepchildren, the resourceful Harriet and her brother Adrian, who suffers from war-related mental problems; Emerson's rich American friend Cyrus Vandergelt; the repellent Sir Malcolm, and a host of other thieves, one of them successful. When Magda disappears, Peabody assumes she's trying to publicize her authorial career, but not to the extent of leaving her corpse under a bush in the hotel garden. Emerson, who's determined to solve the murder and return the statue to its rightful owner, is joined by his mysterious brother Sethos and Ramses' friend David. The police think Adrian is the killer, but there are many other possibilities, and Peabody is lucky to escape the thicket of interrelated problems with her life before the denouement. Peabody's Victorian rhetoric can go over the top, but her likable family's fans will find much to enjoy in an adventure less convoluted than usual (The Falcon at the Portal, 1999, etc.), salted with the obligatory tidbits of Egyptology.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060591793
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Amelia Peabody Series, #17
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 195,944
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Peters

Barbara Rosenblat is a multi-award-winning voice actor for audiobooks. On Broadway, she created the role of 'Mrs. Medlock' in 'The Secret Garden'.


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."
Read More Show Less
    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

The Serpent on the Crown

By Elizabeth Peters

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006059179X

Chapter One

He woke from a feverish sleep to see something bending over him. It was a shape of black ice, a tall featureless outline that exuded freezing cold. He tried to move, to cry out. Every muscle was frozen. Cold air touched his face, sucking out breath, warmth, life.

We had gathered for tea on the veranda. It is a commodious apartment, stretching clear across the front of the house, and the screens covering the wide window apertures and outer door do not interfere with the splendid view. Looking out at the brilliant sunlight and golden sand, with the water of the Nile tinted by the sunset, it was hard to believe that elsewhere in the world snow covered the ground and icy winds blew. My state of mind was as benevolent as the gentle breeze. The delightful but exhausting Christmas festivities were over and a new year had begun -- 1922, which, I did not doubt, would bring additional success to our excavations and additional laurels to the brow of my distinguished spouse, the greatest Egyptologist of this or any age.

Affectionately I contemplated his impressive form -- the sapphire-blue eyes and ebon hair, the admirable musculature of chest and arms, half bared by his casual costume. Our son, Ramses, who had acquired that nickname because hehad the coloring of an Egyptian and, in his youth, the dogmatism of a pharaoh, sat comfortably sprawled on the settee, next to his beautiful wife, our adopted daughter, Nefret. Faint cries of protest and distress drifted to our ears from the house the dear little children and their parents occupied; but even Nefret, the most devoted of mothers, paid them no heed. We were well accustomed to the complaints; such sounds always accompanied the efforts of Fatima and her assistants (it took several of them) to wash and change the children. It would be some time before the little dears joined us, and when a carriage drew up in front of the house I could not repress a mild murmur of protest at the disturbance of our peace.

Emerson protested more emphatically. "Damnation! Who the devil is that?"

"Now, Emerson, don't swear," I said, watching a woman descend from the carriage.

Asking Emerson not to use bad language is tantamount to King Canute's ordering the tide not to surge in. His Egyptian sobriquet of "Father of Curses" is well deserved.

"Do you know her?" Emerson demanded.


"Then tell her to go away."

"She appears to be in some distress," Nefret said. Her physician's gaze had noted the uncertain movements and hesitant steps. "Ramses, perhaps you had better see if she requires assistance."

"Assist her back into her carriage," Emerson said loudly.

Ramses looked from his wife to his father to me, his heavy black eyebrows tilting in inquiry. "Use your own judgment," I said, knowing what the result would be. Ramses was too well brought up (by me) to be rude to a woman, and this one appeared determined to proceed. As soon as he reached her she caught hold of his arm with both hands, swayed, and leaned against him. In a breathy, accented voice she said, "You are Dr. Emerson, I believe? I must see you and your parents at once."

Somewhat taken aback by the title, which he had earned but never used, Ramses looked down at the face she had raised in entreaty. I could not make out her features, since she was heavily veiled. The veils were unrelieved black, as was her frock. It fit (in my opinion) rather too tightly to a voluptuously rounded figure. Short of prying her hands off his arm, Ramses had no choice but to lead her to the veranda.

As soon as she was inside she adjusted the black chiffon veils, exposing a countenance whose semblance of youth owed more to art than to nature. Her eyes were framed with kohl and her full lips were skillfully tinted. Catching my eye, she lifted her chin in a practiced gesture that smoothed out the slight sagging of her throat. "I apologize for the intrusion. The matter is of some urgency. My name is Magda Petherick. I am the widow of Pringle Petherick. My life is threatened and only you can save me."

It was certainly the sort of introduction that captured one's attention. I invited Mrs. Petherick to take a chair and offered her a cup of tea. "Take your time," I said, for she was breathing quickly and her face was flushed. She carried a heavy reticule, which she placed at her feet before she accepted the cup from Ramses.

Leaning against the wall, his arms folded, Emerson studied her interestedly. Like myself, he had recognized the name.

"Your husband was Pringle Petherick, the well-known collector?" he inquired. "I believe he passed away recently."

"November of last year," she said. "A date that is engraved on my heart." She pressed her hand over that region of her person and launched, without further preamble, into the description I have already recorded. "He woke that morning from a feverish sleep ...

"This is what killed him," she finished. Reaching into the bag, she withdrew a rectangular box painted with crude Egyptian sym-bols. "He had purchased it only a few weeks earlier, unaware that the curse of the long-dead owner yet clung to it."

A long pause ensued, while we all tried to think of an appropriate response. It had occurred to me, as I feel sure it has occurred to the Reader, that there was a certain literary air about her narrative, but even Emerson was not rude enough to inform a recently bereaved widow that she was either lying or demented ...


Excerpted from The Serpent on the Crown 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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

A Letter from the Author

Dear Ransom Notes Readers:

I've lost track of the number of times I've traveled to Egypt. The first was back in the l960s; the most recent, last winter. (Never go to Egypt in the summer unless you have to.) I don't believe I will ever tire of it. I share Amelia's love of the view across the Nile toward the West Bank, but for various reasons (including laziness) I don't get up at dawn. Instead, I watch Egypt's glorious sunsets staining the river red as I listen to the blended calls of the muezzins, and, in company with a like-minded friend, sip gin-and-tonic on the balcony of my room at the Winter Palace Hotel.

Though much has changed in Egypt, much remains the same. It's not difficult to put myself back in Amelia's day, and quite often a specific view will inspire a new plot idea. In this book, The Serpent on the Crown, the golden statuette that starts the ball rolling was inspired by two separate ideas -- one, a similar statue of the god Amon, from a much later period; and second, a useful hint from a friend about something Carter found when he opened Tutankhamon's tomb. I can't go into more detail without giving away the entire plot, but I'll bet Egyptology buffs will spot that particular clue.

The discovery of Tutankhamon's tomb in the fall of l922 caused a sensation. It was unique and thrilling. It's fascinating, even to people who know almost nothing more about ancient Egypt. I couldn't resist allowing the Emersons to be present. Emerson would have liked to find the tomb, but since I knew he hadn't, I wasn't able to oblige him.

Since entertainment is my main purpose, the history is all interwoven with lots of hairbreadth escapes, dangerous criminals, frustrated lovers, and, of course, curses. I don't believe in curses any more than Amelia does, but as a writer I love setting up spooky situations and finding logical explanations for them.

The real curse (to use an oxymoron) came after Carter opened King Tutankhamon's tomb. It started with the "mysterious" death of Lord Carnarvon and was built up by energetic journalists and sensation seekers. I'm saving that story for the next book, which I'm working on now. This curse is just a foreshadowing -- a reminder to my readers of the wild superstitions that surround archaeology.

I introduced a new character in Serpent: a lady novelist. Those who are unfamiliar with the popular literature of the period will find her somewhat extravagant, but I assure readers that her prose is typical of her times. Does she remind me of anyone? Maybe just a little. I am not above making fun of myself. Naturally I consider myself a much more talented writer, and I'm sure Amelia would agree.

Elizabeth Peters

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2015


    This is perhaps the weakest book in a great series, and was probably written by a ghost writer. Rames daughters' name has inexplicably changed from Charla to Carla. The plot is thin and predictable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2012


    I've read the series 3 times and would read it all again in another year or so

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Serpent on the Crown

    As always Elizabeth Peters books are always entertaining. I enjoyed it with the exception of Radcliff being a little careless with a valuable item. I would expect a little more caution on his part but thats what contributes to the adventure. It's an easy book to read and enjoy what steps are taken to get the item back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    Amelia Peabody does it again!

    Amelia could be Agatha Christie's first cousin. The charactters are so believable, it makes me want to go to Egypt to meet them. The plots are exciting and engrossing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2005

    Enticing as a lead-in to next

    Serpent on the Crown was weaker than some of her others in this series (I agree with A Bourne, too). It was fun to see just how much closer to King Tut's tomb the Emersons can come before someone actually stumbles into it! They've been past the site at least a dozen times. I too appreciated the reduction of 'air-time' given to the grandchildren, and bemoan the reduction of time given to Amelia's musings. Waiting with bated breath for the next one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2005

    Somewhat boring, but still a good read.

    I have read every one of the Amelia Peabody books and have thoroughly enjoyed them, but this one left me slightly flat and bored. Not the page-turner I found the others to be. However, I do like the way Amelia and Emerson are being allowed to age and see how they deal with, or not deal with, the changes that having grown children, with their own family, brings. David John is just too ridiculously, unbelievably mature for a four year old. The story line seemed a little thin and not developed as well as the others in the series. There are also many references to events that occurred in the earlier books that if someone has not read them, may not hold much meaning. However, overall, still a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2005


    I love the Amelia Peabody series and have read them all, but found this one to be a disappointment. The books are usually steeped in the period and the place, in a way that brings you right alongside the Emersons, with witty dialogue. There is always the sense that you are Amelia's confidante and audience. This book was lacking those things. The frequent intrusions, or so they seemed to me, of manuscript H excerpts were irritating. Details seemed in short supply and the dialogue was not at all up to par. It lacked the usual wit and the period feel. The characters seemed flat and not as well developed as usual, and frankly, I missed hearing things from Amelia's point of view; it was more a transcript of events than a glimpse into Amelia's journal and personal thoughts. It didn't even seem to have as much information about archeology and history as usual. I found myself bored and just wanting to get reading the book over with, which has never happened with one of this series. Did she get a ghost writer? I did find the spin on Carter and Tut's tomb amusing; I have been wondering for a long time how that discovery would play into their lives. For the time being, I will fall back on one of the older books if I want a good read and wait for the next installment.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2005


    I sincerely enjoyed this installment in the lives of the Emerson clan.....more interesing setting, absorbing plot and villans, and thank-goodness there's less of the Emerson grandchildren, who are royal pains to read about....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2005


    Veteran voice performer Barbara Rosenblat doesn't miss an iota of the sly humor that readers/listeners have come to expect in the popular Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Ms. Rosenblat successfully inhabits diverse characters and presents distinctive voices in this return to 1922 Egypt. As fans hoped they would, Amelia Peabody, Emerson, her archaeologist spouse, and her retinue have returned to Egypt for one more excavation. The 17th in a highly popular series, the story once again provides listeners with an extended visit to another time and a mysterious place. Almost upon arrival a quiet afternoon is interrupted by a visit from writer Magda Petherick who comes bearing a small treasure, a golden image of a king, which she claims is cursed. Magda further claims that the image is responsible for the death of her husband, and more deaths will follow unless the object is returned to the tomb from which it was taken. Of course, Amelia and her group don't quite believe Magda but they can't resist a challenge. So, they set off to try to find the secrets of the statue's origins only to uncover a former enemy and imminent danger for themselves. 'The Serpent On The Crown' is exotic adventure at its best - don't miss it! - Gail Cooke

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2005

    Charmingly Fun and Deeply Satisfying!

    The Emersons are at it again! Knee deep in digs, dead bodies, murder and mayhem. It¿s 1922, the Emersons are in Egypt to excavate, but as usual, they don¿t just dig up the past, they get involved in criminal investigation. This time, an outrageous author of gothic fiction, Magda Von Ormond enlists the Emersons. She gives them a beautiful gold statue of the Amarna period from her late husband¿s collection. She believes it is cursed, or so she says. Then she goes missing. Amelia, Emerson, Ramses, Nefret, and, yes, even Sethos are involved in finding the authoress and laying ¿the curse¿ to rest. THE SERPENT ON THE CROWN is a very charming, fun and wonderfully satisfying mystery. Highly recommended! ¿ Leslie Strang Akers

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    Fabulous addition to the series!

    This is an excellent addition to an already outstanding series. Elizabeth Peters has hit again with The Serpent on the Crown. If you have come to love Amelia and her eccentric family, you will love this book. This story, which takes place in 1922 Egypt, includes the Emerson family standards like troubles with tomb robbers, dead bodies, and your choice of suspects. It may be a little difficult to follow if you have not read the others in the series. But if you have, it's like visiting old friends and joining them on their wild adventures.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2005

    Can't say it any better than A. Bourne (April 20 review) but it's worth saying again.

    This volume was not the best showing of an amazing talent. This book was more like a transcript than a final product and perhaps introduced a ghost writer into the mix (thank you A. Bourne for saying what I didn't dare say first but thought from the beginning). The dialogue was thin and lacked the really great poignant parenthetical asides from Amelia Peabody- Emerson. It also did not give life to the depth of character and relationships among the Emerson family members and relations (similarly remarked upon by the Library Journal reviewer). The storyline suffered as well, perhaps only because of the weak support of great writing that has, in past episodes, given 'verisimilitude' (as Amelia would say) to otherwise unbelievable adventures. I dearly hope that a new reader of this fantastic and outstanding series is not introduced first to 'The Serpent on the Crown' and I'm again with A. Bourne in returning to read earlier series adventures that are ever enlightening and prove the unquestionable genius of Elizabeth Peters dispite this most recent book that's just short of the mark of excellence we've come to expect.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is a solid entry in a fine series

    The war to end wars has been over for a few years so that by 1922 it is relatively safe for Egyptologists to return to excavations especially in the Valley of the Kings. Foreign archeologists back in Egypt include Amelia Peabody and her spouse Emerson working with their son Ramses and daughter-in-law Nefret at Deir el Medina.................... Author Magda Petherick arrives with an ancient gold artifact figure of an Egyptian king that she insists is cursed; the owner dies rather quickly once possessing the statuette as occurred to her spouse, a known collector. Magda pleads with Emerson to return the blighted relic to its tomb before someone else dies. However others disagree with Magda and want the statuette as the gold alone is worth a fortune. This crowded field includes Emerson, his friend Cyrus, the victim¿s two adult children, and a host of others that would make DeMille proud. The ethical Amelia wants to do the right thing so she begins retracing the ill-fated steps that Magda¿s spouse Pringle took when the widow vanishes and is later found dead. Amelia plans to expose the culprit................. Though the family interrelationships seem somewhat tedious in the seventeenth Peabody historical tale, the mystery and the Egyptology in the Post WWI era make for a fine time for fans of the series. The story line is action-packed yet provides a deep look at how 1920s archeologists looked back to ancient civilizations. The death of Pringle is cleverly crafted to make it appear as if a brother curse to Tut¿s exists and the who-done-it is fabulously designed so that the reader will want Amelia to find the culprit. This is a solid entry in a fine series................ Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2005

    Another Great Mystery

    This book is another great mystery in the Amelia Peabody series. The quirky family adds just the right amount of humor to the famous Elizabeth Peters nail biting suspense. Tomb robbers and's just another day at work for the Emersons. The more frequent parts from Manuscript H was a nice change and allows a different perspective to Amelia's often oblivious nature. I wouldn't recommend starting the series with this book, it might be slightly confusing, but for those following the series, it's the perfect addition!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    You CAN travel through time

    Reading the diaries of Amelia Peabody is like stepping into the fabulous and mysterious Egypt of the 1880s to 1920s. Indeed, I was driven to travel to Cairo, Dahshur, Tel El Amarna and thousand-gated Thebes to experience for myself what EP so brilliantly recreates and, aside from a few more cars and the sad absence of Shepheard's Hotel, it was just as she described. Every plot is perfect, every character fully rounded and EP's extensive knowledge of Egyptology enriches every moment. Whether your interest is mystery, archeology, early feminism, or just great writing, you can't lose.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2005


    I am a die-hard fan of Elizabeth Peters and the Amelia Peabody mysteries. Every one of the books in the series has been spectacular! I am confident that 'The Serpent on the Crown' will be no exception!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2005

    One book and you'll be hooked!

    Amelia Peabody and Elizabeth Peters are gems! At last an author and a character who are smart, funny, strong willed and amazing women. Read this series from beginning to end and you'll be amazed that such intelligent and entertaining stories are also good clean fun! You'll swear you have been transported to another world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)