Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Series #18)
  • Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Series #18)
  • Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Series #18)

Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Series #18)

3.7 43
by Elizabeth Peters

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In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Peters's most eagerly anticipated Amelia Peabody adventure to date, the incomparable Emerson clan is a hairbreadth away from unearthing the legendary site they've been searching for: the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon. But a sinister plot and a dark family secret stand in the way of their

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In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Peters's most eagerly anticipated Amelia Peabody adventure to date, the incomparable Emerson clan is a hairbreadth away from unearthing the legendary site they've been searching for: the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon. But a sinister plot and a dark family secret stand in the way of their ultimate ambition and threaten to change things forever. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Safer and probably a lot more fun than an actual trip to present-day Egypt, MWA Grand Master Peters's 18th entry in her bestselling Amelia Peabody historical mystery series is given solid and ironic life by veteran reader Rosenblat. With an upper-class British edge that might remind some listeners of current PBS Mystery series host, Diana Rigg, Rosenblat is best at making Peabody the combination of wisdom, strength and occasional familial frustration that has endeared her to so many readers and listeners. But she is also adept at capturing the men in the family (Amelia's husband, the pompous Radcliffe Emerson; his not-to-be-trusted half-brother, Sethos; and the Emersons' smart and hunky son and heir, Ramses) and various other high-level Brits who propel the plot about the search for Tutankhamen's tomb. Rosenblat also does the Egyptians in grand style, rarely slipping into ethnic vocal clich s. Escapist adventure, to be sure-but the quality is as high as ever. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 13). (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
By 1922, almost every Egyptologist despairs of finding another royal tomb-except for Radcliffe Emerson, who doesn't have the rights to dig where he suspects Tutankhamen lies. It's Howard Carter, subsidized by Lord Carnarvon, who gets the first glimpse of the royal burial chamber. The tomb's curse seems to be dogging the Emerson household, maybe because Emerson, his parasol-wielding wife Amelia Peabody, son Ramses, daughter-in-law Nefret, grandkiddies and assorted hangers-on have stealthily entered the tomb at night for a quick peek. Or maybe the Emerson woes have been caused by his brother Sethos, late of the British Secret Service, who attracts trouble the way the Nile attracts flies. Soon Sethos's estranged wife Margaret is kidnapped, an aged retainer is waylaid, the family is followed in and out of the souks and Carter and Carnarvon cut them dead at every opportunity. Is the mummy's curse active? Are nationalists rising against the Brits? Whatever the cause, Christmas must be celebrated, tea must be enjoyed on the veranda, whiskey and soda must be imbibed, several romances must be stage-managed by Amelia and all Tutankhamen's treasures must be oohed and aahed over as they are removed from his tomb. The political machinations are less interesting than the competition between the archaeologists and the Emerson family. As usual, though, Peters (The Serpent on the Crown, 2005, etc.) has great fun dressing her characters up in Victorian finery and outpost-of-the-empire attitudes.
Toronto Sun
“[A] grand adventure.”

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Amelia Peabody Series, #18
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.40(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.41(d)

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Tomb of the Golden Bird

By Elizabeth Peters

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060591803

Chapter One


Seated on the terrace of Shepheard's Hotel, I watched with interest as a tall young man stopped and turned, as if in response to the calling of his name. Yet this was not the fourteenth century b.c., but the year of our Lord 1922; and the tall man was no ancient pharaoh. Though his bronzed skin and black hair resembled those of an Egyptian, his height and bearing proclaimed him for what he was -- an English gentleman of the finest quality. He was also my son, "Ramses" Walter Peabody Emerson, who was better known in Egypt by his sobriquet.

He raised his hand to his brow, and realized that (as usual) he was not wearing a hat. In lieu of removing that which was not present he inclined his head in greeting, and one of his rare, attractive smiles warmed his thin face. I craned my neck and half rose from my chair in order to see the individual who had occasioned this response, but the crowds that filled the street blocked my view. Cairo traffic had grown worse since my early days in Egypt; motorcars now mingled with donkeys and camels, carts and carriages, and the disgusting effluvions their engines emitted offended the nostrils more than the odors of the above-mentioned beasts -- to which, admittedly, I had become accustomed.

I deduced that the person my son addressed was of short stature, and most probably female (basing this latter assumption on Ramses's attempt to remove his hat and the affability of his smile). A portly person wearing a very large turban and mounted on a very small donkey passed in front of my son, and by the time he had gone by Ramses was wending his way toward the steps of the hotel and the table where I sat awaiting him.

"Who was that?" I demanded.

"Good afternoon to you too, Mother." Ramses bent to kiss my cheek.

"Good afternoon. Who was that?"

"Who was whom?"

"Ramses," I said warningly.

My son abandoned his teasing. "I believe you are not acquainted with her, Mother. Her name is Suzanne Malraux, and she studied with Mr. Petrie."

"Ah yes," I said. "You are mistaken, Ramses, I heard of her last year from Professor Petrie. He described her work as adequate."

"That sounds like Petrie." Ramses sat down and adjusted his long legs under the table. "But you must give him credit; he has always been willing to train women in archaeology."

"I have never denied Petrie any of the acclaim that is his due, Ramses."

Ramses's smile acknowledged the ambiguity of the statement. "Training is one thing, employment another. She has been unable to find a position."

I wondered if Ramses was implying that we take the young woman on to our staff. She might have approached him rather than his father or me. He was, I admit, more approachable, particularly by young ladies. Let me hasten to add that he did not invite the approaches. He was devoted to his beautiful wife Nefret, but it might be asking too much of a lady who is approaching a certain time of life to allow her husband close association with a younger female. Miss Malraux was half French. And she was bound to be attracted to Ramses. Women were. His gentle manners (my contribution) and athletic frame (his father's), his somewhat exotic good looks, and a certain je ne sais quoi (in fact I knew perfectly well what it was, but refused to employ the vulgar terms currently in use . . .).

No, despite our need for additional staff, it might not be advisable.

"Have you had any interesting encounters?" Ramses asked, looking over the people taking tea on the terrace. They were the usual sort -- well dressed, well groomed, and almost all white -- if that word can be used to describe complexions that ranged from pimply pale to sunburned crimson.

"Lord and Lady Allenby stopped to say hello," I replied. "He was most agreeable, but I understand why people refer to him as the Bull. He has that set to his jaw."

"He has to be forceful. As high commissioner he is under fire from the imperialists in the British government and the Nationalists in Egypt. On the whole, I can only commend his efforts."

I did not want to talk politics. The subject was too depressing.

"There is your father," I said. "Late as usual."

Ramses looked over his shoulder at the street. There was no mistaking Emerson. He is one of the finest-looking men I have ever beheld: raven locks and eyes of a penetrating sapphirine blue, a form as impressive as it had been when I first met him, he stood a head taller than those around him and his booming voice was audible some distance away. He was employing it freely, greeting acquaintances in a mixture of English and Arabic, the latter liberally salted with the expletives that have given him the Egyptian sobriquet of Father of Curses. Egyptians had become accustomed to this habit and replied with broad grins to remarks such as "How are you, Ibrahim, you old son of an incontinent camel?" My distinguished husband, the finest Egyptologist of this or any era, had earned the respect of the Egyptians with whom he had lived for so many years because he treated them as he did his fellow archaeologists. That is to say, he cursed all of them impartially when they did something that vexed him. It was not difficult to vex Emerson. Few people lived up to his rigid professional standards, and time had not mellowed his quick temper.

"He's got someone with him," said Ramses.

"Well, well," I said. "What a surprise."

The individual who followed in Emerson's mighty wake was none other than Howard Carter.

Perhaps I should explain the reason for my sarcasm, for such it was. Howard was one of our oldest friends, an archaeologist whose career had undergone several reversals and recoveries. He was presently employed . . .


Excerpted from Tomb of the Golden Bird 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.

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