Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody Series #4)

Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody Series #4)

by Elizabeth Peters

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The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband Emerson, and their wild and precocious eight-year-old son Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind that roils the hot sands sweeping through the bustling streets and marketplace of Cairo. The brazen moonlight abduction of Ramses—and an expedition subsequently cursed by misfortune and death—have alerted Amelia to the likly 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 motivates the evil genius this time around. For now the most valuable and elusive prized of all is nearly in his grasp: the meddling lady archaeologist who has sworn to deliver him to justice...Amelia Peabody!

Author Biography:

Elizabeth Peters was named Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. She earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. In addition to the Vicky Bliss mysteries, Elizabeth Peters is the author of the bestselling Amelia Peabody mysteries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380731190
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/1999
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #4
Edition description: REISSUE
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. During her fifty-year career, she wrote more than seventy novels and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She received numerous writing awards and, in 2012, was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.


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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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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Lion in the Valley 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Master Criminal! He of the wickedly smart criminal mind, who so clearly intrigues Amelia and infuriates Emerson.Amelia, despite having the pyramids at Dashur to crawl around in, finds herself fascinated with the murder of a Cairo antiquities shop owner. As she investigates, she becomes caught up in more murder, disappearances and, of course, the mysterious "Master Criminal."LOVE. Recommended!
hredwards on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great, tongue in cheek adventure mystery!
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable installment because of the major introduction of Sethos. Amelia and Emerson continue to have an amusing relationship, but the element of jealousy introduces another layer to their relationship. Ramses continues to be funny and annoying at the same time - but with parents like his, anything else would be a little odd.
alana_leigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps my favorite Amelia Peabody Emerson mystery yet! Elizabeth Peters isn't exactly a brilliant mystery novelist as far as the mystery part is concerned, but she does, indeed, craft a fun tale -- and she's created two very charming lead characters whose banter more than makes up for any deficiencies as far as the mystery is concerned. Thankfully any issues which cropped up in the past few novels and proved to be irritating (aka Ramses and his speech defect) have been firmly dealt with and reasonably worked around. True, things are a bit formulaic and yes, there are several things that the reader just needs to accept and roll with, but hey, I felt more entertained by this book than I have by the previous two installments and this firmly planted me in the pro-Peters camp so that I know I'll keep reading the series, so clearly the book is a very welcome chapter in the lives of Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson.In Lion in the Valley, the Emerson family heads to Egypt for a season spent excavating at Dahshoor. They acquired this coveted site after events from the previous novel saw them all imprisoned in the black pyramid at Dahshoor and young Ramses may or may not have helped the Director of Antiquities to a rich and exciting find. Even with such glorious pyramids, though, one could not think that Amelia Peabody Emerson would be so content as to ignore the danger from the Master Criminal, that fiend who runs a black-market antiquities ring. Those readers who were growing a bit annoyed at the constant speculation on such a character will be quite pleased with this novel, where considerable progress is made towards unmasking the devil, or at least learning more about his (her?) passions and methods. The Emersons have a talent for "adopting" down-on-their-luck Englishmen (a role filled just as often by Englishwomen, though) and this holds true here. They run across a young man named Nemo (or such is the name he selects from himself) who is obviously a well-bred Englishman (or Scot) even if he is dirty, dressed as an Arab, and has clearly been smoking opium. After Nemo saves Ramses from potentially being abducted, Emerson insists that they take in this stray and assigns him the role of Ramses-caretaker (no one is much surprised that this post is never filled by one person for more than one book). Not to be outdone, Peabody has her own idea as to who should be taken under her wing this trip when she learns the identity of a young lady named Miss Enid Debenham, an heiress seen in the company of the scheming Kalenischeff. Of course, when Kalenischeff is found dead in her room and Miss Debenham is nowhere to be found, there is some question as to whether or not the lady can look after herself. Naturally, of course, there's plenty of romantic backstory to entangle "Nemo" and Enid and that all plays a role as the Emersons try to determine who killed Kalenischeff, who is behind the antiquities smuggling ring, and who seems to be sending Amelia little tokens of love... Of primary importance to me in this particular volume was the fact that Ramses has mostly outgrown any speech defects that rendered his soliloquies quite irritating. Now the boy is merely tiresome, but his parents seem to share the same opinion as this reader and so they are frequently cutting the boy off... of course, this often has the obvious effect of silencing the astute young child when he's about to supply a crucial bit of information, thus leading to confusion and drama, but so it goes. The somewhat harder to swallow storyline involves the identity of the master criminal and his true passions... for even if we can adore Amelia Peabody, let's face it... she was initially described in the first book as a pretty solid spinster entirely out of fashion and unless love has totally transformed her, I'm finding it pretty hard that this mastermind has worshipped her from afar. Be that as it may, at least we do get to interact with this genius of crime
GTTexas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amelia and Emmerson excel in this early Amelia Peabody adventure. Always good for fun and an enjoyable break from more serious reading.
Glorybe1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I came across this by accident and have to say it was quite an amusing read. A series of books about Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson, archeaologists, digging in Eygpt at the turn of the century.I found it very tongue in cheek and couldn't take it too seriously, but I found myself smiling at their adventures trying to find 'The Master Criminal'.Quite a good filler until something meatier comes along!!
cathymoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As much as I love Amelia Peabody as a character, this book is seriously let down by the plot. When I am reading books in a series featuring the same characters and the same setting everytime the author needs to bring some orignal plotting to the table for each instalment. Unfortunately this is essentially a re-hashing of the previous book in the series. The only thing that seems to have changed are the names of some of the characters. Amelia is hunting down the Master Criminal, Emerson is disagreeing with all her theories and Ramses is being precocious. This really lacks originality. I hope the next one is better.
lisapaul on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Untoward and unwelcome turn to the plot construction / genre, in the last third or so. Turned from a Snarky Chick Book into some kind of rampageous pulp. I like those, but I prefer to know when I'm entering into reading one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice enjoyable read.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Amelia and Emerson are back in Egypt for another season of excavation and archaeology. However, as the odds deem, murder strikes... yet again! Fear of the Master Criminal which Amelia is so sure of deepens the plot. The threat seems to be approaching closer... I have to say... Ramses, the couple's son, is probably my favorite character, with all his innocence, brilliance and sneakiness. He could talk your ear off on topics you've never even heard of! So lovable though. This was yet another great book from Elizabeth Peters. Adults with a sense of humor and a sense of wonder for adventure will enjoy it!
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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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best in the series yet. And it feaurures Sethos!!
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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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