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

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

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 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


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061246265
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #19
Pages: 307
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.


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. 154 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
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting instalment in the series as we slip back in time to 1910 and find the family heading off to Palestine rather than Egypt. One of the problems with books that dip back in time is that we already know what happens so there¿s no sense of tension when, for example, Ramses is held prisoner (as Ramses inevitably is) and that does diminish the reading experience. The story is fairly run of the mill for the series, but, as all the old favourites are here ¿ the family are accompanied by Daoud and Selim and Abdullah manages an appearance ¿ and Emerson roars and sparkles at appropriate and inappropriate moments, while Amelia a gets to wield her parasol, all the key elements which make this such a fun and engrossing series are present.
pinkozcat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The blurb:"August 1910. Amelia Peabody and her husband, Emerson, are relaxing at home in Kent. But adventure beckons when Major George Morley asks them to unearth the legendary Ark of the Covenant. Always skeptical, Emerson refuses until requests from the War Office and Buckingham Palace persuade him to reconsider by insisting that Morley is a German agent intent on stirring up trouble.Amelia and Emerson follow Morley to Jerusalem and hope to reunite with their son, Ramses, working north of the holy city. But before they can meet, Ramses learns of a deadly plot, information he must pass on to his parents - if he can get to them alive."I think that it is time for Elizabeth Peters to give up on Amelia Peabody and family. This book is marginally better than her last one,Tomb of the Golden Bird, which was a wind-up book and did nothing but tidy up the loose ends.The book is a fill-in book, set in Palestine in 1910 and is more about Ramses than the rest of the Emerson family. Emerson, himself, doesn't ruin another shirt which made me wonder if Elizabeth Peters actually wrote the book herself. (for those who haven't read the series, "Another Shirt ruined" is a catch phrase which even Terry Pratchett has borrowed. It appears, I think, in every other Peabody book.)
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nineteenth in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Peters is one of the two pseudonyms of Barbara Mertz, who has a doctorate in Egyptology. Her other pseudonym is Barbara Michaels. The Michaels books tend to be Gothics, while as Peters she writes series and stand alone novels that tend to be humorous and to have strong women characters.The Amelia Peabody series is by far her most popular. It is about a family of archaeologists who generally go to Egypt during the winter archaeological season and then return to England. The series spans from the late 1880s to the 1920s. The family consists of Amelia, her husband Emerson, an archaeologist; their son Ramses, a linguist; their adopted daughter Nefret, a doctor; and a variety of relations, servants, cats, and, of course, villains.River In The Sky departs from the series' usual chronology and tells a story set in 1910, in Palestine. Ramses has gone to work on a dig in Samaria. His parents plan to go to Egypt as usual, but a man named Morley asks them to join him in looking for the Ark of the Covenent. They think he is a shyster and refuse, but the British government asks them to go watch Morley as they think he is a German spy trying to cause trouble in a volatile region. They are to meet up with Ramses in Jerusalem, but he doesn't appear. His best friend David disappears to look for Ramses. Meanwhile the family worries, but start their own dig, watch Morley, and try to figure out who the German spies are and who the mysterious Sons of Abraham are.The family are all larger-than-life characters, yet Peters writes so well that they also seem very real. Not many authors can carry a series this long and still keep readers wanting more. If you're new to the series, you've got some catching up to do - and you'll enjoy every minute.
picardyrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tired, tired. It's a prequel to "The Falcon at the Portal." Since we know what happens in that book, should we care what happened right before that book?
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent installment in the Peabody series. This episode predates some of recent books, going back before Ramses and Nefret's romance was begun. The narrative moved well, the characters were interesting, and the mystery's solution was not easily guessed (at least my me). Lots of twists and turns.
seasidereader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This installment takes us back in time, and I found the plot and premise weak, though I always enjoy Barbara Rosenblat's narration.
PegSwaney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Peabody goes to Jerusalen in search of ark, but really spying on Germans, infiltrating. Ramses kidnapped- interesting, but typical
Ronrose1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the nineteenth book in the Amelia Peabody series. Mrs. Peabody and her husband Emerson are very British archeologists who specialize in Egyptology in the early 1900's. This book, unlike the others, takes our adventurers to Palestine, otherwise known as the Holy Land, on a mission for the Crown. Even in these strange lands, loyal readers will find many of the familiar characters they have come to expect. Ramses, their son, has preceded them to a dig near Jerusalem, with a promise to stay out of trouble. Well, we know how that is going to turn out! The book is a light read, filled with very British, turn of the century attitudes. The author has created a world full of richness and detail. This is the first book of the series that I have read. I did not immediately take to the characters. The author seemed to be relying on instructing the reader as to whom the characters were and how they should interpreted, rather than allowing the reader to gain knowledge and insight into the characters through the action and flow of the storyline. As in any series, it would probably be best to start at the beginning and get to know the characters as they develop.
historymystery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my all time favourite series of historical mysteries. Witty dialogue, romantic tensions, formidable females and men with attitude, brawn and brains characterise the Peabody-Emerson clan who seem to attract trouble as they make their way through archaeological season after season in late 19th/ early 20th century Egypt. The strength is in the wonderful English characters and the way they interact against a backdrop of beautiful Egypt and archaeological digs interrupted with incidents of murder, espionage and the like. The series progresses (mostly) chronologically so if you are new to the series, I recommend you start with the first book (Crocodile on the Sandbank).River in the Sky is the 19th in the series. Rather than Egypt, it is set in Palestine and Israel before the First World War and takes place back in time before earlier books in the series. As a fan of the series, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have become so fond of the characters that reading the books are like visiting an Aunt (Peabody) and listening spellbound to stories of her latest and most fantastic adventures. However, the plot was a little light on and I felt the adventure peaked about 30 pages from the end of the book. It lacked the romantic tensions of other books in the series and this detracted from the interactions between the characters. I was disappointed that Sethos, the master criminal and at that point in time nemesis of the Peabody-Emerson¿s, did not make an appearance in the book as I found the `bad guys¿ did not measure up to others in the series. Having said that, I highly recommend this series and dearly hope that Elizabeth Peters will continue to add more to it.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is no river in the sky in this book, but there is a smashing good Amelia Peabody mystery! The book is set in 1910 just before the first World War, so it actually goes back in time a bit since the last book. In this book Ramses and Nefret are just brother and sister (although not by blood). And the book is set in Palestine, not Egypt which is a bit different for Amelia and her crew. I love these stories. They are always wonderful, and always funny. And the cast of characters cannot be beat. Peters has painted wonderful personalities for her characters and it's like visiting old friends when you pick up a new Amelia Peabody mystery. Ramses is the one that gets in a peck of trouble this time, but his intrepid family manage to come to his rescue. This series is pure delight and I was glad to read this new book.
BookWallah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Peter¿s latest yarn, ¿A River in the Sky¿ was a page turner and will leave the Amelia Peabody cult asking for more. Of note is the venue is not Egypt (!) this time, it is Palestine, with most of the action taking place within a day's travel of Jerusalem. Ramses, now single (I still get confused when the years of the excavation different from the series publishing chronology) is excavating with another archeologist and becomes the book¿s designated ¿abductee¿ du jour. Plot twists not too contrived and all the familiar characters live up to the rich personae they have previously established. Recommended for anyone who likes a good mystery set in a well rooted historical setting. Required reading for the Peabody cult.
bookwoman247 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the last book in the Amelia Peabody series to date, although it takes place out of chronological order.This time, in a bit of an aberration, the Emerson family heads to Jerusalem and the Holy Land rather than to Egypt. The plan is to meet up with Ramses who has been working on a dig in Samaria.While in Samaria, Ramses' insatiable curiousity and nose for trouble, (likely inherited from his fond maternal parent), leads him into a situation which may have dire consequences.Meanwhile, as the Emersons await his delayed arrival, they must avert an explosion of the powder keg that is made up of Jerusalem's multitude of religious sects. A thoughtless, incompetent excavator, a man who might well have ties to German intelligence, may have deliberately lit the fuse. I was very sorry to have come to the end of the Amelia Peabody series. It has been a great pleasure to have spent the last two summers with Amelia and her family.
Helenoel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More good fun with Amelia Peabody and the Emerson family. If you are not already a fan of the series this may not be the one to start on, if you are, dive in and enjoy Amelia and her parasol and tool belt., Ramses, Emerson and the gang. This is out of chronological order - a step back in the family chronicles, and set in Palestine rather than Egypt.
witchyrichy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great, fast moving with lots of interesting historical details