Author: Elizabeth Peters, 1985.
Genre: Historical Mystery. Egyptology.
Other Details: ebook 415 pages/Unabridged audiobook (11 hrs, 56 mins). Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat..
The irascible husband of Victorian Egyptologist Amelia Peabody is living up to his reputation as 'The Father of Curses'. Denied permission to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor, Emerson is awarded instead the 'pyramids' of Mazghunah - countless mounds of rubble in the middle of nowhere. Nothing in this barren spot seems of any interest but then a murder in Cairo changes all of that.
The dead man was an antiques dealer, killed in his shop, so when a sinister-looking Egyptian spotted at the crime scene turns up in Mazghunah, Amelia can't resist following his trail. At the same time she has to keep an eagle eye on her wayward son Rameses and his elegant and calculating cat and look into the mysterious disappearance of a mummy case... - synopsis from UK publisher's website.
As I had done previously this novel was my audiobook-in-the-car during the week and then I would read the corresponding pages on my Kindle on Sundays. I switched to the Rosenblat edition as she is one of my favourite narrators for audio books. Her voice for Amelia is no nonsense and crisp whereas Susan O'Malley in Curse of the Pharaohs gave a more comic delivery.
The tale was engaging and only slightly marred by the presence of the annoyingly precocious Rameses. I understand from others who have continued further with the books that he becomes less so as he gets older. However, my love for the cat Bastet made up for Rameses. It is a delightful series and Peters has a real sense for her period as well as for ancient Egypt.
Gail Carriger was good enough to respond to my question about the similarities between her Victorian gentlewoman Alexia Tarabotti and Amelia. Apparently quite a few of her readers have noted this and she's only recently looked at the Amelia Peabody series. She said that the similarity lies in the fact that both she and Elizabeth Peters were inspired in the creation of their heroines by the real-life Victorian adventuress and Egyptologist Amelia B. Edwards.