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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tomb of the Golden Bird


***** Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters. Mystery.









This is the 18th, and latest book in the Amelia Peabody series. It's really bittersweet being all caught up--I've loved reading them, but it's sad knowing I don't have any more waiting for me.

The year is 1922, and if you're familiar with Egyptology, you'll know that that's the year when King Tut's tomb was found. Unfortunately, credit for the discovery doesn't go to the Emersons--since Radcliffe had betrayed his interest, Howard Carter and his sponsor, Carnarvon, decided to remain in the Valley of the Kings for one more season, and Carter discovers the tomb.

The Emersons are eager to be in on the discovery and offer their help, but when Radcliffe accuses Carter and Carnarvon of stealing artifacts from the tomb, they ban him from the site.

Meanwhile, Sethos arrives in the grip of a malarial fever, with a coded message he says is putting his life in danger. Keeping him hidden is no easy matter, with all the journalists around for the opening of Tut's tomb, including Sethos's estranged wife. And the family, including their butler Gargery who's arrived from England, is suddenly (again) under constant threat of attack and abduction.

Ramses and David, who were in the intelligence service during the war (as was Sethos), use their contacts to try to discover who's behind the attacks and the message, and uncover an assassination plot, and David is torn between his loyalties to his English family and his Egyptian heritage.

Mostly, though, it's an adventurous visit with old friends. Amelia and Emerson are getting older, and now that Ramses and Nefret's twins are 5, the family that's been a working unit for so long is starting to break apart. Just like it does in real life, the impending independence of the younger generation is a matter for both pride and sadness. I have no idea if it's the case or not, but Tomb of the Golden Bird feels like an end to the series. Maybe I'm just affected because it's the last one in my TBR pile, but with everyone planning on going their own ways, it feels final. At any rate, if there is a next book, it'll be interesting to see who's the focus and how the separation is handled.

...more


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Comments:
You've done well to catch up on the series! I still have quite a few to go!

The author is getting on a bit, so maybe they have tried to hedge their bets a little and have it well enough plotted out that it is a satisfactory ending but leaving enough gaps in case she does get around to writing another. From what I have heard though, she is currently working on a new Vicky Bliss mystery. No idea if that is true or not though!
 
I hope that's true--I've always preferred the Vicki Bliss series and I'd love to see a new one.
 
I hope it is the final one. I would like to see Peters get back to the other series she had going (Vicky Bliss) before the Amelia Peabody series got so popular.
 
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