Saturday, February 1, 2014

Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters

Children of the Storm: An Amelia Peabody Mystery by Elizabeth Peters --- 400 pages

The late Elizabeth Peters was a Grand Master among mystery writers and her most popular series, about the adventures of Amelia Peabody and her husband, Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson, and their expanding family, are among my favorites.

The nineteen books of the series cover the second half of the nineteenth century and the first quarter of the twentieth century, the great age of Egyptian archeology. Peters herself held a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and her fictional plots unfold within a richly detailed recreation of the period.

In this, the fifteenth book in the series, the Great War (World War I) has ended and Amelia and Emerson and their son Ramses and his wife Nefret, and all their assorted relations and friends are free at last to return to Luxor and the joys of archeological excavation.

But the Emerson family's penchant for getting involved in all kinds of strange encounters, criminal conspiracies and mysterious deaths is stronger than ever. Ramses is briefly abducted by a woman veiled and crowned as the goddess Hathor; valuable artifacts are stolen from the lovingly restored treasures of an ancient tomb; and a member of the staff vanishes the same night as the artifacts --- his corpse discovered weeks later in the desert.

Amelia suspects there is a personal motive behind these incidents: someone who hates her and wants to watch her suffer as those she loves are attacked. But danger only makes Amelia fiercer and more determined in defense of her family and friends.

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