I heard the news that Elizabeth Peters (the pen name of Barbara Mertz)
lost her battle with cancer, I was, as were millions of fans around the
world, both sadden to lose her great talent but also grateful that
she was so prolific a writer. I, along with SuziQoregon (of the blog Whimpulsive),
decided that a good tribute would be to finish up Peters's Amelia
Peabody series, which we plan to read more or less at the same time.
This is also the first in a new review format I'll be using for books that are late in a series or that I read for fun and not deep analysis. I'm calling these Bullet Reviews, and a quick search tells me that the term is not being used. Let me know if I've stepped on anyone's toes.
- Quick look at the series: Lord of the Silent is the fifteenth book in the Amelia Peabody Emerson series (counting chronologically rather than by publication date), which focuses on Radcliffe Emerson, Amelia Peabody, and their family. The stories are usually set in Egypt. While the family engages in archaeological studies, they almost always have to dodge their enemies and solve mysteries.
- Major plot points (spoilers from earlier books): Now that Ramses and Nefret are married, the story line has returned to the business of archaeology. Peabody is still hoping to excavate a pyramid, but Emerson is looking for untouched tombs, primarily in the Valley of the Kings. Ramses and Nefret are attempting to have a sort of honeymoon, but trouble and murder are trailing them every step of the way. The effects of World War I are clearly felt, even along the Nile.
- Fun side plots with the staff and family: the family's British and Egyptian butlers are in competition; the Emersons' young ward, Sennia, is proving to be up for all kinds of Emerson adventures and dangers; two people from the family's past return in changing roles; Ramses and Nefret are coming into their own
- Things that make me laugh: Emerson driving; Peabody and her parasol; Horus the cat; Sennia's adoration of Ramses; Amelia's view of herself
- Note on the author: Peters's own scholarly background in Egyptology and her research into the people who were prominent in the early archaeology of the area bring authenticity to this series; most of her characters are based on someone who actually worked in Egypt about hundred years ago.
- Thoughts on the audiobook: As always with this series, I listened to the unabridged audiobook (Recorded Books; ca. 16 hr) read by Barbara Rosenblat. As I've said before, Rosenblat's work on this series is amazing. Her voice is Peabody's, and her characterizations are consistent not only within a single book but across the series. Rosenblat's timing is absolutely perfect for Peters's sense of humor. An audiobook match made in heaven.
- Recommendations: For readers with a sense of humor and who have an interest in archaeology, love a good mystery, and appreciate great characters.
Source: Borrowed (see review policy)
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