"'Really,' I thought in mounting exasperation, 'there never was a household in which so many people felt free to offer their unsolicited opinions!'" This, of course, is the eminent Egyptologist and dedicated crime solver Amelia Peabody, setting the stage and the tone (an updated Oscar Wildean irony) for Elizabeth Peters's 11th book. And it's true that there are no shrinking violets in this particular household, from the redoubtable Amelia and her hot-tempered archaeologist husband Emerson (his native diggers call him the Father of Curses), to their dashing, unpredictable son Ramses (born Walter). Also, let's not forget their lovely ward, Nefret (rescued from a desert tribe several books back), and their butler, Gargery, "who wields a cudgel as handily as he carves a roast."
As she has so many times before, Peters presents us with this quaint--even campy--little group of people, plops them down in an exotic Egyptian setting, and then surprises us by involving them in a story of great strength and emotion.
It's 1911, and David Todros, a young Egyptian who has just married into the Peabody family, is suspected of dealing in forged antiquities, possibly to help support a rising nationalist movement. Amelia, Emerson, Ramses, and Nefret all take various actions to help David, and there are serious, dangerous consequences for everyone involved. Despite the melodramatic setting and the theatrical language, Peters's story is--as always--modern, believable, and exciting.
Other books in the Peabody series available in paperback are The Ape Who Guards the Balance, The Crocodile on the Sandbank, The Curse of the Pharaohs, and Hardcover edition.