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C. P. Lesley

Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.

Revisiting the Past

The Curse of the Pharaohs - Elizabeth Peters

I'm not sure whether it's an advantage or a disadvantage, but one effect of hitting middle age is being able to re-read a book you loved 20 years ago as if for the first time. This is the second of the Amelia Peabody mysteries, and she and her husband—Radcliffe Emerson, "the greatest Egyptologist of this or any other era," according to Amelia—are trapped in their English home, caring for their five-year-old son. Of course, that can't be allowed to continue, so by the end of chapter 2 a mysterious blonde from Emerson's past has appeared to lure the couple to Luxor. There they are to complete the excavation of a royal tomb discovered by the blonde's late husband, despite a series of unhappy accidents that the locals attribute to the curse of the pharaoh whose final resting place has been disturbed.


The appearance of Bastet—a cat destined to become the partner in crime of Amelia and Emerson's precocious young son, Ramses—and a mystery that keeps twisting and turning until the final pages are the highlights of this particular book. All the series needs is for Ramses to leave the nursery and take his place on the expeditions. Bring on book 3 (The Mummy Case).


Elizabeth Peters died this past August at the age of 85. I re-read this book in her honor.