The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Series #3)

The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Series #3)

by Elizabeth Peters

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Overview

Radcliffe Emerson, the irascible husband of fellow archaeologist and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, has earned the nickname "Father of Curses" -- and at Mazghunah he demonstrates why. Denied permission to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor, he and Amelia are resigned to excavating mounds of rubble in the middle of nowhere. And there is nothing in this barren area worthy of their interest -- until an antiquities dealer is murdered in his own shop. A second sighting of a sinister stranger from the crime scene, a mysterious scrap of papyrus, and a missing mummy case have all whetted Amelia's curiosity. But when the Emersons start digging for answers in an ancient tomb, events take a darker and deadlier turn -- and there may be no surviving the very modern terrors their efforts reveal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061808579
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #3
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 38,506
File size: 699 KB

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. During her fifty-year career, she wrote more than seventy novels and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She received numerous writing awards and, in 2012, was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.

Hometown:

A farm in rural Maryland

Date of Birth:

September 29, 1927

Place of Birth:

Canton, Illinois

Education:

M.A., Ph.D. in Egyptology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1952

Read an Excerpt

The Mummy Case


By Elizabeth Peters

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060878118

Chapter One

I never meant to marry. In my opinion, a woman born in the last half of the nineteenth century of the Christian era suffered from enough disadvantages without willfully embracing another. That is not to say that I did not occasionally indulge in daydreams of romantic encounters; for I was as sensible as any other female of the visible attractions of the opposite sex. But I never expected to meet a man who was my match, and I had no more desire to dominate a spouse than to be ruled by him. Marriage, in my view, should be a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.

I had resigned myself to a life of spinsterhood when, at a somewhat advanced age, I met Radcliffe Emerson. Our first encounter was not romantic. Never will I forget my initial sight of Emerson, as we stood face to face in that dismal hall of the Boulaq Museum -- his black beard bristling, his blue eyes blazing, his fists clenched, his deep baritone voice bellowing invectives at me for dusting off the antiquities. Yet even as I answered his criticism in kind, I knew in my heart that our lives would be intertwined.

I had several logical, sensible reasons for accepting Emerson's offer of marriage. Emerson was an Egyptologist; and my first visit to the realm of the pharaohsplanted seeds of affection for that antique land that were soon to blossom into luxuriant flower. Emerson's keen intelligence and acerbic tongue -- which had won him the title "Father of Curses" from his devoted Egyptian workmen -- made him a foeman worthy of my steel. And yet, dear Reader, these were not my real reasons for yielding to Emerson's suit. I deplore cliches, but in this case I must resort to one. Emerson swept me off my feet. I am determined to be completely candid as I pen these pages, for I have made certain they will not be published, at least during my lifetime. They began as a personal Journal, perused only by a Critic whose intimate relationship gave him access to my private thoughts -- so he claimed at any rate; as his remarks on style and content of my writing became more critical, I decided to disallow the claim and lock up my Journals. They are therefore mine alone, and unless my heirs decide that the scholarly world should not be deprived of the insights contained therein (which may well occur), no eyes but mine will read these words.

Why, then, the gentle Reader will ask, do I infer his or her existence by addressing her, or him? The answer should be obvious. Art cannot exist in a vacuum. The creative spirit must possess an audience. It is impossible for a writer to do herself justice if she is only talking to herself.

Having established this important point, I return to my narrative.

Not only did Emerson sweep me off my feet, I swept him off his. (I speak figuratively, of course.) By current standards I am not beautiful. Fortunately for me, Emerson's tastes in this area, as in most others, are highly original. My complexion, which others find sallow and dark, he described (on one memorable occasion) as resembling the honey of Hymettus; my coarse, jet-black hair, which refuses to remain confined in braids, buns, or nets, arouses in him a peculiar variety of tactile enjoyment; and his remarks about my figure, which is unfashionably slender in some areas and overly endowed in others, cannot be reproduced, even here.

By any standards Emerson is a remarkably fine-looking man. He stands over six feet tall, and his stalwart frame possesses the elasticity and muscular development of youth, thanks to a vigorous outdoor life. Under the rays of the benevolent Egyptian sun his brawny arms and rugged face turn golden-brown, forming a striking setting for the sapphire brilliance of his eyes. The removal of his beard, at my urgent request, uncovered a particularly attractive dimple in his chin. Emerson prefers to call it a cleft, when he refers to the feature at all; but it is a dimple. His hair is -sable, thick and soft, shining with Titian gleams in the sunlight. . . .

But enough of that. Suffice it to say that the wedded state proved highly agreeable, and the first years of our marriage were fully as pleasant as I had expected. We spent the winter in Egypt, excavating by day and sharing the delightful privacy of an (otherwise) unoccupied tomb by night; and the summer in England with Emerson's brother Walter, a distinguished philologist, and the husband of my dear friend Evelyn. It was a thoroughly satisfactory existence. I cannot imagine why I, who am normally as farsighted and practical as a woman can be, did not realize that the matrimonial state quite often leads to another, -related state. I refer, of course, to motherhood.

When the possibility of this interesting condition first manifested itself I was not excessively put out. According to my calculations, the child would be born in the summer, enabling me to finish the season's work and get the business over and done with before returning to the dig in the autumn. This proved to be the case, and we left the infant -- a boy, named after his uncle Walter -- in the care of that gentleman and his wife when we set out for Egypt in October.

What ensued was not entirely the child's fault. I had not anticipated that Emerson's next view of his son the following spring would induce a doting idiocy that manifested itself in baby talk, and in a reluctance to be parted from the creature. Ramses, as the child came to be called, merited his nickname; he was as imperious in his demands and as pervasive in his presence as that most arrogant of ancient Egyptian god-kings must have been. He was also alarmingly precocious. A lady of my acquaintance used that term to me, after Ramses, aged four, had treated her to a lecture on the proper method of excavating a compost heap -- hers, in point of fact. . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Peters. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

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Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody Series #3) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is wonderful. Ramses is perfect as the spawn of Peabody and Enerson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Elizabeth Peters. I can picture myself back in Egypt again through her enjoyable, descriptive writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally love this series. Over time i have read this entire series several times and have enjoyed them every time. Amelia Peabody Emerson is one of the first true feminist who knows her own mind and stands up for what she believes. She and her tempermental husband, Radcliff Emerson, perfectly balance out each other. They both love their work. The series is entertaining, funny, and full of adventure. Every book just gets better.
LCol More than 1 year ago
If you like murder mystries and Egypt, these are the books for you. I enjoy the Amelia Peabody Series. They are always full of adventures.
MarionMarchetto_author More than 1 year ago
Intrepid Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her irrascible husband, who has been dubbed the "Father of Curses" by the Egyptian natives, once again set forth to uncover the treasures of the ancient pharoahs. This time they take along with them their young son nicknamed Ramses and John, a servant in their employ from England. Relegated to digging in an area deemed 'not worthy' by husband Radcliff Emerson, they are soon in the midst of a complex situation wherein a band of antiquities thieves are being lead by a Master Criminal. As Amelia tries to do her detective work she is stymied by a host of suspects and conflicting clues and information. After she and Radcliffe are thrown into the thick blackness of an ancient burial chamber in the Black Pyramid without hope of rescue, they are left to wonder if they have indeed met their fate. This reader found the plot confusing, as though it was searching for a way to untangle itself. The redeeming grace of this book is Ramses, who speaks with the vocabulary of a university professor with a lisp that makes him all the more endearing. The characters here are stronger than the plot and have earned this book four stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mummy Case is another outstanding story by famed writer Elizabeth Peters...I'm such a fan! This story is highly entertaining. The characters are GREAT and the plot exciting! I suggest you order your copy of this book today. You'll be glad you did!
zhukora on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Mummy Case is markedly darker than the preceding books. It is still light years from any kind of gothic thriller, but Peters seems to have shed some of the gauzy lightheartedness that characterized the earlier novels in favor of an earnest mystery. It may not be the most gracefully orchestrated mystery, but earnest nonetheless. She has also shed some of the previously slightly overbearing sense of homage to the pulp adventure novelettes and "penny dreadfuls" of yesteryear (and...yester-century?) in favor of a more mature and well-rounded style of novel. Amelia and her companions keep a strong continuity of personality in spite of the style shift, but now they experience (if fleetingly) real apprehension, real fear, and real distress as the events of the latest mystery unfold.I very much dislike the scenes of domesticity in the second novel in the series, The Pharaoh's Curse, but they have improved significantly here. I suspect this has a lot to do with the fact that Ramses has learned to shut his mouth once in a while, and has developed a bit of a personality beyond "obnoxious small child".Peters also seems to have finally committed herself to an ongoing Amelia Peabody series in this volume, as this is the first time I've seen her leave loose ends and foreshadow for a continuation of certain plot elements in the next book. Not that I'm complaining--tidy, self-contained episodic mysteries are good for casual readers who'd prefer to just pick up any random book in the series, but I suspect it would have gotten tiresome soon enough. I suppose this means that this volume indicates it's time to stop testing the waters and commit yourself! If you stick with Amelia the adventures are only going to get deeper and more involved from here on out. If you like her, that's a good thing. If you don't, perhaps it's time to bail.
cathymoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book three and the series shows no sign of flagging. Amelia takes her husband, son and her wonderful turn of phrase back to Egypt for some more archaeological shenanigans. The family have barely unpacked their cases before they are up to their necks in stolen antiquities, "Master Criminals" and suspicious missionaries. In spite of my initial doubts about the inclusion of Amelia and Emerson's uber-precocious son Ramses, he turns out to be a complete scene-stealer. The pacing of the story is, again, perfect and although the final reveal seems somewhat convoluted and the book then ends very abruptly, this is another fine quick read from Peters.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ramses takes his place as one of the major characters of this series in this third installment. His matter-of-fact adoption of a lion and the acquiescence of said action by his parents is a good example of the humor of the series. The Emersons do outrageously unconventional things but have such a good time that it makes for fun reading. Amelia is a curious mix of feminism and femininity - very enjoyable.
punxsygal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This third book in the Amelia Peabody Egyptology series finds Amelia, her archaeologist husband Emerson and their precocious son Ramses back along the Nile.Emerson has promised Amelia a pyramid to study, but through his stubborness has failed to procure their desired site. While making preparations in Cairo, Amelia visits an artifacts dealer who later is murdered allowing. Amelia's art of detection energies go into overdrive and the story takes off with its missionary zealots, bat guano, disappearing mummy cases and another dead body. Elizabeth Peters delivers a good story once again.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had a harder time getting through this one. I don't know if it's because the writing is more refined later in the series, or if I had just reached my limit of Amelia Peabody books for the time being.
AuthorMarion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Intrepid Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her irrascible husband, who has been dubbed the "Father of Curses" by the Egyptian natives, once again set forth to uncover the treasures of the ancient pharoahs. This time they take along with them their young son nicknamed Ramses and John, a servant in their employ from England. Relegated to digging in an area deemed 'not worthy' by husband Radcliff Emerson, they are soon in the midst of a complex situation wherein a band of antiquities thieves are being lead by a Master Criminal. As Amelia tries to do her detective work she is stymied by a host of suspects and conflicting clues and information. After she and Radcliffe are thrown into the thick blackness of an ancient burial chamber in the Black Pyramid without hope of rescue, they are left to wonder if they have indeed met their fate. This reader found the plot confusing, as though it was searching for a way to untangle itself. The redeeming grace of this book is Ramses, who speaks with the vocabulary of a university professor with a lisp that makes him all the more endearing. The characters here are stronger than the plot and have earned this book four stars.
Bobnitefan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who should read this book: If you are reading thru the Amelia Peabody series, as I am, this book is the third in the series and therefore should be read. The book can be read by anybody over 12 years of age as the only items that are objectionable are the occasional curse word. I personally did not care for this story very much. My main objection is there is much focus on the personality of the main characters - Amelia, Emerson and Ramses and not as much on the story itself. Additionally, her portrayal of Christian characters is decidely antagonistic. The authors clear disdain for people of faith clearly shows through. A key item in the plot are some 2nd and 3rd century gnostic texts which she utilizes to undermine Christian belief. As a University of Chicago trained Egyptologist (or perhaps because of it) she could have provided background regarding the historical context of the documents.In summation the mystery is week and thinnly developed, and her characters have grown a bit tiresome. If you like the characters more than the mystery then it is an okay read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Great murder mystery to keep one guessing until the end. What a dynamic twist! To list a few things I enjoy so much from this series...  * The husband and wife "tension" between Emerson and Amelia is hilarious to watch.  * The random tidbits about the Bible thrown in, sometimes satirically, which add a bit of character to Christianity, I must say. * The ever-so-smart son, Ramses, who is just such a cutie. * The Victorian archaeological setting in Egypt is divine. Beautiful story! Can't wait for the next book.
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...especially if you like Archeology and Egyptology. The characters are not totally believable, sort of exagerated at times, but they are likeable and the mysteries are entertaining.
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