Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Series #18)

Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Series #18)

by Elizabeth Peters

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

$9.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, November 18


Banned forever from the eastern end of the Valley of the Kings, eminent Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson's desperate attempt to regain digging rights backfires—and his dream of unearthing the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon is dashed. Now Emerson, his archaeologist wife, Amelia Peabody, and their family must watch from the sidelines as Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter "discover" the greatest Egyptian treasure of all time.

But the Emersons' own less impressive excavations are interrupted when father and son Ramses are lured into a trap by a strange group of villains ominously demanding answers to a question neither man comprehends. And it will fall to the ever-intrepid Amelia to protect her endangered family—and perhaps her nemesis as well—from a devastating truth hidden uncomfortably close to home . . . and from a nefarious plot that threatens the peace of the entire region.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060591816
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2007
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #18
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 152,062
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.41(d)

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.


A farm in rural Maryland

Date of Birth:

September 29, 1927

Place of Birth:

Canton, Illinois


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

Read an Excerpt

Tomb of the Golden Bird

By Elizabeth Peters

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Peters
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060591803

Chapter One


Seated on the terrace of Shepheard's Hotel, I watched with interest as a tall young man stopped and turned, as if in response to the calling of his name. Yet this was not the fourteenth century b.c., but the year of our Lord 1922; and the tall man was no ancient pharaoh. Though his bronzed skin and black hair resembled those of an Egyptian, his height and bearing proclaimed him for what he was -- an English gentleman of the finest quality. He was also my son, "Ramses" Walter Peabody Emerson, who was better known in Egypt by his sobriquet.

He raised his hand to his brow, and realized that (as usual) he was not wearing a hat. In lieu of removing that which was not present he inclined his head in greeting, and one of his rare, attractive smiles warmed his thin face. I craned my neck and half rose from my chair in order to see the individual who had occasioned this response, but the crowds that filled the street blocked my view. Cairo traffic had grown worse since my early days in Egypt; motorcars now mingled with donkeys and camels, carts and carriages, and the disgusting effluvions their engines emitted offended the nostrils more than the odors of the above-mentioned beasts -- to which, admittedly, I had become accustomed.

I deduced that the person my son addressed was of short stature, and most probably female (basing this latter assumption on Ramses's attempt to remove his hat and the affability of his smile). A portly person wearing a very large turban and mounted on a very small donkey passed in front of my son, and by the time he had gone by Ramses was wending his way toward the steps of the hotel and the table where I sat awaiting him.

"Who was that?" I demanded.

"Good afternoon to you too, Mother." Ramses bent to kiss my cheek.

"Good afternoon. Who was that?"

"Who was whom?"

"Ramses," I said warningly.

My son abandoned his teasing. "I believe you are not acquainted with her, Mother. Her name is Suzanne Malraux, and she studied with Mr. Petrie."

"Ah yes," I said. "You are mistaken, Ramses, I heard of her last year from Professor Petrie. He described her work as adequate."

"That sounds like Petrie." Ramses sat down and adjusted his long legs under the table. "But you must give him credit; he has always been willing to train women in archaeology."

"I have never denied Petrie any of the acclaim that is his due, Ramses."

Ramses's smile acknowledged the ambiguity of the statement. "Training is one thing, employment another. She has been unable to find a position."

I wondered if Ramses was implying that we take the young woman on to our staff. She might have approached him rather than his father or me. He was, I admit, more approachable, particularly by young ladies. Let me hasten to add that he did not invite the approaches. He was devoted to his beautiful wife Nefret, but it might be asking too much of a lady who is approaching a certain time of life to allow her husband close association with a younger female. Miss Malraux was half French. And she was bound to be attracted to Ramses. Women were. His gentle manners (my contribution) and athletic frame (his father's), his somewhat exotic good looks, and a certain je ne sais quoi (in fact I knew perfectly well what it was, but refused to employ the vulgar terms currently in use . . .).

No, despite our need for additional staff, it might not be advisable.

"Have you had any interesting encounters?" Ramses asked, looking over the people taking tea on the terrace. They were the usual sort -- well dressed, well groomed, and almost all white -- if that word can be used to describe complexions that ranged from pimply pale to sunburned crimson.

"Lord and Lady Allenby stopped to say hello," I replied. "He was most agreeable, but I understand why people refer to him as the Bull. He has that set to his jaw."

"He has to be forceful. As high commissioner he is under fire from the imperialists in the British government and the Nationalists in Egypt. On the whole, I can only commend his efforts."

I did not want to talk politics. The subject was too depressing.

"There is your father," I said. "Late as usual."

Ramses looked over his shoulder at the street. There was no mistaking Emerson. He is one of the finest-looking men I have ever beheld: raven locks and eyes of a penetrating sapphirine blue, a form as impressive as it had been when I first met him, he stood a head taller than those around him and his booming voice was audible some distance away. He was employing it freely, greeting acquaintances in a mixture of English and Arabic, the latter liberally salted with the expletives that have given him the Egyptian sobriquet of Father of Curses. Egyptians had become accustomed to this habit and replied with broad grins to remarks such as "How are you, Ibrahim, you old son of an incontinent camel?" My distinguished husband, the finest Egyptologist of this or any era, had earned the respect of the Egyptians with whom he had lived for so many years because he treated them as he did his fellow archaeologists. That is to say, he cursed all of them impartially when they did something that vexed him. It was not difficult to vex Emerson. Few people lived up to his rigid professional standards, and time had not mellowed his quick temper.

"He's got someone with him," said Ramses.

"Well, well," I said. "What a surprise."

The individual who followed in Emerson's mighty wake was none other than Howard Carter.

Perhaps I should explain the reason for my sarcasm, for such it was. Howard was one of our oldest friends, an archaeologist whose career had undergone several reversals and recoveries. He was presently employed . . .


Excerpted from Tomb of the Golden Bird 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Tomb of the Golden Bird 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1922 in Egypt, Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson begs Lord Carnavon and Howard Carter to let him excavate in the Valley of the Kings where the duo have exclusive digging rights. Because he is well known for his findings, Radcliffe¿s action leads to a feeding frenzy from some of his rivals who assume something of value awaits those who dig in the Valley of Kings. They are proven right when Carter uncovers the tomb of King Tutankhamen. --- The incredibly preserved burial chamber contains a wealth of artifacts that attract a global invasion of curators, collectors, amateurs, the media, government and grave robbers. Among the last group arriving at the sight is Emerson's shifty half-brother, severely ailing Sethos, who carries a secret document that if it gets into the wrong hands could cause unbelievable hostilities in the Middle East. Though he wants nothing to do with a sibling he does not trust, Radcliffe tries to help Sethos, which leads to increasingly dangerous attacks on his family. Not one to wait for an assault, Radcliffe¿s wife Amelia Peabody begins to look into who wants them dead and whether the motive is Sethos and his document or something to do with Tut. --- The eighteenth historical Peabody mystery is a refreshing superb tale that uses the Tut dig of 1922 as a backdrop to the action-packed story line. Radcliffe plays the prime role more so than Amelia, which adds to the feel of briskness in spite of the desert climate. The mystery comes a little later than usual, but is well worth the wait as the early plot provides insight into the renowned Carter excavation. TOMB OF THE GOLDEN BIRD is must reading experience for Elizabeth Peters¿ fans while newcomers will fully appreciate a strong early twentieth century mystery with a powerful historical foundation. --- Harriet Klausner
jepeters333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amelia and Emerson's contemporary, Howard Carter, discovers Tut's tomb.
bookwoman247 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Amelia Peabody adventure centers on Howard Carter's discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922.Of course, the Emerson family gets caught up not only in the excitement of the discovery, but in fighting crime and all kinds of intrigue as well.This was a very satisfying addition to the series.I simultaneously read Carter's own account of the tomb's discovery. which made this book even more fun and interesting.
Dorritt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I usually try to be thoughtful and reasoned when doing a review, but this book was just plain bad. This series jumped the shark several books ago, but I keep hoping Peters will realize this and turn the series over to a new generation of characters that *might* be able to breath some new life and new ideas into the plotlines. Alas, this is nothing but a "clips show" of old material (Sethos as rogue - we get it! David entangled in Egyptian independence - done! And, PLEASE, no more visions of Abdullah, family Xmas celebrations, councils of war, tea at Shepherd's or Kadija's green goop!) thrown together in hopes of suckering fans of the series into spending money. My advice: if you *have* to read this one, borrow it from the library. I know I won't be purchasing any more books in this series.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 18th, and latest book in the Amelia Peabody series. It's really bittersweet being all caught up--I've loved reading them, but it's sad knowing I don't have any more waiting for me.The year is 1922, and if you're familiar with Egyptology, you'll know that that's the year when King Tut's tomb was found. Unfortunately, credit for the discovery doesn't go to the Emersons--since Radcliffe had betrayed his interest, Howard Carter and his sponsor, Carnarvon, decided to remain in the Valley of the Kings for one more season, and Carter discovers the tomb.The Emersons are eager to be in on the discovery and offer their help, but when Radcliffe accuses Carter and Carnarvon of stealing artifacts from the tomb, they ban him from the site.Meanwhile, Sethos arrives in the grip of a malarial fever, with a coded message he says is putting his life in danger. Keeping him hidden is no easy matter, with all the journalists around for the opening of Tut's tomb, including Sethos's estranged wife. And the family, including their butler Gargery who's arrived from England, is suddenly (again) under constant threat of attack and abduction.Ramses and David, who were in the intelligence service during the war (as was Sethos), use their contacts to try to discover who's behind the attacks and the message, and uncover an assassination plot, and David is torn between his loyalties to his English family and his Egyptian heritage.Mostly, though, it's an adventurous visit with old friends. Amelia and Emerson are getting older, and now that Ramses and Nefret's twins are 5, the family that's been a working unit for so long is starting to break apart. Just like it does in real life, the impending independence of the younger generation is a matter for both pride and sadness. I have no idea if it's the case or not, but Tomb of the Golden Bird feels like an end to the series. Maybe I'm just affected because it's the last one in my TBR pile, but with everyone planning on going their own ways, it feels final. At any rate, if there is a next book, it'll be interesting to see who's the focus and how the separation is handled.
oldbookswine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series of books gives one a wonderful historical view of archaeologists in fiction form. Recommended to all.
nolak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Emerson clan comes to Egypt sure that the tomb of Tutankhaman will be found in the East Valley, and Emerson finds the spot, but it is not in his area, so he has to get Howard Carter to actually open it. Everyone is anxious to get into the caves before they are officially opened, including the Emersons, which causes great rivallry to be fired up and anger on all sides. There are other political uprisings afoot, which Sethos gets involved in, and brings the family into when he falls ill. All the characters go their separate ways with a wonderful conclusion at the end of the book, which will leave all Amelia's fans very satisfied.
webgeekstress on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This latest entry in the long-running Amelia Peabody series is set against a backdrop of Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamon's tomb. The "plot", such as it is, though, is more concerned with nationalism in the Middle East. It's a pity that Peters didn't see fit to focus more attention on that aspect of the story. Still, it's an entertaining hoot. For fans of the series, there are no surprises.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The climax of the science of Egyptology - the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen - will probably also be the final chapter in the history of the Emerson clan. Covering probably a good thirty years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the series runs the gamut of actual characters in history and adds many additional Egyptologists besides; and manages to walk the fine line between melodrama and ludicrousness quite successfully. In this episode, Ms. Peters attempts a sweeping tale of earthshaking proportions while also adding her usual precise historical detail. Unfortunately, to succeed in the task would have required a book of Harry Potter-esque proportions, and the resolution of several subplots feels to be a bit abrupt. Nevertheless, not to read it would leave one who has read the earlier books aching to know what happens; while one who has not read them, should. Either way Tomb of the Golden Bird would eventually be a must-read.
mccin68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book only for it's interplay between characters especially Peadbody and Emerson. The story did not hold together well the drama dead ended several times and the ending was anti-climatic. I started reading hoping there would be a mystery tightly woven around archeology the characters came off as more secret agents than archeologists or egyptologists. I would have loved to have the story of King Tut's tomb a more signficiant part of the mystery as those details were very exciting. I will read more by her simply because of the engaging character and hopefully other stories will be more cohesive and suspensful.
jugglingpaynes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We loved this book, but as with all the books in this series, it just left us wanting more! (And also wondering how old Amelia is at this point.)
DebR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Disappointing. I adore Eliz. Peters and the Amelia Peabody mysteries (of which this is one), but I found this one slow going and muddled and could never quite figure out why I should even care about the mystery aspect, such as it was. I kind of wish Ms. Peters would either wind up the Amelia stories and move on to something else, or jump ahead to the next generation of the family. Best I can figure the math (and anyone who knows me well knows how scary THAT phrase is!), Nefret¿s and Ramses¿ twins should be in their early- to mid-twenties at about the time of WWII and I could see some interesting story possibilities there. But for this story, I give it a rather sad D+ and that¿s being generous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
The Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters This the 18th in a series of historical mystery novels, written by Elizabeth Peters and featuring fictional sleuth and archaeologist Amelia Peabody and her husband, Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson. The Emerson-Peabodys have been banished from the East Valley, Egypt where they are convinced the tomb of Tutankhamen lies. Powerless to intervene, but determined to stay close to the site, the family returns to Luxor and starts digging in the West Valley, where they uncover Tutankhamen's tomb. Before the dig can commence, Emerson and his son, Ramses, find themselves lured into a trap by some villains who are in pursuit of "he." This drives the Emerson-Peabodys - guided by Amelia's curiosity - on a quest to uncover who is "he" and why "he" must be found. Using the heroine, Amelia, the writer narrates a way to protect the family from sinister forces that will stop at nothing to succeed in the sinister plot that threatens not only Amelia's family, but also the entire region. Narrated from Amelia's first person point of view, the work is commercial literature that follows a pattern, much like in the preceding books. I read the book in a few days, but was not too impressed with the work. Even though it was entertaining and mindless, I got the copy from a friend and would not have paid money for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the worst books I have ever encountered. At 70 years of age with a Ph.D., and 3 Masters in different fields, I have accomplished some reading. This is a pompous read, over blown, and a complete waste of time. It might have been a worthwhile novel with 225 pages or so edited out, but that wasn't the case. I fail to see how the author had it published.. Overall boring, and inaccurate and silly data, particularly with reference to the historical figures, Carter and his patron, for example. A great waste of time!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peters' (and one presumes, Amelia Peabody Emerson's) perspective on one of the greatest moments in archaeological history. Oh, and " every year, another body" ! This book is Elizabeth Peters at her best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago