Publication Date: June 1995
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): Radcliffe Emerson, the irascible husband of fellow archaeologist Amelia Peabody, has earned the nickname "Father of Curses"—and in 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. But before long Amelia, Emerson, and their precocious son, Ramses, find themselves entangled in The Mummy Case
In Cairo, before setting out to the site, Amelia visits an antiquities dealer to inquire about some papyri for her brother-in-law, Walter. At the dealer's shop she interrupts a mysterious-sounding conversation. And then, even more alarmingly, the dealer attempts to refuse to sell her a scrap of papyrus Ramses discovers in the back room. When the dealer is found dead in his shop just a day later, Amelia becomes convinced that foul play is at hand, a suspicion that is further confirmed when she catches sight of the sinister stranger from the crime scene at her own excavation site.
My Review: I honestly didn't think it was possible to love this series any more, but I do. Amelia and Emerson together are a fantastic mix, but add to that their son Ramses on the adventure and it just keeps getting better! This type of family would be an exhausting pleasure to know.
While the mysteries themselves are only so-so, it is the characters and the setting that keep me coming back for more and thinking about this book while I am not reading it. Really and truly, this is the type of characterization that is such a treasure to find these days since it is in short supply. Ms. Peters really knows her stuff and I can easily imagine myself in the crowded streets of Cairo, in the open deserts of Dashoor or trying to find my way out of a pyramid.
There is still quite a bit of romantic tension between Amelia and Emerson, but they have settled into the married life quite nicely. This time they bring their son Ramses along and he gets into, causes, and helps solve many of his own little scraps. I don't think I could honestly handle this type of a kid with as much aplomb as Amelia does, but whatever happens it is truly hilarious. I constantly find myself chuckling at how Amelia sees the world and at times she is quite insightful.
I've begun collecting this series (and boy, it there quite a bit of it!) because I know that I will be coming back to it again and again. Truly masterful!