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The Ape Who Guards the Balance

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In Cairo, the younger members of the Peabody Emerson clan purchase a mint-condition papyrus of the famed "Book of the Dead", the collection of magical spells and prayers designed to ward off the perils of the underworld and lead the deceased into everlasting life. But for as long as there have been graves, there have also been grave robbers.

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters is a prolific and successful novelist with over fifty novels to her credit. She is internationally renowned for her mystery stories, especially those featuring indomitable heroine Amelia Peabody. She lives in a historic farmhouse in Frederick, Maryland, with six cats and two dogs.


YA‘Fans will gravitate to this new addition to this popular murder-archaeology series. From the streets of London to the Egyptian desert, the Peabody-Emerson family is in danger. This complex story set in 1907 opens with an attempt to kidnap Amelia. Grisly murder, villains in disguise, and intrigue follow the family to excavation sites in Egypt, and neither the characters nor readers initially understand why. Teens will be pleased that the children introduced in earlier volumes have greater roles in this story. Son Ramses, his friend David, and Amelia's and Emerson's adopted daughter, Nefret, are mature young people who obey and disobey their parents when it suits them. All is related through Amelia's first-person, witty narration. This one is sure to be as popular as Peters's earlier books.‘Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

I can't wait for the next Peabody story... I really do think [Elizabeth Peters'] books are great entertainment.A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key.' - Washington Post Book WorldThink Miss Marple with early feminist gloss crossed with Indiana Jones... accomplished entertainment. - Guardian

Amelia Peabody is back in Egypt for another season of excavations with her husband, Emerson, as they compete with other archaeologists for the discovery of ancient treasures. This time the family becomes involved in the illegal trade of antiquities. Son Ramses and wards David and Nefret, who have grown up during the course of the series, are now major players in the drama. They come into possession of a rare papyrus in the unsavory part of Cairo. When the Peabodys and their entourage try to track down the source of this artifact, they encounter danger in the form of their old enemy Sethos. Peters's (Summer of the Dragon, Audio Reviews, LJ 12/98) formula continues to satisfy. An appealing cast of characters is led by a curious and adventurous heroine capable of handling any crisis that appears. The setting among ancient Egyptian ruins is an ever-fascinating one. Barbara Rosenblat's reading is lively, and her characterizations effective. Recommended for Peters fans and for public library collections.ÄCatherine Swenson, Norwich Univ. Lib., Northfield, VT

In April of this year, Peters, who has been writing mysteries for 30 years, was honored as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. This captivating novel, her 10th Amelia Peabody tale (following Seeing a Large Cat, 1997), validates her peers' high regard. Prospects for the 1907 excavation season in Egypt seem lackluster for the Emersons, since Professor Emerson, Amelia's beloved husband, can't abide the fools who administrate such activities‘and makes no secret of that fact. But the family, including their adult son, Ramses, and his foster siblings, Nefret and David, departs for Egypt nevertheless after incidents in London point to the resurfacing of their old nemesis, known as the Master Criminal. The younger generation buys an ancient papyrus from an antiquities dealer and sets in motion a sinister chain of events. Two horrendous murders draw all of the Emersons further into the fray, and at times it seems as if the Master Criminal and his minions will at last best Amelia. But by drawing on the skills of all, the Emerson contingent once again brings villains to justice. The plot is complicated and involving, but the maturing of Ramses, Nefret and David offers particular pleasure and gives the book depth and poignance. Rich in characterization, incident and humor, this latest adventure of Amelia Peabody is a grand, galloping adventure with a heart as big as the Great Pyramid itself. Author tour. (Aug.)

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