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The Serpent on the Crown


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In autumn 1921, with the world at peace, the Emersons are enjoying a busy period of excavation in Egypt. But their digging turns to detecting when they hear a tale of a man's mysterious death. The widow is convinced her husband was the victim of a curse, and implores the Emersons to return the small "deadly" statue that killed him to the tomb.

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.


MWA Grand Master Peters delivers another winner that you can't put down and yet don't want to see end, the 17th entry in her bestselling series to feature Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson and her extended family (after 2004's Guardian of the Horizon). Early in 1922, novelist Magda Petherick, the widow of noted collector Pringle Petherick, interrupts the tea that the Emerson clan are enjoying on the veranda of their house by the Nile. Mrs. Petherick wants Emerson, Amelia's eminent archeologist husband, to dispose of a beautiful golden statuette that Pringle acquired shortly before his death because she believes it carries a curse. All are intrigued. News travels fast, and such a magnificent artifact soon attracts all manner of collectors, museum authorities, journalists and evildoers. Emerson's illegitimate half-brother, Sethos, formerly a dealer in illegal antiquities, arrives in disguise, but unfortunately he's followed by the gentleman he's impersonating. Tomb excavations, mountain treks, brutal attacks, an abduction, an exorcism and murder keep the plot hopping. The author's droll sense of humor and picture of a leisurely and less complicated age add to the appeal. Agent, Dominick Abel. (On sale Mar. 29) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

I really do think Elizabeth Peters - books are great entertainment.' Angela RipponThe most potent female force to hit Egypt since Cleopatra! - Philadelphia InquirerIf Indiana Jones were female, a wife and mother who lived in Victorian times, he would be Amelia Peabody. - Publishers WeeklyA writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key. - Washington Post Book WorldI 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

Intrepid sleuth, archaeologist, and matriarch Amelia Peabody returns in her 17th appearance to date. In autumn 1921, widowed Mrs. Petherick gives Amelia and husband Emerson a valuable gold statue, pleading with them to remove the curse on it that killed her husband. Peabody, always a skeptic, wonders why Mrs. Petherick is so eager to unload the statue when she and her stepchildren could clearly use the money a sale would bring. Emerson vows to uncover the tomb from which the statue was stolen, which requires extensive excavations in the Valley of the Kings. Could the statue be from an undiscovered tomb in the valley? Perhaps famed archaelogist Howard Carter could help investigate. The narrative contains the usual disappearances, muggings, chases, and clever disguises we have come to expect from the Emerson family. The book suffers, though, from minimal character development and a skimpy plot. In-jokes for "Informed Readers" aside, this isn't Peters's best work, but is certainly a required purchase for any public library. Peters lives in western Maryland. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/1/04].-Laurel Bliss, Princeton Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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