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This latest Amelia Peabody Emerson novel was more of an adventure book than it was a mystery novel. However, it was still an enjoyable read, even if it did follow along on predictable formulaic lines. The Emersons and entourage have returned to Luxor for another season of 'digging,' where they learn that tomb thieves have been ransacking a newly excavated royal tomb. Of course Amelia, Emerson, Ramses and Nefret, immediately hunker down to discover who is behind these thefts and to put a stop to them, and discover that an enemy from a previous adventure ("The Lord of the Silent") may be involved in these felonious goings-on, and that he is bent on revenging himself against the Emersons... Halfway through this storyline however, the novel veers off into another direction, when officers from the British Military Intelligence ask Ramses to resume his espionage activities and to discover the fate of one of their operatives, Ismail Pasha (also known as Sethos, one time foe of Amelia's and Emerson's, and who also happens to be Emerson's half-brother), who seems to have disappeared. Normally, I'm not much of a fan of sudden plot departures that go really off tangent for no apparent reason. But I must say that I'm glad that Elizabeth Peters did introduce this subplot as it proved to be a highly entertaining one with some really humorous moments. All in all, "The Golden One" was quite an entertaining read even if the storyline was not a very original one. It was nice to visit with the incredibly adventurous and eccentric Emersons again. And I liked that Jumana (a character from "Lord of the Silent") made an appearance again, even if she seems to have lost some of her edge and been reduced to hand wringing and light histrionics. (Perhaps her character will revert to type in the next Amelia Peabody adventure?) However, I would have to agree with the previous reviewer, Kathy Farrell, either borrow this book from the library or else wait for the paperback edition. Because while I DID ENJOY reading this book very much, there really is no earth-shatteringly compelling reason to go out and buy this expensive hardcover edition.
Emerson and Amelia Peabody have a new archeological dig, Ramses is overjoyed with his wife, and Amelia's adoptive family continues to grow, but all is not well in World War I era Egypt. Tomb robbers have discovered an ancient temple and are sneaking artifacts out, and are willing to kill Emerson and Amelia to preserve their treasure. The British army has bogged down outside of Gaza and its intelligence community desperately wishes to get Ramese back in the fold. And somehow, Amelia has to manage all of this while hoping that she will soon become a grandmother. Naturally, Sethos--Emerson's half brother and something of a love interest for Amelia is back and in the midst of both tomb robbing and the war. Author Elizabeth Peters has created a wonderful set of characters in the extended Emerson family. Emerson's bull-headedness, Ramses's honor, Sethos's deviousness and overcompensated inferiority complex, and Amelia's proper British manipulativeness all ring true and consistent through the novel and, indeed, through the series. THE GOLDEN ONE does not integrate World War I with the archeological elements of the story as well as some of the earlier novels in the series (perhaps because the Turks have been driven further from Egypt), but is otherwise a delightful adventure. Readers new to this series may find Amelia's proper Britishisms somewhat off-putting but; for me at least, these have become familiar friends and amusing reminders of a time when the British really thought that they had a great moral lesson to share with the world. Peters certainly knows her Egypt and makes this great period of Archeology and Egyptology come to life.
By the beginning of 1917, the Great War makes travel across the Mediterranean unsafe. Still, the archeologist Peabody-Emerson family journeys from England to Egypt to begin another season digging up ancient history. However, their arrival at Luxor is accompanied by the word that thieves attacked a royal tomb with one of the criminals left behind dead.
Before the matriarch Amelia Peabody Emerson can fully investigate the crime as she always does, British intelligence draft her son Ramses to work for them. They need Ramses to ascertain whether Ismail Pasha, an individual quickly rising to power in Gaza, is really Sethos his brother and a criminal. Unable to resist, the Peabody brood follows Ramses on his trek to keep him safe and to learn first hand if Sethos has surfaced.
Fans of this series will enjoy this mixing of a World War I espionage tale with a who-done-it. However, historical mystery readers will feel disappointed as the intel mission intrudes on the investigation, which is left dangling while completing the espionage assignment before the family returns to solve the murder. This leaves the audience with two distinct story lines that never merge and a feeling of a novella inset inside a historical amateur sleuth mystery. Elizabeth Peters provides a wonderful look into Egyptology during the encroachment of World War I that along with the fourteenth return of the clan will delight series fans.
5.0 out of 5 starsHooray for the Peabody-Emerson's!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2015
Jolly fun in Edwardian Egypt. Puzzles to solve, villains to catch & treasures to be uncovered. Every now & then the voice is not authentically British (railroad, rather than railway stations, a lack of prepositions & other things which the spell check will not allow me to enter!) but that has not spoilt the stories. My only complaint, as always with Kindle, is that there is no facility to find out the number of a book in a series (unless it has a very short title) so that a series can be read in order.
I am sad getting near the end of this series of books . We meet the third generation of the family and , needless to say , they are as colourful as the rest . I have never been to Egypt , but feel as if I have seen the pyramids through Ms Peters eyes . The mystery murder and general mayhem continue to enthral .... enjoy xxx
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2014
Another ripping yarn or as Abdullah says another year, another body. Ms Peters has managed another tall tale of mayhem. The Emersons and Vandergelts are on the hunt for hidden treasure when Ramses is not undertaking more work for the Intelligence (sic) services. It is all very good clean fun and a joy to read.
5.0 out of 5 starsthrills, dreams and some history!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2017
As with all Elizabeth Peters this was an excellent story well told with always that little touch of fact eg the story of the finding of King Tutankhamun'so tomb. All good things must come to an end and I think I have only 1 more to read and that's them all read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2012
I have now read the whole series. I enjoyed every one. Some are better than others but I felt a sense of great loss when there were no more. This is not great literature but it is great fun. I have been one of the irritating tourists in Egypt and loved recognising events and sites I had seen.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2013
I am mad about Egypt and its history and to have such wonderful characters and animals just makes its perfect. I have them all on my Kindle and woud now like tohave the actual books as I would read them again.