And speaking of reading... I recently re-discovered the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. I'd read the first one a long time ago, but didn't remember any of the others. (if I read them at all...) I started at the beginning again and I DEVOURED THEM.
Mmm... delicious books....
Also--for you writers out there--Elizabeth Peters is a fabulous example of what research can do for a book, especially for historical fiction. EP's real name is Barbara Mertz and she has a Ph.D. in Egyptology, so everything about the world of her books rings true. You don't need a PhD to do this, but you do have to be willing to put in the work.
For all you fellow fans of mystery, Egypt, archeology and the movie The Mummy, here's a run down of the series as far as I've gotten.
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1)
(This is obviously not a new-read for me. But since it starts the series, I thought I'd throw it in.)
19th century English spinster Amelia Peabody is left a fortune by her father, and decides to explore the world. Determined never to marry, and possessed of a fierce efficiency and a determined mind, she travels to Egypt. There she picks up a disgraced heiress named Evelyn , hiring her as an assistant.
Amelia and Evelyn travel down the Nile, where Amelia falls in love with the pyramids, meets a bellowing, stubborn archeologist named Radcliffe Emerson. and tracks down a mummy with a bad habit of taking midnight strolls. 4 stars
The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2)
Amelia and her husband Emerson (also known as the Father of Curses) return to Egypt to discover if there's any truth to the rumors of a cursed tomb. Murder, mayhem and plenty of hitting people with parasols. 4 stars
|The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)|
This time, the Emersons are stuck with a really awful set of run-down pyramids to explore. But they won't be bored. Not with their scarily intelligent son Ramses, some crazy missionaries, and of course, a few dead bodies just to spice things up. 4 stars
Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody, #4)
Amelia Peabody Emerson is convinced that there is a Master Criminal behind much of Egypt's underground antiquities trade, and she is determined to sniff him out. The good news is: she's right, and his name is Sethos. The bad new? Sethos is equally eager to get his hands on Amelia. And not for the reasons you'd think... 4 stars
|The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)|
This one takes place in England, where Amelia must deal with spoiled children, a pair of scoop-happy, competing reporters, and a weird series of deaths connected to the museum. Fortunately, Amelia has her parasol. (And corsets can be surprisingly useful too!) 4 stars
|The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)|
As if the Emersons' life wasn't chaotic enough, now things are about to get REALLY complicated. A mysterious map, a missing archeologist and a lost civilization lead to some surprising results. Including a new addition to the family: the orphaned girl Nerfret. 3 stars
The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (Amelia Peabody, #7)
Amelia is excited to return to Egypt, especially because she hopes to re-kindle the romance with her husband Emerson. But then Emerson is kidnapped, and loses all memory of Amelia and their family. Things look bleak, but Amelia Peabody Emerson has never given up without a fight, and she's not about to start now. 4 stars
And if one interesting Elizabeth Peters heroine isn't enough, how about two?
Meet Jacqueline Kirby, a librarian with a no-nonsense attitude, a very large purse, and a knack for getting into trouble. I first met her in The Murders of Richard III, (which is an awesome book, btw) but I didn't realize until this year that there were more books.
|The Seventh Sinner|
This is the first Jacqueline Kirby novel, and is actually told from the perspective of Jean Suttman, a student studying in Rome. When one of Jean's fellow students is murdered and strange accidents start to happen, it's up to the practical Jacqueline to put a stop to it before someone close to Jean can silence her for good. 3 stars
|Naked Once More|
Now a best-selling romance author, Jacqueline Kirby is getting tired of the publishing business. But then she's offered the chance to write the sequel to Naked in the Ice, a brilliant book whose author- Kathleen Darcy-met a mysterious end.
Jackie jumps at the chance, but it's not going to be easy. Because someone wanted Kathleen out of the way. Because books are hard to write, even if they're your own. And because Kathleen may not be dead after all.... 3 stars
Well that's all the Elizabeth Peters I have for now. (Though there are two or three waiting in my library pile downstairs.) Join me on Saturday for blog awards and some Agatha Christie!