Lord Of The Silent: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense Mass Market Paperback – Feb 2 2010
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Amelia Peabody Emerson is the Mary Poppins of Egypt. Forthright, intrepid, and industrious, she brooks no nonsense from anyone and is armed with an apparently magical parasol. As the legions of fans of Elizabeth Peters's Edwardian archeological mystery series know, Amelia is also possessed of a swift temper, an incorrigible curiosity, and an uncanny proclivity for attracting trouble. But in 1915, with the world gripped by the madness of war, trouble is endemic. In an effort to prevent their son Ramses from being coerced into working for British intelligence (in the sort of endeavor that nearly got him killed a year earlier when he infiltrated a band of Egyptian nationalists and prevented a Turkish-backed uprising), Amelia and husband Emerson and the rest of their dizzyingly large entourage flee England for the reassuringly stoic splendor of their beloved Egyptian ruins.
So much for a quiet dig among the mastabas. With their usual luck, the family promptly finds itself inundated by would-be assassins and nosy journalists. Amelia quickly deduces that Ramses's undercover work is at the root of both threat and curiosity; more puzzling is the appearance of the odd corpse or two and a rash of stunningly efficient tomb robberies. When Ramses and his wife, Nefret, travel to Luxor to check on the security of some of their old excavations, they find an all-too-familiar irritant behind the robberies. It would be telling to reveal his identity, but fans of the series will soon figure it out, with the aid of a little suspension of disbelief. With Ramses and Nefret on one hand, and Amelia and Emerson on the other, engaged in "protecting" the other side from conflict and trouble, the novel unfolds in a merry chase of misdirection and miscommunication.
There is a comforting consistency to Peters's series. By now, all of the characters' quirks are etched in stone like so many well-worn hieroglyphs. Amelia's narrative has the familiarity of a treasured and oft-read letter from a slightly batty aunt. Even the miraculous return of (no, I really can't say), though perhaps intended as a radical plot twist, adheres to the most genteel of mystery traditions, à la Doyle and Christie. Innovation can be overrated; with Peters's flawless record of producing amusing, easily digested novels showing no signs of faltering, fans should devour this morsel--and wait impatiently for the next tasty installment. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
In Egypt, 1915, the redoubtable English archaeologist Amelia Peabody Emerson and her eccentric and closely knit group of family and friends are up to their old tricks. The Emersons may believe that they are merely engaging in another season of excavation, but legions of devoted readers know that Amelia's archaeological fervor has never stopped her from charging into another thrilling episode of crime-solving, dragging her husband and children enthusiastically along. Amelia's son, Ramses, and his new wife, Nefret, are trying to settle into their married life and find ways to build a more equal relationship with their overwhelming and irrepressibly adventurous parent. Amelia is worried, however, that an officious British army officer might try to recruit Ramses again as a spy (as in the previous book, 2000's He Shall Thunder in the Sky). To keep him out of the spymaster's clutches, she sends Ramses and Nefret off to Luxor to investigate a series of thefts from archaeological sites. As always in this series of uproarious Egyptological mysteries, plenty of strange doings are afoot in the desert, and readers will find all the delicious trappings of a vintage Peters extravaganza lost tombs, kidnappings, deadly attacks, mummies and sinister villains. (May 1)Forecast: Her large and faithful following will ensure that Peters, a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, once again reaches the lofty heights of the bestseller lists.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I am very enthused about the next generation of Emersons, now that they're all grown up. Ramses, Nefret, and David are every bit as fun as Amelia and Emerson. Ramses, at least, was a bit annoying as a child, as I suppose most prodigies are. Thank goodness he turned out so well! The threesome live up to their elders' adventurous natures in every way. If they aren't dressing in horrible rags and infiltrating the Egyptian underworld, they are rescuing each other or being rescued from dire peril. I do think its rather sad that poor Lia doesn't get to do more. Maybe someday! I like the literary device of including letters and journals expressing different characters' points of view - very enlightening! I hope Ms. Peters keeps writing about the Emersons' descendants until she brings the clan into the 20th century!
(If you don't mind, I'm going to climb onto my soapbox now. I won't mind if you skip this part.Read more ›
Now I wish it had. I'm writing this review a year later because it has taken me that long to finish the dull Lord of the Silent. I'd pick it up and start again every few months, but was so disappointed that I inevitably tossed it back on the shelf. It's only the upcoming release of the next book in the series that finally spurred me on to read it (and also the fact that Anne Perry has produced a great Pitt mystery after a few lackluster entries).
So why didn't I like it? Part of it was a nothing plot. But some past books in the series had slightly boring mysteries, and yet I never minded before because of how much I love these characters.
No, the problem can be summed up in one word -- Nefret. I always wanted her and Ramses to get together for his sake, but until Amelia was shoved to the background to flesh out R&N's relationship more fully, I never appreciated how uninteresting she is as a character. With Nefret taking center stage, there is much melodrama, and less of the self-aware, tongue in cheek quality that have always elevated Ramses' and Amelia's narratives.
Plus, I'm not a fan of having the family separated. More solidarity.
A year has passed-Ramses and Nefret are now married (did we ever doubt it?) It is the midst of World War I but of course the entire Emerson entourage return to Egypt, complete with Amelia's grandniece Sennia by her perfidious (and dead) nephew, their adorably interfering butler, Gargery, and a surly cat, Horus.
It is harder to describe the plot, partly because it's divided (the elder Emersons are in Cairo and for the most part the younger Emersons are in Luxor) and partly because I don't want to give anything away. It is suffice to say that there is political intrigue and unrest in Egypt, and the British government needs Ramses to reassume his role as a spy in the conspiracy. Besides that, there is a highly organized criminal mastermind robbing and destroying the tombs, and someone that wants Ramses and the elder Emersons out of their way. Sounds familiar? It's a formula, but under Peters' pen it never fails to entertain. It is a somewhat frothier scenario, comfortable in its "another year, another dead body" theme, a change from the looming danger and the feverish race to the end of "He Shall Thunder the Sky." But we now have the dynamics of Ramses and Nefret's married life to contemplate, and even if schadenfreude makes me claim that it's too steeped in its sweet lovey-doveyness, it only fits along the lighter, lax upper-lip tone of the book. And if that is inadequate there is the long cast of secondary characters, from the Emersons' English domesticates to their fall/winter Egyptian ones; to the new reader they might be confusing sometimes, especially as the characters do allude to past incidents and people.Read more ›
I get the sense that she is exploring the working partnership of Ramses and Nefret, still, but I can already see that they will be distinct from Emerson and Peabody, yet just as wonderful.
That said, I felt there were points where the action had thin plot support (e.g. the attack in Cairo of the Radcliffe Emersons and the early adventures in Thebes of the Ramses Emersons) hence the four stars instead of the five. I've had this sense with a couple of the past books, but never so strongly as with this one. Even if the action seems unsupported it's so well written that you find yourself enjoying it anyway. I scared the cats, laughing so hard at Emerson berating and worrying over Peabody in the same breath.
It is a testament to Ms. Peters' mastery of her craft and understanding of her characters and setting that make those seeming thin places easy to overlook. This is a must read for fans. Newcomers with a taste for mystery and pastiche will definitely enjoy it - it is reasonably easy to follow the history of the characters without having read the previous books.
Most recent customer reviews
As a long-time fan of Elizabeth Peters, I am happy to see that with this book, she returned to the time when the focus of the Amelia Peabody series is on Amelia and Emerson, rather... Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by G. Greene
Not my favorite but so important for establing the personalities of the characters (as well as the marriage of Ramses and Nefret. And it includes a fantastic surprise!Published on May 4 2004 by K. Turner
As I have stated in my reviews of other entries in this series, this is one of my top 3 series to read. I have truly enjoyed the adventures of Amelia Peabody and family. Read morePublished on May 8 2003 by Louis M. Perdue
This book is great how can you not love it when it features the "master criminal".Published on Dec 6 2002 by Amazon Customer
Please no more Ramses and Nefret! I adore the Amelia Peabody series but please can't we focus on the stars of the series--Amelia and Emerson. I find Ramses and Nefret dead bores. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2002
I should have known this book would be bad when the Amazon.com reviewer remarked that "Innovation can be overrated." The author has completely run out of ideas. Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2002 by Silence Dogood
For years Ms. Peters has been thrilling us with tales of the Emersons, and this is a superb novel which continues the family tradition of 'another year, another body'. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2002