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The Ape Who Guards the Balance [Abridged] [Audio Cassette]

Elizabeth Peters , Samantha Eggar
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Amazon

Named 1998 Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America, Elizabeth Peters is also a doctor of Egyptology whose mysteries have submerged readers in the vivid turn-of-the-century world of Amelia Peabody. In The Ape Who Guards the Balance Peters captures the immediacy of uncovering a new Egyptian tomb within the context of a tightly plotted murder investigation involving the entire Emerson Peabody clan. The characters, including Amelia's husband, Radcliffe Emerson, and her gifted son, Ramses, are meticulously drawn. As in previous novels the dialogue is reminiscent of The Thin Man. When a man calls out to passing suffragettes, "You ought to be 'ome washin' your 'usband's trousers!" Ramses shoots back, "I assure you, sir, the lady's trousers are not in such sore need of laundering as your own." Peters also toys with differing narrative perspectives, and Ramses emerges as a possible successor to his mother's legacy of crime solving.

The Ape Who Guards the Balance begins in 1907 in England where Amelia is attending a suffragettes' rally outside the home of Mr. Geoffrey Romer of the House of Commons. It seems Romer is one of the few remaining private collectors of Egyptian antiquities, and a series of bizarre events at the protest soon embroil Amelia in grave personal danger. Suspecting that the Master Criminal, Sethos, is behind their problems, the Emerson Peabodys hasten to Egypt to continue their studies in the Valley of Kings where they soon acquire a papyrus of the Book of the Dead. As with past seasons, however, their archaeological expedition is interrupted. The murdered body of a woman is found in the Nile. Ramses, Radcliffe, and Amelia all have their theories as to the origin of the crime, but their own lives might soon be at stake if the cult of Thoth and their ancient book is, indeed, involved.

Other Peabody mysteries include Seeing a Large Cat, The Hippopotamus Pool, The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog, The Deeds of the Disturber, Lion in the Valley, The Curse of the Pharaohs, and Crocodile on the Sandbank. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

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
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Tenth in this long-running, long-winded series (Seeing a Large Cat, 1997, etc.) finds Egyptologists Professor and Amelia Emerson, their clever, stoic son Ramses, adopted daughter Nefret, and Ramses friend David, lovingly accepted as a member of the family, preparing to return to Egypt after a stay in London marred by a crude attempt to kidnap Ameliaengineered, in Ramses view, by their old, elusive enemy Sethos. The Professors officially assigned task this 1906 season is to clean out some previously opened, not very important tombs, while rival Theodore Davis has been given the exploration of what is probably a royal burial site. Soon after the family returns to Luxor, Ramses and Davis, in native disguise, go on the prowl for news of Sethos, purchasing along the way a fine papyrus scroll from one Yassuf Mahmud, then getting attacked in the process and rescued by prostitute Layla. The discovery, days later, of Mahmuds mutilated body floating in the Nile is just the beginning of a series of grotesque happeningsall sandwiched between dinner parties and a visit from Emersons brother Walter, with wife Evelyn and their daughter Lia, whos madly in love with David, as Ramses is with Nefret (in tight-lipped silence, of course). The body count rises and so does Emersons fury at Daviss careless handling of his very important find. There are further attacks on Amelia and fleeting appearances by Sethos. By the time the major source of evil is uncovered, it's just one more unconvincing twist in the tangled plot. The authors mixture much as before: a fun trip for readers with an interest in Egyptology; for others, a confusing, fussily written, long, long trek. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"* 'I can't wait for the next Peabody story... I really do think [Elizabeth Peters'] books are great entertainment.' Angela Rippon * 'A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key.' Washington Post Book World * 'Think Miss Marple with early feminist gloss crossed with Indiana Jones... accomplished entertainment.' Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

After eluding a kidnapper in London, an unperturbed Amelia Peabody accompanies her unconventional family to Cairo once more—only to be ensnared almost immediately in a web of stolen treasures and bloodthirsty cults. Villainy is running rampant in Egypt this 1907 archaeological season, but the members of the intrepid Peabody-Emerson clan have already proven themselves to be formidable adversaries. However, when a mint-condition papyrus of the Book of the Dead falls into their hands, and the corpse of an unscrupulous dealer in stolen antiquities is found floating in the Nile, the Emersons' prospects for surviving this excavation season unscathed appear increasingly dim.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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