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5.0 out of 5 stars Vicky and John (and Schmidt) go to Egypt
and have many interesting adventures there.
In this 1994 adventure, the 5th, and unfortunately latest, in the Vicky Bliss series Dr. Vicky Bliss is approached to foil a planned robbery of Egyptian artifacts from the Cario museum. She is asked to pose as an expert on a Nile cruise, a cruise geared for amateur Egyptolists. Vicky protested her unsuitablity for this...
Published on June 9 2004 by Jeanne Tassotto

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
Having read all of the Amelia Peabody books and having enjoyed all but the latest two immensely, I was looking forward to exploring Peters' Vicky Bliss books. She is touted as being an intelligent and capable female and the mysteries are said to be interesting and the love interest is said to be interesting as well. The mystery was good, John is wonderful, Vicky is... a...
Published on March 15 2001 by Shymsal


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and annoying, July 24 2001
By A Customer
Nothing in the descriptions or reviews I read here prepared me for the important fact that some crucial characters are left over from Peters' previous novels and that this is a sort of sequel. Although other adventures and enemies of the heroine Vicky Bliss are mentioned in passing in this story, having them turn up in this book as if the reader is supposed to be familiar with them is very annoying. One bad guy even pays back a debt incurred in a previous book without explanation to the reader. The story itself isn't too bad, but is rather lame in comparison with Dick Francis, P.D. James, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Michael Crichton, Robert B. Parker, etc. The supposedly cute bantering between Vicky and her boyfriend is forced and unpleasant and not as fetching as the author seems to intend. The heroine doesn't seem to have any particular talents to distinquish her (other than being tall) or make her interesting or clever. The country music (I listened to the audio edition) is jarring and incongruous in the Eqyptian setting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, March 15 2001
By 
Shymsal (Allentown, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
Having read all of the Amelia Peabody books and having enjoyed all but the latest two immensely, I was looking forward to exploring Peters' Vicky Bliss books. She is touted as being an intelligent and capable female and the mysteries are said to be interesting and the love interest is said to be interesting as well. The mystery was good, John is wonderful, Vicky is... a bit of a disappointment. She left me screaming with rage at how often she jumped to conclusions, was reactive rather than proactive (and then frequently reacted in the wrong fashion), and she frequently didn't bother to think things through to a logical conclusion. The bad guys were one step ahead of her at every turn. Too many times she would adamantly stand up for her rights and then trip over her own feet. Amelia would have been ashamed of her. Don't get me wrong. She's brave, she can be capable, she is witty, but she's a disgrace to logical women everywhere. Allowing things to get off track at the end and marching right into the lion's den (read American embassy) without realising the lion would be waiting with open lips to receive her was quite the outside of enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vicky and John (and Schmidt) go to Egypt, June 9 2004
By 
Jeanne Tassotto (Trapped in the Midwest) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Night Train to Memphis (Hardcover)
and have many interesting adventures there.
In this 1994 adventure, the 5th, and unfortunately latest, in the Vicky Bliss series Dr. Vicky Bliss is approached to foil a planned robbery of Egyptian artifacts from the Cario museum. She is asked to pose as an expert on a Nile cruise, a cruise geared for amateur Egyptolists. Vicky protested her unsuitablity for this assignment until she realized that the suspected thief was none other than her sometime lover, the mysterious "Sir John Smythe".
Naturally Vicky does join the group, and does find her lover there - along with his mother and new bride. The adventure then takes off at a typical Peters breakneck pace, filled with bodies, false identities, lies, wild chases through the desert night, fantastic escapes and....well if you've read any of Peter's work you get the picture and if you haven't you should, just don't start with this one.
For fans of Peter's work there are many wonderful little treats in this one, John claims a name from his past as his own, hints at a long family connection to Egypt (could his real last name be Emerson?), Schmidt is developed as more than a cardboard comic character, a husband and wife Egyptologist team of the past century is mentioned and a 'writer of popular Egyptian mystery adventures' makes a cameo apprearance.
This is a particularly fun read, only marred by the fact that it is the last Vicky Bliss - so far - I refuse to give up hope!
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5.0 out of 5 stars --Thrilling Story--, March 12 2003
By 
Judith Miller (Bluemont, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm so delighted that I discovered these Vicky Bliss mysteries. The characters are good and Elizabeth Peters always provides fascinating settings for her stories.
In NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS, Vicky Bliss is asked by a police agency to be a part of a tour group as they cruise down the Nile River seeing the beautiful monuments and ancient pyramids of Egypt. The police suspect that some professional thieves will be on board and hope that Vicky can assist in identifying them. The characters are diverse and of course, Sir John Smythe also shows up for the tour. Vicky's dismayed to find him using a different name and traveling with a sweet young woman. Just a few months before the tour, John and Vicky had resumed their love affair and now she's thoroughly confused by the way that he's acting. There are a lot of surprises in this story.
I found it amazing to see that out of 32 reviews on this book, 30 reviewers gave this story a Five Star Rating. That has got to be some kind of a record. It shows what an excellent writer that Elizabeth Peters is and how she always delivers great fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tale of the Egyptian Cowboy, Jan. 12 2002
While I'm a long term fan of Elizabeth Peters and her delightful stories of Amelia Peabody and her mad, archeological family, I have never thought to pick up one of the Vicky Bliss mysteries. Due, I think to cover blurbs that played up the romance and played down the mystery. Faced with a long trip I decided to try 'Night Train to Memphis' on audio tape. The tape failed at a crucial juncture, and I had to pick up a copy of the book in order to finish the novel, so this review actually covers both media.
Peters has a great affection for quirky, unforgettable lead women. They are always strong characters and frequently outdo their male counterparts. Vicky Bliss is no exception. She is an attractive woman, an American who has the intelligence and knowledge to hold a position at the National Museum at Munich working with Professor Anton Schimdt. The latter is one of those characters that combine inestimable knowledge with an almost irritating roly-poly cuteness. Vicky is considerably less saccharine and lacks his compulsive fascination with American country music, the lyrics of which haunt this novel.
Vicki is asked by German intelligence to take part in a fabulous cruise of the Nile River, posing as a lecturer in Egyptian history. They have information is that something unpleasant was due to happen on that cruise, but, do to the death of their agent, they have no idea what. Vicky's job was to help keep whatever it is from happening. When they refuse to accept her lack of knowledge of ancient Egypt as an excuse, Vicki gives in. A chance to escape Schmidt for a bit if nothing else.
To her chagrin, she finds that one of the passengers on the cruise is her lover, noted jewel thief John Smythe. She hadn't heard from him is six weeks, but she didn't expect him to turn up with a new wife, Mary, as well as Mary's mother. Also on board is a cast of characters, from Larry Blenkiron, the fabulously wealthy aficionado of Egyptian artifacts and lore, to Luisa Ferncliffe, a romance novel maven. Oh, lest I forget, Professor Schmidt shows up at the last moment.
What follows is comedy and seeming chaos. Vicky finds herself the object of falling flowerpots, missing attendants, and dead archeologists. While the pattern points to a master thief preparing to abscond with a fortune in Egyptian museum pieces almost anyone could fill the part or be working in aid of the plot. Vicky shows a knack for disastrous heroics that inevitably get herself and her two timing jewel thief into deadly fixes. By the time they have identified the guilty party most of Egypt is chasing them down the Nile.
Peter's really outdoes herself, coming up with one plot gimmick after another, each character more astounding than the next. Often, in a Peter's novel, we are lulled into thinking that chaos is the rule, but 'Night Train to Memphis' shows a sure hand at the helm. While I survived this being the first Vicky Bliss novel I would suggest that the reader consider reading something earlier in the series, a significant number of characters actually received their development in earlier novels, and that knowledge would greatly increase ones enjoyment.
A word on the audio tapes. Kathleen Turner does a wonderful job being the voice of Vicky Bliss, managing to bring out many nuances that one might miss in reading. While she does have a good ear for speech patterns and accents she overplays this slightly too much. I did not care at all for her Professor Schmidt, who comes over as an overly comic Dutch uncle. And John Smythe's voice is a bit more upper class than need be. On the other hand, few actresses or actors have the range of voice necessary to do justice to such a diverse set of characters. That Turner can come as close as she did is admirable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is Peters at her Best!!!, Feb. 27 2001
By 
First of all: If this is your first Vicky Bliss stop reading this review right now. Go back and read the others in the series starting with "Street of Five Moons" (Borrower of the Night was actually first but it isn't nearly as good as the others. Maybe I think think this because I am in love with John though....) Follow "Street of Five Moons" with "Sillouette in Scarlet" and "Trojan Gold". After those, this book will be much more fun to read. After I read Trojan Gold I thought that Ms. Peter's books just couldn't get any better. "Night Train to Memphis" is absolutely amazing. I started it and couldn't put it down until I knew what happened. The characters all seemed like old friends and even after I read it again and again I would laugh out loud at the witty remarks made by John and Vicky. If the rest of the Bliss fans are suffering as much as I am from the authors failure to produce anymore Vicky Bliss mysteries ( I hope it isn't permanent) I thoroughly recommend "The Camelot Caper". I read it before "Night Train to Memphis" and didn't recognize it until it was pointed out to me, but this is John's first scam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasure Cruise, Nov. 12 2000
By 
Amanda (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
John and Vicky are back! This is the fourth book in the wonderful Vicky Bliss series by Elizabeth Peters. If you haven't read any of the novels, the book you should be purchasing is the Street of the Five Moons. That said, Vicky receives an assignment in coordination with the Munich Police Force to travel to Egypt under the guise of a tour guide on a small luxury cruise. One of the best men in literature, the enigmatic John Smythe, also appears on the scene. The plot is superbly exexcuted, the novel is set in the Peters' area of expertise(Egypt/Egyptology), and the story flies. Peters' characters make the novel: Vicky as our sassy and intelligent heroine, John as the mysterious and witty art thief, Schmidt-the intelligent if highly eccentrict museumcurator for whom Vicky works, and villains galore. New readers really must start at the beginning. If you've read the previous Vicky Bliss novels, after finishing Night Train to Memphis, I highly reccommend you take out Camelot Caper from your local library. John DID come before Vicky, and this shows him as Peters began to form him, and explains that "first scam" John loves to makes allusions to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book of Elizabeth Peters!, Dec 29 1999
By 
Craig (Park Ridge, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This book is an amazing mystery. I am a hopelesss romantic, which makes it all the better. But for those of you aren't that into romance, don't worry. It's not only appealing to those of us who feed of romance. It also has a VERY intricate plot that must have used a very tight plot outline. Vicky is a delightful heroine: clever, beautiful, stubborn and perfect for John. John is the romantic crook who is- was- in love with Vicky. Vicky is in love with John and he was supposed to contact her every so often. Vicky is worried or should I say panicked about John; he hasn't contacted her in 6 weeks. Vicky is then asked to go on an Egyptian cruise to discover the criminals involved in a plot that I will not go into. When Vicky sees John on board, she knows instantly who the crooks must be. To her horror, she finds out that John is married to a cute bubbly young woman named Mary. When Vicky's nosy boss, Schmidt joins the cruise, Vicky is very annoyed. Schmidt though, may be more helpful than everyone thinks. I know that I am writing a review, not a summary, so I will go back to that. Schmidt is a lovable old man, a classic character. Vicky, on the other hand, beautiful as she is, actually makes you feel sorry for her for being beautiful. John would be a wonderful character, if it had been told from someone else's point of view. But Vicky is unforgivably furious with him throughout most of the book. Other characters may be much be more than they seem- Feisal, the handsome guide, Sweet and Bright, who Vicky discovers are her security, the unsociable German urologist. I am not in any way saying that these characters are necessarily special, for indeed some of them are not and others that are not mentioned definitely are very evil or very good. You would never guess who they are until Elizabeth Peters reveals it- Vicky's impressions are so fixed. Anyhow, all I'm saying is if you don't read this thriller, you're missing out on one of the greatest books of all time. Ages 13+ up
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book!, Sept. 27 1997
Having long been a fan of Elizabeth Peters, I was ecstatic when "Night Train to Memphis", the fifth book in her Vicky Bliss series came out.
A continuation of the adventures of Doctor Vicky Bliss, a museum worker in Munich, this book follows her on a cruise down the Nile, takes her all over the Egyptian countryside, and finally ends where it started --- in Vicky's German apartment. Along the way, several recurring characters show up, including old friends and villains, the irrepressible Schmidt, and of course, Sir John Smythe; the quintessential gentleman thief and Vicky's sometimes lover. This time however, there is a small complication affecting their relationship, which leads to the miscommunication, misinterpreted signals, and missed chances that characterize Peter's books ---- and make them some of the most enjoyable mysteries on the market. The insults are quick, the Egyptology casual and comprehensive, and country music references abound.
This is a wonderful book, featuring yet another strong, smart, feminist heroine, who never crosses the line from aggressive to unlikable. While "Night Train to Memphis" can definitely stand alone, I would also reccomend the first couple of books about Vicky, "Borrower of the Night", "The Street of Five Moons", "Sillhouette in Scarlet", and "Trogan Gold".
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5.0 out of 5 stars And you have to love John Smythe!!!, Aug. 1 1998
By A Customer
Of all of the books in the Vicky Bliss series, I would have to say that "Night Train to Memphis" is my favorite. Not only do we learn more about Vicky and John's true feelings about one another (finally!!!), but most of the story is set in Egypt! Elizabeth Peters is a master at winding historical fact into her novels, and "Night Train" is certainly no exception. Her knowledge of Egyptology is displayed throughout the novel--but reading it feels nothing like a history lesson! It's more like a vacation! In fact, I could not put it down until I was sure Vicky, John, and Schmidt made it through their adventure unharmed (or do they...)! Oh, and for serious fans of Ms. Peters...have you noticed yet that John Smythe and his mother appeared in another book far before they showed up in the Vicky Bliss series? Check out "The Camelot Caper"... :)
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