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Great Book with some Flaws
on May 2, 2000
With a combination of an interesting cast of characters and a variety of plot twists, Elizabeth Peters' makes "Seeing A Large Cat" one entertaining mystery book recommendable to anyone with free time. This being my first experience with the Amelia Peabody series, I found the book easy to follow without having to worry about what occurred in the previous books of the series. This is in part due to the author's excellent job in developing the main characters. Throughout the book, we are constantly reminded of the personality of each character through their actions. Take the son, Ramses, for example. The mother, Amelia Peabody, is constantly reminiscing about Ramses' troublesome childhood while at the same time, admiring the person that Ramses has now matured into. This gives the reader a general history of the character of Ramses as well as a brief understanding of why Ramses is the type of man that he is. This leads us to share in the mother's admiration for the son's maturation. The character Ramses is also defined through his actions that are often deeds of heroism and integrity. Another aspect that makes this book so enjoyable was its constant twists in the plot. There were so many that I was constantly left wondering what would happen next as well as what was fact and what was fiction. The author's ability to develop so many subplots and at the same time attempt to tie it into the main plot was outstanding. This added to the awesome suspense of this book. The setting was also a factor in the success of this book. The cities that were mentioned in this book, such as Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, are often associated with the tombs and the dead pharaohs of ancient Egypt. I believe that the author purposefully picked these sites as the setting to generate emotions of mystery and adventure in this book. From my point of view, Elizabeth Peters was successful in her endeavors.
However, there were some low points in this book as well. At specific parts of the book, we encounter three different subplots where it could be easy to confuse the progression of one plot with the other. For instance, every now and then I found myself having to stop reading and skimming back to reassure myself of what Amelia Peabody was looking for or whether she was looking for anything at all. Also, there were points in the book in which the plot was very slow in developing. As a result, this may have taken a little luster away from this book. Despite these facts, I thought the character development and the suspense created by the plot twists as well as its mysterious Egyptian setting, was a successful formula in making "Seeing a Large Cat" a great mystery novel.