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He Shall Thunder in the Sky    by Elizabeth Peters order for
He Shall Thunder in the Sky
by Elizabeth Peters
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

If I have counted correctly, this is the 12th historical mystery featuring the irrepressible Amelia Peabody and her growing extended family. Amelia is an early feminist, first met in Crocodile on the Sandbank. Nothing daunts her and she is always ready to wade in to archaeological mysteries with her umbrella on guard and belt accessories jangling.

Along the way Amelia has married the acerbic archaeologist Emerson, raised their precocious son Ramses, adopted an impetuous daughter Nefret, and enjoyed regular clashes with the Master Criminal Sethos (who steals kisses as well as ancient treasures). He Shall Thunder In The Sky begins with Ramses and Nefret recovering from the tragic misunderstandings that separated them in The Falcon at the Portal. World War I has begun, Cairo is simmering with spies and the local English ladies are busy handing white feathers to Ramses, who declares his pacifist views at every opportunity.

This story strays a little from archaeology into the world of Kipling's Great Game, played here between German, Turkish, Egyptian and British nationals. Of course Amelia gets in on the act as well, to the dismay of the British authorities. And where Amelia leads, you can be sure that Sethos is lurking somewhere about the ruins (he declares his involvement by leaving a statue in Emerson's excavation). The evil Percy is also stirring the pot and Nefret causes anxiety by regular meetings with him.

As always Peters gives her fans an enjoyable read, but this tale is one that must not be missed by anyone who likes Amelia. It explains Sethos' origins, deals with Percy and finally gets Ramses and Nefret together. It could be a fitting ending to the series, but I suspect that we have not really seen the end of Sethos (or at least of his offspring) and now there is also Ramses' adopted daughter Sennia to carry on the Emerson archaeological tradition ... which is fine by me as I'm always ready for more of Amelia and company.

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