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The Serpent on the Crown    by Elizabeth Peters order for
Serpent on the Crown
by Elizabeth Peters
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Amelia Peabody is back in Egypt, with her entourage intact, to excavate for another season. Those of you familiar with Elizabeth Peter's Egyptian series will recognize these names: Ramses, Emerson, Nefret, David and Lia, Carla and David John as well as the many others who cluster around the Emersons as they work in their chosen field. If you're not already a reader of these entrancing mysteries entwined around ancient times, then get with the program. You're missing out.

It's 1921. Amelia and Emerson are accosted in their own home by a woman begging for their help. She fears for her life and asks them to return a golden statuette to the tomb from which it was stolen before its curse is responsible for her death. Too little, too late. Emerson ('Father of Curses' to the natives) hides the piece while attempting to find its rightful owner. Marvelously suspicious characters move in and out of the story's scenes with rapidity. The golden figure, of course, is stolen. Which of these aforementioned personages could have broken into the drawer where it was hidden and made off with it? Why are members of the cast being done away with? And by whom?

Peters has a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the famed Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. She has managed very successfully to combine two loves in this exciting series: Egyptian antiquities and mystery. If my count is right, this is the seventeenth Amelia Peabody novel. Amelia and her family have become old friends to her readers who are always glad to welcome the Peabodys back into their homes.

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