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Lord of the Silent    by Elizabeth Peters order for
Lord of the Silent
by Elizabeth Peters
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Amelia Peabody Emerson and her ever growing extended family are back in World War I Egypt, in this thirteenth of a long-running series (don't try to catch it in the middle, the earliest books are the best). After Ramses' run-in with German spies while playing the Great Game himself in the last episode, the family makes every effort to keep him away from the machinations of British Intelligence. At the same time, he and Nefret enjoy a long honeymoon in Amelia's beloved dahabeeyah.

It's not a quiet time, however. As always, intrigue, tomb robbers (and dead bodies) dog the footsteps of both senior and junior Emersons. And the Master Criminal, now revealed as Emerson's half brother and hence Ramses' uncle, is predictably back from the dead and in the midst of the action (you really have to feel sorry for him when both Amelia and Nefret meddle in his affairs). He's pursued by nosy journalist Margaret Minton, who just happens to be Amelia's double - proving that Peters can write her way around any difficulty of plot and still entertain and amuse her readers.

Ramses' adopted daughter Sennia gets onstage for a while accompanied by the butler Gargery. A new Egyptian character to the series, Jumana, becomes a protegée of Nefret's and attracts the interest of Cyrus Vance's shellshocked stepson Bertie, back from the front - expect to see more of them in subsequent episodes. Indeed, the contingent of interesting Egyptians (not least of which is Abdullah's ghost) has been increasing steadily through the last few books.

These novels are typically light, fun and easy to digest and Lord of the Silent is no exception. It will be of particular interest to series fans who finally get to see Sethos up close and personal - probably not for the last time either.

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