A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: #19 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #12 in story chronology order
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2010 Recorded Books (Book originally published 2010)
Length: 11 hours, 7 minutes
Read by: Barbara Rosenblat
Source: Library

The Short Version:
The Peabody-Emerson family and friends are persuaded to assist with an expedition to Palestine to search for the Ark of the Covenant but find themselves in new kinds of trouble.

Why I Read It:
This is one of my favorite series to read via audiobook and it’s one I always look forward to returning to.

The Book:
From the publisher:

August 1910. Banned from the Valley of the Kings, Amelia Peabody and husband Emerson are persuaded to follow would-be archaeologist Major George Morley on an expedition to Palestine. Somewhere in this province of the corrupt, crumbling Ottoman Empire—the Holy Land of three religions—Morley is determined to unearth the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

At the request of British Intelligence, Emerson will be keeping an eye on the seemingly inept Morley, believed to be an agent of the Kaiser sent to stir up trouble in this politically volatile land. Amelia hopes to prevent a catastrophically unprofessional excavation from destroying priceless historical finds and sparking an armed protest by infuriated Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Meanwhile, Amelia’s headstrong son, Ramses, working on a dig at Samaria, encounters an unusual party of travelers and makes a startling discovery—information that he must pass along to his parents in Jerusalem . . . if he can get there alive.

My Thoughts:
Note on series order: I read this one out of publication order because I’m reading the series in order of the story. You can find the chronology at this link.

Elizabeth Peters had always intended that the timeline of this series would end with the 1922-1923 excavation season in which King Tut’s tomb was discovered. She has written additional books that fill in some of the gaps where the series originally skipped over several years. I have chosen to listen to the books in the chronological order of the storylines as best as I can.

It was interesting to have the series shift location away from Egypt where most of the action has taken place previously. For much of the book the action is taking place in two separate locations. The Emersons’ son Ramses is off on his own for significant portions of the story. His parts of the story are once again told interspersed with Amelia’s journal as excerpts from “Manuscript H”.
As usual there were plenty of moments when Amelia’s observations and comments made ma giggle.

In fact I had heard all I needed to hear. Men like to create unnecessary organizations and give them impressive or mysterious names; this usually ends in increase confusion and should therefore be ignored.

The men had scattered in all directions, which men are inclined to do when women leave them to their own devices for any length of time. I believe that they are easily bored.

I never lie unless it is absolutely necessary, so I did not reply.

Barbara Rosenblat delivers these gems perfectly. Just seriously enough to indicate that Amelia firmly believes what she says but at the same time with just enough of a wink in her voice to let the listener know that she’s giggling inside too.

This continues to be one of my favorite series to experience via audio but you really need to start at the beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank.

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.