The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters
Genre: Historical Mystery/Suspense
Series: #14 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #16 in story chronology order
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2002
Length: 17 hours, 49 minutes
Read by: Barbara Rosenblat
The Short Version:
In 1917 Egypt Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family deal with tomb robbers and a secret mission for the British Government.
Why I Read It:
This is one of my favorite series and I’m binge listening even though I know I’m going to be sad when I finish the last book.
From the publisher
A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon, a more disturbing outrage concerns the archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.
Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Amelia’s son Ramses must journey to this ancient, fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile, Ramses’s wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own.
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 here.
I always enjoy an adventure with Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family. I’m down to the last few books in the series and I’m binge listening to them back to back and having a wonderful time.
This one is less mystery and more adventure and suspense which works just fine. My only quibble with this particular book in the series is that the two main storylines are really not interconnected at all. The story of the newly found tomb and the tomb robbers is partially wrapped up and abruptly dropped while the Emersons as a family traipse off to Gaza tagging along with the spy mission of Ramses. Only after this interlude is completed does the story return to the search for the new tomb that is the source of the artifacts that started the initial story back in Cairo. It feels like Peters had the two stories in the works and neither was enough for a book so they were blended (rather awkwardly in my opinion) into this one book.
Despite that it was still just a whole lot of fun. Plenty of adventure and danger and good (and bad on the part of Amelia’s husband) disguises.
With her trusty parasol at hand Amelia is always ready for whatever surprise comes along.
These are a few quotes that made me giggle:
Occasionally Amelia sounds like me:
“Emerson,” I said, choosing my words with care, “it is a sheer drop from the cleft down to the base of the cliff. If you are bent on breaking your arm or your leg or all three, find a place closer to home so we won’t have to carry you such a distance.”
I need a good stout parasol.
Nefret had gone at once to Emerson and was examining his arm. She let out a choked laugh. “She’s used the ribs and shaft of the parasol for a splint!”
Once again proving, if proof were needed, the all-round usefulness of a good stout parasol,” said his mother.
Amelia’s perception of men makes me laugh:
Selim managed to mend the tire, despite Emerson’s attempts at advice and assistance.
She’s just so practical.
“We need a gag, Peabody. Tear up some extraneous garment or other.”
“I do not possess any extraneous garments, Emerson. Hit him over the head
Barbara Rosenblat does such a masterful job of voicing a wide variety of characters in this series. Her talent truly stood out for me in a scene at a party where in quick succession and moving back and forth she deftly handles multiple accents
and characters who are British, Egyptian and Americans (from multiple regions) and I never lost track of who was speaking.
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.
Rating 4.5/5 for the book
Rating 4.5/5 for the narration
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.