The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters

The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: #17 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #18 in story chronology order
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2005 Recorded Books (Book originally published 2005)
Length: 12 hours, 8 minutes
Read by: Barbara Rosenblat
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A “cursed” statue of unknown origin and a murder lead Amelia Peabody and her family on a search that may lead them to both danger and an important archaeological find.

Why I Read It:
This has been one of my favorite series and I’ve enjoyed binge listening to the final few books in the series

The Book:
From the publisher:

A priceless relic has been delivered to the Emerson home overlooking the Nile. But more than history surrounds this golden likeness of a forgotten king, for it is said early death will befall anyone who possesses it.

The woman who implores the renowned family of archaeologists and adventurers to accept the cursed statue insists the ill-gotten treasure has already killed her husband. Further, she warns, unless it is returned to the tomb from which it was stolen, more will surely die. With the world finally at peace—and with Egypt’s ancient mysteries opened to them once more—Amelia Peabody and her loved ones are plunged into a storm of secrets, treachery, and murder by a widow’s strange story and even stranger request. Each step toward the truth reveals a new peril, suggesting this curse is no mere superstition. And the next victim of the small golden king could be any member of the close-knit clan—perhaps even Amelia herself.

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 here.

This is the 18th and penultimate book in the Amelia Peabody series. After listening to Barbara Rosenfelt expertly perform the audio editions of these books over several years I’m actually a bit sad to have started the final book immediately after finishing this one.

I thoroughly enjoy the mix of historical fiction interspersed with real people (Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon), and plenty of humor. Barbara Rosenblat’s narration really brings the stories to life for me.

As usual for books from this series I’m going to share a few quotes that made me giggle along the way.

“Gargery!” I exclaimed. “Why did you entrust such a delicate task to him? The old fool will go blundering around –“

“Sometimes blundering accomplishes more than tact” retorted Emerson, who was certainly in a position to know.

As I am sure I need not tell the Reader, these arrangements were my idea and Emerson had not given in easily. I did not clam the credit since I had learned that in marriage tact is not only good manners but good strategy.

Emerson was on the veranda listening (a word which is seldom applicable to Emerson) to the conversation between Ramses and Mr. Katchenovsky.

Emerson bared his large white teeth. “Off you go. And don’t try
to bribe Hassan, he is incorruptible.” Hassan glanced at his father, Daoud, who stood with arms folded. “He is,” said Daoud. “Whatever it means.”

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration

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