Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: #18 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #19 in story chronology order
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2006 Harper Audio
Length: 13 hours, 44 minutes
Read by: Barbara Rosenblat
The Short Version:
The discovery of King Tut’s tomb and potential danger to the members of her family keep Amelia Peabody Emerson busy.
Why I Read It:
This has been one of my favorite series in audio format and I’m sorry to reach the end of it.
From the publisher:
Banned forever from the eastern end of the Valley of the Kings, eminent Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson’s desperate attempt to regain digging rights backfires—and his dream of unearthing the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon is dashed. Now Emerson, his archaeologist wife, Amelia Peabody, and their family must watch from the sidelines as Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter “discover” the greatest Egyptian treasure of all time.
But the Emersons’ own less impressive excavations are interrupted when father and son Ramses are lured into a trap by a strange group of villains ominously demanding answers to a question neither man comprehends. And it will fall to the ever-intrepid Amelia to protect her endangered family—and perhaps her nemesis as well—from a devastating truth hidden uncomfortably close to home . . . and from a nefarious plot that threatens the peace of the entire region.
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.
Elizabeth Peters planned all along to have this series end with the discovery of the tomb of Tutenkhamon by Howard Carter working on behalf of Lord Carnarvon. Since her characters could not actually ‘discover’ the tomb without significantly altering history she manages to have them close to the events surrounding the discovery and the beginnings of the process of clearing the tomb.
As with the rest of the series it’s a mix of mystery, historical fiction, humor and real people and events. The series spans nearly 40 years of both real and fictional history. Amelia and her family and circle of friends have grown throughout the series and the multiple generations of family and friends have become well known friends to me. I will miss them.
As usual for books from this series I’m going to share a few quotes that made me giggle along the way.
“How nice,” I said, glancing at Emerson’s scowling countenance. “I will send a little note inviting them to tea this afternoon.”
“You do so against my wishes,” said Emerson, sticking out his chin.
“Yes, yes, my dear, I understand. Run along now and look for tombs.”
A cloud of pale dust rose heavenward. Ramses broke into a run. “Stay back,” he shouted.
Naturally I proceeded a tthe quickest pace I could manage.
“Not to mention the absence of motive for a murderous attack”, I said. “At least I can’t think of one.”
“Do I detect a certain note of regret?” Ramses asked gravely.
It was just one of his little jokes. “I would prefer a nice simple murder to our present state of confusion”, I replied, only half in jest.
“Sorry about this, Amelia,” said Cyrus, trying to restrain his guest. “I couldn’t stop him. He’s kind of upset.”
“So I see. Sit down and be quiet, Sir William!”
I did not shout; I employed the tone of voice I have learned to use on recalcitrant persons. Sir William of course did as I ordered. He was seriously out of breath anyhow.
I highly recommend the audio editions of this series and I also recommend listening to then in the order of the story as listed in the link above.
Rating 4/5 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.