Series: #20 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #14 in story chronology order
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: 2017
Length: 13 hours, 18 minutes
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat
From the publisher:
Egypt, 1912. Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ best-selling, beloved mystery series.
Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo when a man with a knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word – “murder” – before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried is a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: “Judas”. Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye. . . .
I have listened to and enjoyed all the Amelia Peabody books. Barbara Rosenblat’s narration has added to the entertainment. This will remain an audio book series that I will recommend. When Barbara Mertz (Elizabeth Peters) passed away I resigned myself to the end of the series. The good thing was that she had written the final book in the story chronology and her recent books went back and fit in the timeline between previous books. This meant that the series was left without an ending.
The Painted Queen was an unfinished manuscript that the author left when she died. Her estate asked Mertz’s friend Joan Hess to complete the book.
I knew going in that this wasn’t going to be classic Amelia Peabody but I couldn’t resist the chance for one last adventure with Amelia and her family. The book was enjoyable but it was clearly not all the original author’s work. It’s an adequate addition to the series but not a necessary one.
2.5/5 for the book
4/5 for the narration