Name: The Curse of the Pharaohs
Author: Elizabeth Peters
Genre: Suspense, Historical, Crime, Romance
Available at and/or More Information:
The Curse of the Pharaohs is the sequel to Crocodile on the Sandbank and continues the story of Mr. Radcliffe Emerson, the world’s leading Egyptologist, and his pragmatic wife, Amelia Peabody Emerson. There’s also a new addition to the Emerson family, though he’s unfortunately too young to be brought along for this adventure.
****If you haven’t already read ‘Crocodile on the Sandbank’, then prepare yourself for major spoilers ahead!****
The Emersons have “settled” into domestic life back in England, including the birth of their son, who they affectionately call ‘Ramses’. Their burning desire to return to Egypt increases in intensity everyday, to the point that Emerson comes home from work every evening in a terrible mood. Fortunately, an unexpected guest arrives out of the blue and demands their immediate attention:
The lady’s urgency was even greater than I had supposed. Wilkins had barely time to step back out of the way before she entered; she was advancing toward us when he made the belated announcement: “Lady Baskerville.”
Not to be confused with the Sherlock Holmes classic, Lady Baskerville is the wife of a distant branch of the family. Her late husband’s excavations in Egypt were abruptly brought to an end with his death, but Lady Baskerville believes he would’ve wanted Emerson to continue his work. Not to be separated from his own family, Emerson refuses, catching both women by surprise.
“Write!” Emerson spun around to face me, his blue eyes blazing, his brow deeply furrowed. An unwitting observer might have thought he was enraged. “What are you talking about? You know I won’t go without you.”
The Emersons eventually agree to Lady Baskerville’s request and immediately travel to the tomb. But upon their arrival, they realize that not everything is as it seems…
An attempted attack with a knife, a mysterious figure in white that terrifies the superstitious locals to the point of refusing to work, suspicious and sudden deaths, guests with strange backgrounds….Fate has decided that poor Emerson won’t be working in any semblance of peace, apparently.
Any follower of this series will know that Amelia Peabody will rise to the task and investigate, but will she find the answer in time to save her husband from an early grave?
Have you ever seen a couple that’s so crazily in love that you’re both jealous and disgusted? This is a key component of the book–the Emersons can’t be separated, even by seemingly supernatural means. It’s amusing to ‘watch’ as Emerson switches from affectionate husband to dutiful worker in the blink of an eye, leaving his wife rolling her eyes while swatting away the dust he leaves in his wake.
Lady Baskerville’s attitude was rage-inducing. She’s a typical high-society lady, with views of the lower class that won’t be changed anytime soon. She uses her apparent frailness to her advantage and soon as the men wrapped around her finger. Emerson is even caught a time or two. Only Amelia Peabody has the sense to see her for who she truly is.
Actually, many of the characters are aggravating. They let their emotions get the best of them and Amelia Peabody follows behind them, using her unshakable common sense to fix the situation.
In short, I love it and I seriously recommend it.