Having solved four murder mysteries in Egypt,
it was due time for Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson to lend some crime-fighting
support to their own native London. Someone is killing employees of the British Museum,
and although Emerson has often felt similarly tempted, he is not to blame. Who then could
One of the pleasures of the book, as with all in this delightful
series, is the quality of the dialogue. For example:
"It was quite
dramatic, my dear [said Emerson]. Picture, if you will, Budge behind his desk, spouting
smug nonsense as he always does. Your humble servant, walking briskly up and down the
"Spouting criticism," I suggested.
"Carrying on a
civil conversation," Emerson corrected.
Enter a servant carrying a
packet. Budge slits the wrappings. The color drains from his face...his voice fades
into silence...he stares in horror at...at...
"A severed human ear...?" I
suggested, entering into the spirit of the thing. "A mummified
"Member...?" Emerson repeated in surprise. "What particular
organ of the human body did you have...?"
"A hand or a foot, what
"Oh. Well, it wasn't anything so grisly."
why of the mystery is more unpredictable than the who. How the Emersons solve the mystery
and then escape harm is what keeps you reading. That and the sheer joy of following what
Ms. Peabody and her family will say or do next...truly an unorthodox but wonderful
set of characters.