The Serpent on the Crown
It is 1922 in Egypt. Radcliff and Amelia Emerson and their family are ready for another year of excavation. Almost as soon as they arrive, trouble drops in their lap. Mrs. Petherick, aka the Countess von Ormond, a famous author of vampire novels, leaves a priceless solid gold statue with them. She claims it is cursed, and the curse killed her husband, a famos antiquities collector. She wants to Emersons to take the statue away and keep it. Emerson refuses to keep it forever, but will return it after "removing the curse". He is more interested in locating the origin of the statue.
Once again the Emerson family is in the middle of a mystery. At least there are no dead bodies with this one - yet. While investigating the possible tombs where the statue may have originally been, Emerson and Cyrus Van der Gelt both obtain excavating sites near the Valley of the Kings. Amelia is able to convince Emerson to allow Ramses spend part of the days following his own passion, translation of the ancient Egyptian scripts. New members join the groups to help in excavations and translation.
Then the bodies start appearing. One of their new assistants is almost drowned in the river. The stepson of the author threatens Emerson. The Countess disappears. A body is found in the hotel garden. Someone breaks into the Emerson's home. Someone tries to kill Ramses while he travels to Cairo. Before the end of the book even Amelia's life is at risk.
I love going back to the Emerson saga. I look forward to anticipation when the newest book is published. The Serpent on the Crown is not as strong as others in the Amelia Peabody series. These are not deep, classic fiction. Instead they are fun stories with an (usually) interesting mystery to solve. I judge how good these are by how well they hold my attention. It was too easy to put this one down while reading. The story is well enough done, but didn't suck me in. I have to chuckle, though. Ramses and Nephret have a 4-year-old son that will remind the reader of the young Ramses (it serves him right, as every parent knows).
Crocodile on the Sandbank
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