If you loved ‘The Mummy’ films (circa 1999) with Rachel Weisz, then you’ll love the Amelia Peabody series. Twenty books where Egyptology crosses paths with murder mystery. A family saga that blends Indiana Jones with a strong, feisty heroine.
I’ve re-read these books many times over the years, and love them more every time I read them. From Emerson and Amelia – our stalwarth MC’s – to their Reis, Abdullah and his clan; to their charming and precocious son, Ramses; there are a whole host of characters to capture your heart. And, of course, you can’t ignore sweet David; the cat Bastet; the charming American, Cyrus Vandergelt; or the ever enigmatic Master Criminal, Sethos!
I fell in love with book 1 when I was a teenager (around 12yo or so) and my parents were amazing enough to understand how important it was that my two loves – reading and archaeology – had clashed in this series. They took me to Borders Books (as it was back then) and bought me every book in the series, so that I wouldn’t miss out. I immediately fell in love with Amelia and Emerson, then with Ramses. I never did take to Nefret all that much, but David and Lia were adorable, and I was constantly fascinated by Sethos, the master criminal who kept interrupting the archaeological year. I’ve never looked back. I still call it one of my all time favourite series (and book one, my all time favourite novel) of my life.
Book 1: Crocodile on the Sandbank
Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters’ most brilliant and best-loved creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her shocking men’s pants and no-nonsense attitude!
In this first adventure, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her travels, she rescues a gentlewoman in distress – Evelyn Barton-Forbes – and the two become friends. The two companions continue to Egypt where they face mysteries,
mummies and the redoubtable Radcliffe Emerson, an outspoken archaeologist, who doesn’t need women to help him solve mysteries — at least that’s what he thinks!
Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Frederick, western Maryland until her death.
The best of all the Amelia Peabody collection. Crime, Egypt, tombs, sickness, Mummy’s, murder, intrigue, love…what more could anyone ask for in a book?
I’ve read the entire Amelia Peabody series, with the exception of last year’s Book 19, and I will always believe that THIS book is the BEST of the series. Not because the series gets worse, but because I fell in love with Radcliffe Emerson in this story. And it made me want to be Amelia Peabody.
I want to be Amelia, in Amarna, with Radcliffe. I want to be on my knees on a plank of wood, lying across that beautiful ancient pavement, protecting it with my bloody fingers. That poor pavement!
I love Evelyn and her relationship with Amelia, I love how insecure and yet strong she can be, how she interacts with Walter and Radcliffe. Evelyn is a tamer version Amelia, for me, and she will always get away with things that no-one else can get away with. I so love meeting new characters. Especially when they’re of this caliber.