Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Amelia Peabody Mysteries

The Amelia Peabody Mysteries, by Elizabeth Peters, is my very favorite book series of all time. I know that is quite a statement to make, particularly when there are such rivals out there like Harry Potter, but I just love them. I, along with the majority of my family, have been reading them and following the series and the author for years. I probably started reading them when I was fourteen or so and at that point there were probably eight books in the series and Ms. Peters was very good for a while at getting a new book out every Spring adding up to a total of eighteen books in the series. Until today. It has been four years and I had been very afraid that the eighteenth book would be the last as Ms. Peters isn't exactly a spring chicken these days, she has other series that she is working on as well, and the last one wasn't any kind of cliff-hanger and very well could have been left as the conclusion.

If you aren't familiar with the series, they are about British Archaeologists working in Egypt around the turn of the century. Might sound boring and historical described like that, but every Season they go out they get caught up in some exciting mystery. These books have a little of everything in them. They are murder and intrigue, romance and adventure, lovingly sculpted characters and they are hilarious to boot. Also, Ms. Peters has a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, so with all of the historical information about the locations at the time and the dates of certain discoveries, she knows what she is talking about. I was a History major, so maybe that part of it appeals to me particularly, but they really are wonderful all around.

I guess there is one more thing that I should sheepishly mention... they are the product of my biggest book crush ever. And I read a lot of books. Ramses is the name and it has really almost become a joke in my family now, "I wish you would find your Ramses"... "Have you met Ramses yet?"... What's taking Ramses so long?"... "Ramses has ruined you for real men..." Alright, so maybe nobody in my family has actually said that last one to me, but I know they are thinking it. (And it's only somewhat true- Westley from The Princess Bride is partly to blame ;) As Ramses is described in the book at one point:

He pretends to despise the gentleman's code of his class, but he is everything they claim to be and seldom are- gentle and strong and brave and honorable.

I'm not much of a swooner, but if anyone could get me to it's Ramses.

The new book, Amelia Peabody Mystery No. Nineteen, is called- A River in the Sky. It is a prequel- not of the whole series, but it comes sort of in the middle, and it is classic Amelia and I smiled through every moment of it. In my thinking, nineteen is an awfully awkward number and she might as well round out the series into a nice even twenty at this point, right? Here's hoping.


dave + kirst said...

I'm sooo with you Hayls! LOVE Ramses... sigh... I mean I love Dave! Sheesh ;) I'm excited to have that book to look forward to reading - I. Love. Good. Books!

I have your Fablehaven I need to give you back tonight btw.

Rachelle Arlene Doxey said...

Yay for Peabody! I love these books. Thank you so much for the introduction to them! :)

Jana said...

ooh! I love a good book recommendation! Thanks :)

Scooter and Jessica Plowman said...

I love LOVE L.O.V.E the Peabody books! I might name one of my girls Amelia after the main character. Seriously. I was listening to one of the audio books today. The writing is great. The stories are great. The humor is great. Thanks for introducing them to me Hayls! What would I be doing these past few years without them?

SisterPresidentMann said...

It's a tribute to the Amelia books that they were recommended to me by a total stranger at the Boise library when I was in the "P" section looking for Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters. The woman turned to me and asked if I had ever read Elizabeth Peters, and from then on I was hooked - as are many other readers from that single recommendation being passed on! (I wish missionary work were that easy)Great review: keep recommending her!

Elder and Sister Mickelsen said...

Hayley, thanks for the post - your mom has me hooked on Amelia Peabody Emerson! Sister Mickelsen in Durban Mission