The Serpent on the Crown
This is the seventeenth installment (that alone is an accomplishment) in Peters’ Amelia Peabody mystery series. This time, we’re taken to 1922 Egypt as the Emersons return to the Valley of the Kings. A well-known writer, Mrs. Petherick, appears one day at the door of Emerson and Amelia with a golden statuette of an unidentified Egyptian king. The provenance of the priceless relic is unknown; all the Emersons learn is that she wants nothing to do with it because she believes it is cursed and an untimely end comes to anyone who possesses it. Naturally, Mrs. Petherick becomes one of the casualties. Who – or what – is responsible for her demise? Amelia, Emerson, Ramses and the usual cast of characters are ready to find out.
What is wonderful about this particular installment is not merely Amelia’s aging ungracefully into doting grandmother-hood, but the sheer fun and madness – and devotion – of the characters that people this family and their friends. It often seems like a bit of a Keystone Cops vaudeville act but, of course, the mystery is always solved and the Emersons and their clan move on to the next adventure. A light, fun and enjoyable read.