A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon an even more disturbing outrage concerns the intrepid clan of archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.
Yet this is nothing compared with the lethal fate that threatens Ramses. Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Ramses must journey to this ancient, fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile, Ramses's wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own....
Once again the incomparable and bestselling carries us to a breathtaking realm of ancient wonders and crumbling splendor -- from the hectic bustle of the Cairo markets to remote, sand-swept corners of the Egyptian desert where the gods of antiquity sleep. Returning visitors to the world of Amelia Peabody will be enthralled by the latest mesmerizing adventure from the award-winning grandmaster, and newcomers will succumb to her wiles as they are caught up in the tantalizing spell of the remarkable Elizabeth Peters and The Golden One.
The legions of Amelia Peabody Emerson fans will be overjoyed with this 14th in the series (after 2001's Lord of the Silent, for they're getting two books in one. First, MWA Grandmaster Peters offers another amusing if wordy Egyptian archeology mystery, set in 1917 and replete with grave robbers, a murder, the discovery of a richly furnished tomb and a cast of thousands. Halfway through the book, this plot is annoyingly left dangling when the British recall the Emerson's brilliant son, Ramses, for an espionage assignment in Gaza, where he must determine if a newly powerful figure, Ismail Pasha, is really the Emerson family black sheep, Sethos, master criminal and secret agent. The redoubtable Amelia; her eccentric husband, Radcliffe; Ramses's adventurous wife, Nefret; and their faithful foreman, Selim, follow him in disguise. Captured by Sahin Pasha, head of the Turkish secret service, Ramses later escapes, fulfilling his mission with his family's help. Then it's back to Egypt, where the Emersons and their friends the Vandergelts solve the murder and subdue the villains. Radcliffe even ejects intrusive tourists from fragile archeological sites. Peters's books divide the mystery-reading public. With a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, she provides an authentic historical backdrop. However, her long-winded explanations and preposterous plots frustrate many. Those who enjoy romance and find the hubbub of the Emersons and their devoted entourage entertaining will forgive the faults.