The Amelia Peabody Mysteries, by Elizabeth Peters
1. Crocodile on the Sandbank
2. The Curse of the Pharaohs
3. The Mummy Case
4. Lion in the Valley
5. The Deeds of the Disturber
6. The Last Camel Died at Noon
7. The Snake, the Crocodile & the Dog
8. The Hippopotamus Pool
9. Seeing a Large Cat
10. The Ape who Guards the Balance
11. The Falcon at the Portal
12. He Shall Thunder in the Sky
13. Lord of the Silent
14. The Golden One
15. Children of the Storm
16. Guardian of the Horizon
17. Serpent on the Crown
18. Tomb of the Golden Bird
19. A River in the Sky * * * *
August 1910. Amelia Peabody and her husband, Emerson, are relaxing at home in Kent. But adventure beckons when Major George Morley asks them to join an expedition to Palestine, where he is determined to unearth the legendary Ark of the Covenant. Always skeptical, Emerson refuses until requests from the War Office and Buckingham Palace persuade him to reconsider by insisting that Morley is a German agent intent on stirring up trouble.
Amelia and Emerson follow Morley to Jerusalem and hope to reunite with their son, Ramses, working north of the holy city. But before they can meet, Ramses learns of a deadly plot, information he must pass on to his parents—if he can get to them alive.
This novel jumps back into Amelia's past and spotlights one of the "lost" years. The story takes place in Palestine rather than Egypt, which on one hand was a nice change, but at the same time I really missed Egyptian setting and characters that are part and parcel of any Amelia Peabody story. Also this story was really light on the archeology, which I was surprised to find that I missed as well.
However, where the story does excel is in the mystery, the drama, and the feeling of closeness that the Peabody family have. Some things never change, and one can always trust that Amelia will always have her tool belt and parasol, Emerson (The Father of Curses!) will always be on the edge of losing his temper, and Ramses will always be getting into trouble, and Elizabeth Peters does not disappoint in this regard!
If you haven't read the series, this is totally NOT the book to start with. They should definitely be read in order, but don't let the long list of titles frighten you! These are fast and easy reads, full of danger, excitement and mystery, and I've only met one person who tried them and didn't care for them (and that person doesn't really like to read in the first place). Give the first book a shot, and I'll be surprised if you aren't hooked before the end of it!
Overall I give the series a solid 5 stars, but A River in the Sky only gets 4 stars - not because it was bad in any way, but simply because it was light on some of my favorite elements.