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Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,176 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Peters's most eagerly anticipated Amelia Peabody adventure to date, the incomparable Emerson clan is a hairbreadth away from unearthing the legendary site they've been searching for: the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon. But a sinister plot and a dark family secret stand in the way of their ultimate ambition and threa ...more
Paperback, Large Print
Published April 4th 2006 by WmMorrow (first published March 28th 2006)
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Dec 13, 2015 Dagny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read! The first part was fun for me since I always enjoy reading about Howard Carter and the discovery of King Tut's Tomb. This part of the book didn't pull me along though and I could put the book down for other things. But the latter part of the book - the usual madcap adventures and mystery were very compelling and I read late into the night.
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Reading chronologically this is the final book in the series, and I found that quite sad. So it was a bit hard for me to listen to it dispassionately. :) It's a good story that moves well and doesn't throw in every character who ever appeared, as some final series books do. I found myself wishing Peters had played with history and let Emerson or Cyrus find King Tut's tomb. But it wasn't to be. So I come to the end of the series. I know I'll be revisiting it more over the years.
Cathe Timmons
Amelia Peabody is my hero. I have read everything Elizabeth Peters has written. Several times. I LOVE the Emersons, and when I manage to remember that they are not real people, I always regret the fact.

BUT... I found this book dreary and depressing. The family seems to be drifting apart (the demise of the extended family) and everyone is very focused on their own individual "needs" so they can be fulfilled. I reread it twice, hoping I would like it better, but I just never did. The author manage
Ida Flowers
Aug 08, 2012 Ida Flowers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction, and I love series fiction. Ms. Peters (or Mertz, or Michaels) has been an inspiration to me for over a quarter-century.

When I was a very young mother, and had all the time in the world for reading and writing, Ms. Peters' books stimulated my intellect and aroused my imagination. I had no college, and through Vicky Bliss and Amelia Peabody I was inspired to learn who John Donne and Howard Carter were, to read Shakespeare and listen to Handel, and to reach for independen
Don P
Sep 16, 2014 Don P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, my journey with the Peabody-Emerson clan is finally at an end. And what a wonderful, fun, fulfilling journey it was. I am dearly going to miss the characters from the smug and self-confident Peabody to the cursing and bombastic Emerson, and from the beautiful and clever Nefret to the stoic and brilliant Ramses. I loved the final book because it wrapped up many of the loose plot threads while still maintaining the warm tone and swift pace of the rest of the series. But it is nonetheless a bi ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was over 20 years ago that I read the first book in the Amelia Peabody Mystery series. This is the 18th in the series, and I've read them all--and wished all of them were longer. What better recommendation can I give?
Rhonda Pickens
Sep 13, 2015 Rhonda Pickens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone & everyone
I'm in the process of re-reading the entire Amelia Peabody series again, from start to finish in one go. They are still some of my favorite books. They must be read with tongue firmly inserted in cheek. It also helps to have an interest in and some knowledge of Colonial-era exploration narratives, fiction like that of H. Rider Haggard, Orientalist studies, the competitive acquisitive zeal of western museums at the turn of the century, and the "gentlemen archaeologists" of the 19th century who br ...more
Sep 06, 2013 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Peters is back! I love the whole huge family and endless list of characters! This book is meant to be the unfinished and unofficial end to the Amelia Peabody series. Amelia uses one of her famous lists to check off all of the loose plot elements that have been hanging out for several books now. I LOVED it, and especially appreciated all of those little surprises that make it a true Elizabeth Peters success.

I’ve been reading these books for so long that I decided it was time to settle s
May 19, 2009 Theresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to-it
This is the 18th in the Amelia Peabody series by Peters, and I must admit I have read all of them. This is the first one I have listened to, and perhaps that is the reason for my lower rating. The series is about an English archaeologist and Egyptologist, Amelia Peabody, and her adventures in Egypt along with her husband who is also an archaeologist. A continuing character is their precocious son, Ramses, who read heiroglyphics before he read English. There is no great, or even small literary va ...more
I so disliked the previous installment in the Peabody-Emerson chronicles that I waited 4 years to read this one. While it is a measurable improvement on that one -- Nefret is no longer a hormone-crazed neurotic and the children are no longer monsters that only a doting grandmother could love -- the worlk is curiously subdued, with a regrettable absence of action and danger. Personalities seem muted; Amelia restrains Emerson far too often. Not a single "refreshing discussion;" not a single shirt ...more
Aug 02, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, upstairs
Amelia and the rest of the sprawling Peabody-Emerson clan are back for yet another adventure featuring ... well, as Abdullah would have put it, "Every year, another dead body."

It's the fall of 1922 in Luxor, Egypt, and Howard Carter is digging one last season in the Valley of the Kings in the hopes of finding anything buried under the sands before his benefactor, Lord Canarvon, pulls the funding away after several fruitless years. Amelia's archaeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, is fairly cert
Jan 24, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Elizabeth Peters book I have ever read and I liked it. The characters all were well developed and Amelia Peabody was a force of nature. She holds the reigns over everyone but not obnoxiously; she does with a quiet, or maybe not so quiet but strong will.

I was a little disappointed that the mystery was not more about the tomb but that being said it was a really good, cozy, mystery. I don't usually read cozy type mysteries but I plan to look into more of this series.
Jim Mann
Jan 03, 2016 Jim Mann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amelia and Emerson Peabody must stand by and watch as Howard Carter discovers the tomb of Tutankhamen -- a tomb Emerson knew was there, but for which he did not have the rights to dig. Meanwhile, Sethos shows up, embroiled in a secret service plot that will soon pull in all the Emersons.

The joy of reading the Amelia Peabody books isn't as much in the plots -- though they are good enough to carry the book -- but in getting together with a group of characters that we've grown to like a lot -- Ame
Feb 05, 2015 Gillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great audiobook to spend time with over the past few days. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, specifically because I am a little more familiar with the archeological discoveries that were taking place during this time. Because of the familiarity of the find and the historical period that it was in, I was especially impressed with how the story of the Emerson family wove in and around the happenings of the time. I was intrigued and involved during the entire book and I'm getting sadder an ...more
Audrey K.
Oct 06, 2015 Audrey K. rated it it was ok
This was the first of the Amelia Peabody adventures that I had read. For me, the book was just OK. Perhaps if the reader is an Amelia Peabody fan (fan status, I presume, obtained by reading earlier Amelia Peabody mysteries), one would find the book more interesting. I made it to page 226, and then decided that I didn't really care what happened to Amelia, and that I would rather read a more compelling story.
May 04, 2012 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sigh. There used to be a time when I stayed up late to finish an Amelia Peabody book. This one sat on my nightstand while I did a crossword puzzle or read another book instead of continuing this one. the series peaked in the middle, and these latter books are a disappointment. I'll read #19 to finish the series, but I don't have much hope for loving it.
This installment in the long-running Egyptological mystery/adventure series takes us up to Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb. It was a pleasant enough read in its way (although I would not recommend it to anyone who has not read quite a few of the earlier books, as the number of characters would be confusing), but I wouldn't call it one of the best of the lot. I'm unsure whether that's because Peabody is slowing down with age (Emerson for some reason doesn't seem to be), or that th ...more
Feb 26, 2014 LemonLinda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hfu-2014
I do like a good Amelia Peabody mystery uncovering some wonderful antiquities in Egypt; however, this one did not have the same punch as the others I have read. I am not sure if it was because this one uncovered King Tut's tomb so it had to include the real life Egyptologists that did make the discovery so Amelia and Emerson were introduced on the fringes of the discovery or if was the separate plots outside of the discovery that were a bit far fetched. Amelia is always a fun character and I wil ...more
Alison Stuart
Nov 03, 2014 Alison Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edwardian, crime
So this is farewell to the Emersons. Chronologically this is the final book in the Peabody series and a fitting end. History tells us every detail around the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen... and it wasn't the Emerson family, but the discovery of this fabulous tomb had to mark the end of the Emerson saga. It's certainly not one of Peters' best. The mystery is ho hum and there is a lot of questionable kidnapping on the part of Amelia - if I was Margaret I would not be nearly so forgiving! B ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tomb Of The Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18), by Elizabeth Peters
(rounding up to 4, with a for the whole series)

Synopsis: Banned forever from the eastern end of the Valley of the Kings, eminent Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson's desperate attempt to regain digging rights backfires—and his dream of unearthing the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon is dashed. Now Emerson, his archaeologist wife, Amelia Peabody, and their family must watch from the sidelines as Lord Carnarvon and Howard
This Amelia Peabody novel revolves around the most famous archaeological discovery in history, the discovery of Tutankhamun tomb. While most people at least have some knowledge about the discovery of the tomb, the way that Peters wove her fictional characters into the actual historical events was well done. I hadn't expected for her to make Carter out as almost a villain in this novel, but as the afterward point out that also stayed in line with the historical events. Overall, from the archaeolo ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last of the books (chronologically speaking) about the Emersons and their extended family. I wanted to like it more than I did. The story was a bit weak. The events occur around the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. However, because in historical reality, there are no Emersons to be involved, the writer had to find a way of letting them be there but not be there. It was plausible but not as interesting. The side story about Middle Eastern politics lacked pace.

Those were the cons. The po
I have enjoyed the series immensely, I have loved the first 8-9 books and kept reading the others just to spend more time in the company of the characters I have learned to care for, even if they behaved oddly and curiously at times (Nefret, Ramses, Emerson, even Amelia). The final book of the series - and the discovery of Tuthankhamon's tomb - was actually quite dissapointing, but I guess that the fault is mine: I expected too much of a closure.

Just to highlight a few of the weakest points:
Angela Mortimer
Mar 04, 2013 Angela Mortimer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I needed a easy read for the beach, couldn't get my kindle sandblasted- so I picked this up at a charity shop my friend volunteers at. I got to page 8 and stopped, unable to carry on. Who wrote this, Miss Daphne Tittlemouse from Hove? No, an eminent Egyptologist from Chicago, who has written a huge list of similar books . Ah, a convoluted case of writing what you know and also what you don't. I couldn't possibly write in the peculiar English idiom of another country - it just isn't cricket and a ...more
I love the Emerson family, so I enjoyed this 17th book in the series about them.

All the things I love about this series are here: the trouble the family cannot seem to avoid, even when they try; the hilarious verbal sparring between Emerson and Amelia; the wonderful relationship between Ramses and Nefret; the bond of friendship between David and Ramses; and most of all the eclectic, unique and wonderful extended cast of characters that Elizabeth Peters has created. The entertainment value of th
Jun 14, 2014 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish we could give half stars, because this deserves a 2.5 rather than a 2.

While my problem might have been reading this book first, and not any of the other series, I felt it was slow. Not much happened until the very end of the book, and that felt rushed and unexplained. There were so many characters, I ended up giving up trying to keep track of them. (But, if you've read the previous books, that might have made it easier to keep up with all of them.) I felt like a lot more could have been
Dec 18, 2008 Smaileh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I do love the Amelia Peabody mysteries! In the volume, we finally witness the opening of King Tut's tomb--something that we have been anticipating ever since Howard Carter showed up as a character in the series. Of course, we've also known that Emerson cannot be directly involved in the exploration of the tomb; he is forced to watch from the sidelines because he has (yet again) offended the powers that be.

But of course there's plenty to keep the Emerson clan busy. Besides their own excavatio
Aug 07, 2013 Terri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge Amelia Peabody fan and I've been savoring these books over many years, drawing them out and making them last. I was very excited to read this one and discover how Amelia's "journals" ended, but this book was a huge disappointment. There was some of the typical humor, but not enough. The main adventure was boring in the extreme and except for one very short interval, I never felt any excitement. King Tut's tomb is discovered, but they don't have any direct connection to it except for t ...more
Sarah Sammis
Sep 06, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pc
Tomb of the Golden Bird piqued my interest more than any of the recent Amelia Peabody books have because it takes place during the first season after the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb. It's a time in history that I've done a fair amount of personal research so I'm familiar with the events and the people involved. When the scenes in this novel focused on Carter, Carnarvon and the tomb, I was riveted. Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) is an Egyptologist by trade when she's not writing mystery nov ...more
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Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also writes 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 Fred ...more
More about Elizabeth Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Amelia Peabody (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1)
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2)
  • The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)
  • Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4)
  • The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)
  • The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (Amelia Peabody, #7)
  • The Hippopotamus Pool (Amelia Peabody, #8)
  • Seeing a Large Cat (Amelia Peabody, #9)
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)

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“Have you caught cold?'
'It would appear so.'
'You could give it to Margaret,' Ramses suggested.
His uncle turned the tinted spectacles toward him and then, unexpectedly, bust into laughter. 'What a charming idea. Will you aid and abet me when I catch her in a close embrace and breathe heavily on her?”
“So now you have it. The plot, the whole plot, and nothing but the plot.” 1 likes
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