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The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)
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The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody #6)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  9,600 ratings  ·  318 reviews
Bestselling author Peters brings back 19th-century Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her entourage in a delicious caper that digs up mystery in the shadow of the pyramids.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 1991 by Little, Brown & Company (first published 1991)
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73rd out of 170 books — 72 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kristen
This was another great installment in the Amelia Peabody series! Usually, my favourite part is the snappy reparte between Amelia and Emerson, with whatever mystery or mayhem they're trying to solve being secondary. But in this outing, the actual story was pretty fascinating.

The Emerson family become caught up in the mystery involving a long-ago friend of Emerson's who disappeared with his young, beautiful wife years ago, while trying to find a lost civilization. A note has been delivered to the
...more
Jamie
The plot of this one didn't do much for me, but I nonetheless enjoyed another expedition with the Emerson-Peabodys. They continue to amuse me, and there's a particularly touching bit when the family has a closer than usual brush with death. And of course, the Egyptian scenery is always interesting.

I like that this book begins at a crisis point, then flashes back to tell how the family arrived there. It was a nice departure from the usual linear storytelling in this series.

I hope to one day see R
...more
Suburbangardener
In this book, the author has taken a departure from her usual style to pay homage to her heroine's favorite author, Rider Haggard, who wrote such classics as "King Solomon's Mines." It's a fun romp through the desert with less archeology than adventure.
Jonathan Palfrey
This is the Elizabeth Peters tribute to H. Rider Haggard. She's chosen to do what Arthur Ransome did a few times: to take her familiar set of characters and put them into a fantasy situation, for fun and variety.

It's a relatively mild fantasy, there's nothing supernatural about it, but she allows the Emerson family to be led into a mad quest for long-missing persons in the desert, where they almost die of thirst before finding themselves captives of a lost ancient civilization hidden in obscure
...more
Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
I pecked away at the first half of this novel, dutifully reading a few pages a day—not high praise for a mystery novel. Of the various elements that can keep a reader engaged, (plot, character, theme, etc.), the only one that worked for me was setting. I was intrigued with insights into problems of survival in the Sahara, as well as information regarding ancient Egypt and archeology (which I presume was, to some degree, authentic). The plot picked up toward the end, and I was able to get engaged ...more
Shannon
This was actually the first book I read in this series as a tween/teen - it was in Mum's bookshelf and the ridiculous title appealed to me enormously. And that one book ended with me tracking down and reading all/purchasing all Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels' books. Bibliophile success!

Delightful re-read - the sheer ridiculous adventure a la Rider Haggard (to whom this book is an homage) is enlivened by the sharp storytelling and sharper characters that are so subtly outrageous that even
...more
Zoe and the Edge
Ramses:

He could speak Arabic like a native, read three different scripts of ancient Egyptian...Latin, Hebrew, and Greek....sing a wide variety of vulgar songs in Arabic, and ride almost anything with four legs. He had no other useful skills.

I always forget how much I love Amelia's humour.
But you can't forget Emerson's sense of wit either.

Amelia - “I shudder to think what unimaginable horror can have reduced him to such straits.”
“No, you don't,” said Emerson. “You revel in unimaginable horror
...more
BJ Rose
Instead of solving a mystery that develops as they're excavating, Amelia & Emerson are off to find out what happened years ago to a missing archaeologist and his wife. There is much mention of H. Rider Haggard and King Solomon's Mines. After a grueling trek through the desert, which almost kills Amelia, there is a hidden city and of course information about the missing archaeologist (did we ever doubt that they would be successful?!) An interesting conclusion to their search, and of course A ...more
librarian4Him02
The Emersons are headed back to the field, this time to Napata in the Sudan. As usual they find themselves not doing excavation, but stuck in the middle of mystery and adventure. This one involves a missing man, an undiscovered culture, and political intrigue. The family emerges from it all with a young girl, the daughter of a friend, whom they take in to their home.

What kept me listening? As usual, it was Peters' use of language, humor, and knowledge of the Middle EAst. Rosenblatt's narration b
...more
Jesi
This series is NOT the series I thought it was. Either that, or, after enjoying the Vicky Bliss book I read, I wanted to read Peter's universe in order. Not quite sure why I got this instead of the first VB book, now.

For a historical fiction book, it's great. EXACTLY what people who enjoy Victorian era books would enjoy. I, however, am fickle and didn't enjoy just *how* historically accurate the tone of the book was. Because of this, I didn't enjoy the characters. Then there was the plot, which
...more
Lisa
The Emerson family are in trouble. Their servants have deserted them, their camels have died, and they are in the middle of the dessert with only one servant. Looking back, they really aren't sure how they happened upon this predicament, but they know that it is most likely because they are trying to find the Forth family. The Forths had disappeared in the dessert fourteen years before, but a mysterious letter may mean that they are still alive.

I accidentally read this one out of order, which an
...more
Ryan Patrick
I enjoyed this book in large part because it wasn't just another murder mystery. I appreciated the nod to Rider Haggard, and the final third of the book was quite gripping in the sense that I couldn't figure out who everyone was or what they were going to do.
Mars
Maybe 2.5

Everything prior to the last camel actually dying was surprisingly uninteresting. Given that this event actually happens around halfway through the book, that's quite a lot of uninteresting.

The not-uninteresting bits are... well, they're mostly like Conan knock-offs. It's entertaining to read, but very little of it actually makes sense if you stop to think about it - the underlying premise is ridiculous, everything could have been done with orders of magnitude less effort and convoluted
...more
Kristen
I really liked the Vicki Bliss book I read of hers better, but this was an interesting read with lots of Eygptology and swashbuckling going on to make it entertaining enough to finish.
Anna-Sofie
I only realised this was part of a series, when I returned home from the library...but apparently it's the only one translated into Danish so far. Amelia Peabody, her husband Emerson, and ther son Ramses are a charming acquaintance...the story is told with wit, irony, and a Certain British tone (even though the author is American :).
It's a "Indiana Jones"-story set in Africa - ancient civilizations, dying camels, rivalry between brothers and brutal, religious ceremonies.
The story went very slow
...more
Frances Fuller
I think this series should be done on Masterpiece Theater. I have enjoyed every book.
Beth
I love the Amelia Peabody series and this was no exception! These books are so fun, and they always make me laugh. The author acknowledges that this is a nostalgic tribute to H. Rider Haggard and King Solomon's Mines, and that was definitely a huge part of the fun.
I also really loved the introduction of some new characters, like Nefret. It was so cute seeing Ramses speechless reaction to her. I cannot wait to see how some of the new characters play out in the next few books.
I definitely recomme
...more
Marne
If there's one device I've come to hate in literature and on television, it's when a story starts in media res with what will turn out to be the climactic action scene and then rewinds all the way back to the beginning. It's only in the past few years that this device has become almost omnipresent on television, so I was somewhat surprised that Peters uses it at the start of this book. Perhaps it was a new and exciting thing when she did it in 1991. At any rate, I can't blame her too much for th ...more
Lisa
Jan 11, 2015 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good adventure story, with a little bit of mystery
The Last Camel Died At Noon, by Elizabeth Peters
★★★★★ and a ♥!

Synopsis: The last camel is dead, and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, her dashing husband, Radcliffe Emerson, and precocious son, Ramses, are in dire straits on the sun-scorched desert sands. Months before, back in cool, green England, Viscount Blacktower had approached them to find his son and his son's bride, missing in war-torn Sudan for over a decade. An enigmatic message scrawled on papyrus and a cryptic map had been delivered to Bl
...more
Ashley
This book was highly entertaining like all the others. I love that I am continuously amused and still surprised by things the members of the Emerson family say, despite knowing them all so well at this point. The setting and new characters were interesting as always. Also as always, I groan inwardly when they don't listen to Ramses when he's figured something out. I shake my head after the umpteenth time she alludes to their awesome intimate marital relations. I cringe a little at some of their ...more
An Odd1
"The Last Camel Died at Noon" (Amelia 3?) by Elizabeth Peters aka Mertz introduces Nefret, erethreal pale cornflower-blue-eyed blonde I knew as adopted daughter, 13, an age with their son Walter Peabody "Ramses", of Egyptian archaeologist Emersons: valiant lusty unbrella-armed narrator Amelia Peabody wed to her equivalent male "Father of Curses" Radcliffe, all mighty upholders of Victorian era standards plus high morals, belief in equality despite color, gender or birth, and excellence of intell ...more
missbowers
Perhaps this novel should be called: "The Last Camel Died At Noon, Or: A Historical Romp in Which the Professor and Amelia Have A Lot of Unnecessary Marital Relations but Still Manage to Discover Something Cool Despite Ripping Each Others Clothes Off Most of the Time"

But that would have been too clunky, I guess.

A mysterious, undiscovered remnant of the ancient Egyptian civilization cloistered in a desert oasis makes for the marginally-thrilling premise in this sixth installment of the Amelia Pea
...more
Anne Hawn Smith
This time Amelia and her husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are digging in the Sudan with their son, Ramses, who is 11 in this adventure. The have been asked to find out what happened to archeologist Willoughby Forth. Willoughby's father and his son need to know what has happened to him when he and his wife disappeared 14 years earlier. There exists a map to guide them in the wretchedly hot and featureless desert, but is it an accurate map? When the last of their camels dies, stranding them in the midd ...more
Colleen
I have to say this is my favorite Amelia Peabody novel after the very first one. I don't know what exactly it is about this novel, maybe it is the fact that it is the first one in the series I ever read, that makes me love it but it is one of my favorite. Amelia and Emerson are as amazing, brilliant, and funny as ever, but I think the fact that we see some weakness in them is another reason that I love this novel so much. They need outside help to get them out of their situation this time and I ...more
Julie
On audio, this (to me) wasn't quite as good as the previous installments in the Amelia Peabody mysteries. Nothing against Barbara Rosenblat, who (as usual) does a fantastic job with narration. She is beyond compare. But in this, Book 6 of the series, the Emersons find themselves in the Sudan this time. Excavating the usual sort of antiquities in the middle of nowhere, they find themselves stranded in the desert, their camels all dead, no water, no food and convinced death is near. Yet, they are ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Amelia and Emerson are all abuzz. Parts of the Sudan are once more under British control. All new archaeological sites are at their fingertips! All Amelia can think about is the pyramids. All those pyramids that have been not been studied due to political conflict and strife. But, never can the Emersons be allowed to just work, oh no. There must always be something more. That something more comes as a plea from a Mr. Forthright, who happens to pass out at Amelia's feet. Luckily Viscount Blacktow ...more
Tara Carpenter
This is a great series starring Amelia Peabody Emerson. I loved the first book, Crocodile on the Sandbank, but since then they have gotten a little formulaic. This book was a refreshing departure from the norm. We find the Emersons discovering a modern-day (to them) civilization populated by the descendants of the ancient peoples this archaelogical family lives to study. And you can imagine the chaos that ensues with the introduction of the Father of Curses and the Sitt Hakim to this hidden city ...more
Sandy
This is my most favorite of the Amelia Peabody series. If you are in the mood for some high adventure, suspense, sleuthing and humor you will find it all in this book. This book differs in a way for most of the books in the series as it is more adventure centered. I believe I read once where she was modeling it around either King Solomon’s Mines or Lost Horizons. It is much fun and a great introduction to this series. The series is chronological, but it is not truly necessary to read them in ord ...more
Wendy Jones
Now you must forgive my choice of words but this book is a jolly good caper. It takes you back to the days when the British Upper Crust spoke in such a manner. I love the Amelia Peabody mysteries and this one maintains the usual high standards of the others. This Time Emerson and Amelia are excavating archeological sites in the Sudan and before you know it up to their necks in trouble. Elizabeth Peters has an evocative writing style which means you can picture the exotic scenes perfectly. The ch ...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 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)
  • The Falcon at the Portal( Amelia Peabody, #11)
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2) Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4) The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3) The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)

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“If all else fails, we will simply have to drug our attendants, overpower the guards, raise the oppressed peasants to arms, and take over the government.” 42 likes
“If you take a man by surprise, and behave with sufficient arrogance, he will generally do what you ask.
-Emerson”
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