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Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody #2)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,359 Ratings  ·  794 Reviews
When Lady Baskerville's husband Sir Henry dies after discovering what may have been an undisturbed royal tomb in Luxor, she appeals to eminent archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson and his wife Amelia to take over the excavation.

It is worth noting this novel was dedicated to Phyllis Whitney, fellow mystery author who wrote the public praises printed on many of Elizabeth's covers
Paperback, 312 pages
Published June 29th 2006 by Constable & Robinson Limited (first published 1981)
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I enjoyed this less than the first book in the series, partly because a lot of it was so similar to that book. An archaeological dig is in peril due to local superstitions about a curse, exacerbated by disappearances, ghostly sightings and deaths. If I hadn't just read the first book last month, I might have liked it better.

I also missed some of the cast from the first book. Walter and Evelyn were absent, and there were no new characters who balanced the intensity of Amelia and Emerson (which is
Apr 30, 2016 Werner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of mysteries, esp. historical mysteries
Warning: this review will involve spoilers for those who haven't read the previous book!

Five years have supposedly passed since the events of the series opener, Crocodile on the Sandbank. (Many of the comments in my review of that one, , are relevant here as well.) This would give us the date of 1889, with Amelia now 37 years old. By the close of the first book, she and Radcliffe Emerson were married (so strictly speaking, she's now Amelia Emerson, but he s
So the other day I got into a mock fight with some Goodreader's over the relative merits of Ms. Elizabeth Peters and her "Amelia Peabody" series. For the uninitiated over the course of the series Mrs. Amelia Peabody Emerson, her cranky but brilliant Egyptologist husband Emerson, their semi-psycho brilliant son Ramses, adopted daughter Nefret and a host of other's who wander in and out of the narrative wander around Victorian era Egypt discovering tombs and solving murders and eventually getting ...more
On this listen of this old favourite I was truly appreciative of Peters' skill as an author. The book is told as if it were Amelia Peabody's journal, but still Peters manages very cleverly to give us several views of all the wild twists and turns in the story. We aren't limited to Amelia's viewpoint because although she is a keen observer she isn't very self aware, and though she is very intelligent she often draws the wrong conclusions. It not only makes for an interesting puzzle it makes for s ...more
Jun 12, 2016 Lanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun in the sun with Amelia and Emerson as death comes on swift wings to Victorian archaeologists.

When I was young I thought archaeology would be like this. It's not. Archaeology is sitting in a muddy field, in the rain, drawing stones.

The book is good fun, the plot trots along nicely with big nods to Sherlock Holmes, Madame Blavatsky, and the opening of King Tut's tomb.
Thankfully the author refrained from saying 'wonderful things', but I'm sure she's just saving it for a future episode.

Lisa Kay
Luxor Temple, Egypt (Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes).




(This is a review of the audiobook.) This one didn’t do it for me. Loved the first one in the series (which I both read and listened to), also narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. However, this one put me to sleep repeatedly - literally! I had to keep starting over and over again. I don’t think it was the narration as much as the storyline. It just didn’t grab me like the first one did. Ms. Rosenblat does a nice job on the various accents a
Feb 24, 2010 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Cozy Mystery/Adventure Stories in Exotic Settings or Smart Plucky Heroines
Recommended to Julianna by: Karen Hutchins
Reviewed for THC Reviews
The Curse of the Pharaohs was another fun installment in the Amelia Peabody mystery/adventure series. The story begins with Amelia and Radcliffe Emerson enjoying the bliss of married life back in England, but their seemingly idyllic existence isn't exactly placid thanks to an incredibly precocious four-year-old running amok. At the same time, life holds no real challenge for Emerson who is now a professor of archeology at the university and Amelia who has been reduced to
Imagine, if you will, that Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice is reincarnated towards the middle of the nineteenth century as a woman called Amelia Peabody. She develops an interest in archaeology, and marries an Egyptologist who is supposed, I think, to be stirringly alpha male but who is in fact emotionally and physically abusive. She delights in establishing how intelligent and feisty she is by denigrating other women, and spawns an obnoxiously precocious offspring who has a cu ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, read-audio
I enjoyed the story in this second book much more than the first. I loved Amelia performing a flying tackle to save her husband from getting hurt. I laughed so many times at how she describes and talks about people. I will definitely keep listening to this series.
Vimal Thiagarajan
Wanted to follow up on this series, since the first book was too good. This one had some excellent character-building akin to book one, but for some reason I didn't enjoy it as much. May be because the archaeological setting, themes and motives of this book were too similar to book one. But it served what I was looking for - a cozy, pacy read with engaging characters.
Nov 12, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it
As usual, Amelia lives beyond her times and has adventures that other Victorian ladies would shudder from. She wields a gun and a parasol like a true explorer and is not afraid to meet a suspected murderer in the middle of the night. She is now happily married to the equally eccentric Emerson, but the verbal duels never seize between those two. This quote describes their relationship with extreme accuracy: ‘In fact,’ he said, ‘we should call it a draw. You tried to shoot me, I tried to poison yo ...more
When Lord Baskerville, a noted amateur archaeologist dies in Egypt, his widow chooses Emerson to carry on his mission. Naturally Emerson demurs - he can't leave Amelia or their beloved three-year-old holy terror Ramses - or can he? Emerson and Amelia are both bored with Victorian gentry life and miss the thrill of their work in the Middle East. They place Ramses in the loving Care of Evelyn and Walter's nursery and off they go. Amelia is certain that Lord Baskerville did not die of natural cause ...more
The Curse of the Pharaohs
4 Stars

Amelia and Emerson return to Egypt at the behest of Lady Baskerville to continue the work of her late husband, Sir Henry, who died under suspicious circumstances. As Emerson revels in the archeology of the site, Amelia becomes immersed in investigating Sir Henry’s death as she is convinced he was murdered.

This is a such an entertaining series. Amelia and Emerson are now a married couple, but their hilarious bickering is ever present and little Ramses, whose shena
I originally rated this book 3.5 stars but after reading the 3rd in the series, I decided I should rated this one higher! I enjoy these books so much - I pretty much bookmarked half the book - that I should reflect that in my rating.

The Curse of the Pharaohs is set 5 years after Amelia & Emerson's marriage. At the beginning, I had trouble in this switch in their relationship - there wasn't as much funny bickering as in the first book - but then it dawned on me how amazingly well matched they
Mike (the Paladin)
I listened to several of these books back when I was driving miles and miles daily (radio can get old after a while). My wife always loved them, even before she came to need the audio versions of books. So whenever she finished a book, or while she was listening to another book, I'd take these to work with me and listen.

As I've mentioned before, these are well written...or maybe I should say "well crafted" mysteries. The characters stay true to form and in most cases "act like themselves". The s
Barbara ★
New parents Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson are jonesing to get back to Egypt after being away four years raising Ramses. Even knowing of the deadly curse, they jump at the chance to return when asked by Lady Baskerville whose husband has just been killed after opening a newly discovered tomb. Neither Amelia nor Emerson believe in the supernatural so the various happenings and the mysterious murders, don't scare them off as intended. This is another tale of murder and mayhem in the Valley o ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Randee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin? This is the 2nd book in a series of 19 by Elizabeth Peters. It revolves around Amelia Peabody and her husband, Radcliffe Emerson, who are both Egyptologists. I listened to the audio book and the narrator, Barbara Rosenblat, is first rate. I think she does all 19 audio books and I plan to make my way through all of them. Elizabeth Peters, pen name of Barbara Mertz, was, in fact, an Egyptologist with a Ph.D from the University of Chicago...about 30 minutes away from where I live. I ...more
Amelia Peabody Emerson continues to be a woman to be reckoned with and a woman that a mystery always follows. I consider her a younger, even more British version of Miss Marple with a delightfully British "his bark is worse than his bite" husband who is crazy about her and their young son, Ramses who writes notes to his parents in hieroglyphics. A wonderful series for anyone looking for a bit of 1920s Egypt and a good mystery
Very disappointing. After "Crocodile on the Sandbank" I thought I'd found an enjoyable murder mystery series, but the characters have developed most unsatisfactorily. So far it's cliched, contrived, and overwritten.

Preliminary, one-third in:

We have the stereotypical redheaded freckled Irishman who says, "Sure and I wouldn't" and "Top of the mornin'." I'm still waiting for "Faith and begorrah!"

Then there's the American with the the "holy shucks" and "goldurned" and "little lady."

Emerson, with his
Khanh (the Grinch)
This book picks up a few years after the first; by now, Amelia and her husband have been married for several years and have a young child. Their mutual love for their son has prevented them from returning to Egypt for further excavations, since they are concerned about his health. Ultimately, a young widow of a fellow explorer offers them a chance they cannot resist, and Amelia and Emerson find themselves back in Egypt.

I enjoyed the first book in the series, but if the successive books in this s
V. Gingerich
Jul 05, 2012 V. Gingerich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
The Curse of the Pharaohs is all about voice: Amelia Peabody’s voice. This detective, Egyptologist, and mother of one narrates with wit and humor, puncturing Victorian decorum with her steel-tipped parasol, amazing the reader with her (sometimes stupid) bravery and her unique way of both adoring and defying her Egyptologist husband.

This book came right when I wanted it. Every few months I crave a good mystery- not a bold and modern thriller, something clever but relatively gore-less and blushle
Dec 10, 2009 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awww, baby Ramses! And this is also one of those infuriating books with a first-person Victorian female narrator, which means every time Amelia and Emerson get up close and personal, we get asterisks in place of actual description. Bother. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this. The dialogue in Elizabeth Peters' books is sometimes rather stilted, especially when she's writing Americans (this particular specimen was given to saying things like "goldurnit!") or anyone who isn't British a
Jan 05, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series. I read the first one, Crocodile on the Sandbank, two years ago in January 2012 and enjoyed it, so I'm not sure why it has has taken me so long to get round to reading this one.

The Curse of the Pharaohs is set in the late Victorian period and begins five years after the previous book ended. Amelia is happily married to the archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson and they now have a young son, Ramses. Despite longing to return to their wo
Karen ⊰✿
I was a little disappointed with this instalment. As much as I love the unconventional heroine that is Amelia, and her quirky husband Emerson, this story was just a little slow and I struggled to keep interested.
I still love the premise of the 19th century plucky heroine in Egypt, and hopefully the next book in the series picks up a little.
Jan 22, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie fans
Shelves: mystery
I think I've found my new favorite series. I loved this book! So much fun to read, especially with Amelia's first-person narrative, which was straightforward and witty. The characters were great too. They seemed to come straight out of an Agatha Christie novel --- nobility in disguise, poor young lovers, the social climber, the annoying American. You see what I mean? The only flaw I could see is that Peters pulled a lot of her ideas from her first book. I hope in future books she comes up with s ...more
This was a great addition the Amelia Peabody's adventures. She and Emerson are a hoot, and I love that they are together. Of course they got into tons of trouble but they were able to figure out who dunnit in the end.

I'm interested in what happens next for them as Emerson's statement at the end made it definitely seem like this part of the story isn't over yet.

Listened to this one on audio as I did the first one and I just love this narrator. She does such an excellent job with the voices.

This i
Amelia is utterly ridiculous - so much that I laughed out loud (at points where I'm unsure if that was the intent or not). This cozy mystery was entertaining enough to make my drive home less tedious than usual.
Rebecca Hill
Amelia Peabody is at it again! She and her archaeologist husband are solving crimes and digging up tombs.

These delightful mysteries will leave you wanting more and hooked from page one to the last! I love these mysteries and of course reading about anything Egyptian is fascinating!

Elisha Condie
Amelia Peabody is a heroine for the bookish set who still have a lingering crush on Indiana Jones. So you could see why it appeals to me a little.

This story is told to us by Amelia herself, in her writings. Now she's married to Emerson and they have a darling, lisping, unusually intelligent little boy nicknamed Ramses (natch). And she still calls her husband Emerson and he calls her Peabody (mostly) and they banter and argue and have a roaring sex life. Yipee.

Amelia has it all:
- Rugged, in
Early on, Amelia refers to some Egyptians as picturesque natives. Near the end, Emerson says he can't help feeling he's missing something. Depending on what you know about Egypt you either know he's missing something big or can infer it from the way they've been missing things the whole time.

So, an unreliable narrator and an author winking at me. I like the way the author tells this story. She has a PhD in Egyptology and could probably write a serious lecture, but instead she gives us Amelia wav
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Curse of the Pharaohs 1 4 Feb 07, 2012 12:42PM  
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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 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)
  • The Falcon at the Portal (Amelia Peabody, #11)

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