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Lion in the Valley (Amelia Peabody #4)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  10,468 ratings  ·  376 reviews
The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband Emerson, and their wild and precocious eight-year-old son Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind that roils the hot sands sweeping through the bustling streets and market ...more
360 pages
Published 2001 by Robinson (first published March 1986)
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Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearSilent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
26th out of 732 books — 801 voters
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Best Historical Mystery
129th out of 1,154 books — 3,121 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Have I mentioned to you, Peabody, that one of the reasons why I adore you is that you are more inclined to beat people with your umbrella than fall weeping on your bed?

Amelia Peabody returns to Egipt in the company of her husband, Professor Emerson, and her darling offspring Ramses, now eight years old and more disruptive than you can imagine ( Ramses seldom disobeyed a direct order, but he had a diabolical facility for finding a loophole in my commands. ) . The plot follows the formula
I loved, loved, LOVED this book!! Everytime I start the next Amelia Peabody story I worry that Elizabeth Peters won't be able to maintain the extraordinarily intelligent and utterly hilarious banter between Amelia and Emerson. Thankfully, she has not let me down thus far. In fact, each book has managed to add a new element to the Emerson family's witty idiosyncracies and facility for attracting mayhem that enchants and delights me!

Lion in the Valley develops the character of the "Master Criminal
Celia Powell
"You were talking in your sleep last night, Amelia."

"What nonsense, Emmerson! I never talk in my sleep. It is a sign of mental instability. What was I saying?"

Ah, love the banter.


Awww - I love these books. Amelia's capture and rescue was quite thrilling, and I enjoyed her musings about the Master Criminal being like the pharoahs, a lion in a valley of goats. About to commence the carnage, one assumes. I am even enjoying Ramses now, who at first I found rather insufferable, but an insufferable
I'm not quite finished with the book yet but wanted to mention this while it was in my head...there is so much sex in this book I cannot believe it. You know what the great part of this is? There isn't a single graphic sexual comment, no sexual language, no crazy euphamisms and absolutely no sex scenes. So how do I know there is a great deal of sex going on here? Well, this author has talent. She has the art of 'hint, hint, nudge, nudge' down pat. She explicity explains, without actual details, ...more
A fun read. The plot is ridiculous (these are meant mostly as a parody of adventure novels rather than serious mysteries) but I enjoy the Emerson family very much. I look forward to watching Rameses' exploits as he grows up. I like Amelia's wary yet resigned attitude towards her implausibly precocious, accident-prone son.

Barbara ★
Returning to Egypt to excavate the pyramids at Dahshoor, Amelia Peabody, Radcliffe Emerson, and their 8-year-old son Walter Peabody Emerson, a.k.a. Ramses the walking/talking encyclopedia. Right now Ramses is my favorite character. He is just so infuriatingly clever, logical and verbose. He can talk a blue streak and keep right on going unless he is interrupted (usually in exasperation by Amelia). Once again the Master Criminal is at the heart of this mystery. I particularly liked the addition o ...more
I read the first few Amelia Peabody books on an indirect recommendation. I was basically looking for a fun read and to branch out of my primary reading fields a bit (F&SF and non-fiction science). I've read relatively few genre mysteries, aside from some Sherlock Holmes, a few Agatha Christies, and a couple of Tony Hillermans. So I was interested to learn a bit more about this field.

These were ok. They were fun, and very much on the light end of the scale. The Egyptology was definitely fasci
Mike (the Paladin)
This is the first book in the series (of which I "listened to some but not all) where The Master Criminal's nomdeplume (or for the purists who will insist this means "pen name") alias is revealed...however if I put it here it will constitute a spoiler...soooooo, I'll just say it refers back to Egyptian mythology.

Moving on...

If you've read any of my other reviews on this series of books you know that I believe them to be very well written, but just don't enjoy them in some ways, primarily this i
Perhaps my favorite Amelia Peabody Emerson mystery yet! Elizabeth Peters isn't exactly a brilliant mystery novelist as far as the mystery part is concerned, but she does, indeed, craft a fun tale -- and she's created two very charming lead characters whose banter more than makes up for any deficiencies as far as the mystery is concerned. Thankfully any issues which cropped up in the past few novels and proved to be irritating (aka Ramses and his speech defect) have been firmly dealt with and rea ...more
I love this series and enjoy the play & the banter between Amelia and Emerson. My favorite character however is their son Ramses and I love that he gets more time in this story. Ramses is precocious, smart, articulate and observant. Together the Emerson family solves the murder, unravels the mystery, sends the Master Criminal running and does it with flair. This is definitely a little heavy on the Victorian way of speaking, but the characters make it well worth the effort.

As the second or th
Amelia Peabody Emerson is back in Egypt with her family. Emerson has finally been given a pyramid to excavate. While still in Cairo, there's an attempt to kidnap Ramses and the wicked Prince Kalenischeff is murdered in the room of his inamorata and the lady is nowhere in sight! Amelia suspects the hand of the Master Criminal and feels it necessary to hire a bodyguard for Ramses. Emerson pooh-poohs the idea of catching the Master Criminal, if there is one, but agrees to hire a bodyguard to protec ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
Oh goodness. I LOVED these books when I was in undergrad. I was studying archaeology, so obviously reading ridiculous nineteenth century archaeological mysteries was basically what I did in between writing essays. Fast forward twelve years and I discovered that my local library has the entire series on Overdrive. Obviously, I was due for a reread!

This one was pretty fabulous. It's full of hilarious moments that Amelia doesn't quite get - often she thinks characters are crying in relief when rea
Lion In The Valley, by Elizabeth Peters
and a 1/2 (plus a for the whole series in general)

Synopsis: The 1895-96 season promises to be an exceptional one for Amelia Peabody, her dashing Egyptologist husband Emerson, and their wild and precocious eight-year-old son Ramses. The much-coveted burial chamber of the Black Pyramid in Dahshoor is theirs for the digging. But there is a great evil in the wind that roils the hot sands weeping through the bustling streets and marketplaces of Cairo. The bra
Aileen Frost
This is the second Amelia Peabody I have read, and it will be my last. While I wasn't thrilled with the characters in Crocodile on the Sandbank,the mystery itself was okay and I figured that by the time Elizabeth Peters got to book number 4, all the things that irritated me would have been ironed out. Nope, they are even worse.

The main characters are so unlikable! Amelia and Emerson are just so arrogant. They are constantly having conversations that boil down to them saying, "I knew that." "Wel
1986, #3 Amelia Peabody, Egyptologist, 1890s Cairo; satirical, historical cosy/thriller. Always lots of fun, even after many rereads; this reread I listened in audio - Rosenblatt's narration is superb, if a mite precious in spots]

Amelia finally gets her own pyramid to explore, but it soon takes a back seat to the many intrigues surrounding her family during annother eventful winter season. Eight year old Ramses is present, plus his mysterious “minder”, the odd “Mr. Nemo”, a doppelganger, lewd ar
Amelia and Emerson are back in Egypt for what they hope will be a productive and exciting season of excavation. The excitement comes, however, while they’re still in Cairo when their eight-year-old son Ramses is kidnapped on top of a pyramid at night. Happily, he’s quickly rescued by a man who Amelia immediately hires to be a guardian for the curious and precocious Ramses. Ramses penchant for trouble isn’t Amelia’s only worry. The murder of Prince Kalenischeff who had worked for Amelia’s nemesis ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
As the Emerson's near Egypt Amelia has a dark foreboding... somewhere in the teeming streets of Cairo or the dusty dunes of the desert, the Master Criminal is awaiting their return. But due Ramses being Ramses, they have the firman for Dahshoor, and where Ramses is concerned it's best not to ask, he might never shut his mouth again. Once settled into their hotel they encounter that despicable Kalenischeff, conspirator with the Master Criminal, who seems to have a new target besides antiquities, ...more
2 1/2 stars. Adventure/romance spoof, but not as much mystery or Egypt as I'd like.

Alone, this book would make me worry about Amelia's seeming dislike for her 8 year old son Ramses. This is a re-read for me, working up to when he's older (and seems to know she loves him in her way), so I'll skip ahead to #6 The Last Camel Died at Noon. I'm really looking forward to (small spoiler)(view spoiler) I'm not looking forward to more of Amelia's Egyptian employees treatin
As with most books I read, I listened to the audiobook for this one. I was really put off initially by the fact that this one was not read by Barbara Rosenblat. She has been the reader for all the other Amelia Peabody books I have read, and I really do enjoy the way she reads the book and the voices that she uses. Her expressiveness when reading the dialogue for Professor Emerson is perfect.

So, I was immediately put off by hearing a different reader reading the book, and not putting near as much
Another in the Amelia Peabody series, in this one they have a second encounter with the 'Master Criminal' and her Son Ramses proves to be a very young and annoying child. At 8, the kid does almost everything well and has the ability to solve mysteries in the style of Sherlock Holmes. Which is somewhat appropriate since the Master Criminal is a genius of crime much in the mold of Moriarty. Since I find Sherlock Holmes mysteries to be dull affairs and annoying since they are solved with informatio ...more
Michelle Johnson
QUICK PITCH: Amelia and Emerson are back in Egypt, which can only mean one thing. If only Emerson could excavate in peace...

VERDICT: If you've been reading, keep reading.
I am reading the books in order. Since my library did not have the 4th book in the series, but did have the audio version, I gave it a try for this one.

The narrator/reader, Barbara Rosenblat, does a nice job with putting variety in the female voices. She does a good job using male-style inflections for Emerson. Other male voices sound too similar, although I salute any woman who can pull off even one male voice convincingly. She does a delightful little-boy voice for 8-year-old, highly articulat
The fourth of Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series of books, this again sees the Victorian archaeologist return to Egypt, in the company of her husband and precocious son.

As before, they are then caught up in a mystery surrounding a murder as well as the usual romantic entanglements for these novels. This also sees the return of the 'Master Criminal' from the previous books, who is both named (obviously not his real name) and looks like becoming a recurring character in the series as a whole.
Renee M
Amelia was immensely quotable in this one. Perhaps the funniest of the series so far. Even Young Ramses has begun to grow on me.
Mar 23, 2014 Besha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I started reading this series when I was about eleven, and it's interesting to note that while I did get all the sexy references, I didn't really get how delightfully unreliable a narrator Amelia Peabody Emerson is. I think I understood what she meant by "we had a spirited discussion," but I didn't grasp just how often she describes someone being overcome with shame or grief when they are in fact laughing hysterically.

The Reader may well imagine that at such a tender age, I could hardly perceive
Bob Allen
Peabody and Emerson return to the Dahshoor valley (The Mummy Case) to explore the coveted (by them) Black Pyramid. Enid flees Cairo to join them. Donald had been hired to watch Rameses. Peabody knows they are being watched and pursued by the Master Criminal but can't figure out who he/she is. Caught me off-guard for Peters to have Peabody, Emerson, and Rameses reveal who they think the Master Criminal is but that becomes clear in the end. Engaging. I was glad she had Rameses stop using that odd ...more
I imagine that some readers will only read one of these rollicking romps that are liberally spiced with historically correct information about archaeology, as they will be irritated by Amelia, her husband and son's behaviours, prolixity, and derring-do. Other readers will enjoy the feminist ideas of Amelia, her management of her dreadfully sexist and sexy husband, and their son the improbable Ramses. There is humour, adventure and information aplenty for fans. It is preferable to read these nove ...more
Amelia and Emerson are back in Egypt for another season of excavation and archaeology. However, as the odds deem, murder strikes... yet again! Fear of the Master Criminal which Amelia is so sure of deepens the plot. The threat seems to be approaching closer...

I have to say... Ramses, the couple's son, is probably my favorite character, with all his innocence, brilliance and sneakiness. He could talk your ear off on topics you've never even heard of! So lovable though.

This was yet another great b
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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)
  • 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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“Another dead body. Every year it is the same. Every year, another dead body...” 40 likes
“There has been an accident,’ I explained to Abdullah, who was staring at Nemo’s bloody sleeve. ‘Please take Ali or Hassan and go at once to the ridge behind the tents. You will find a dead body there. Carry it here.’ Abdullah clapped his hand to his brow. ‘Not a dead man, sitt. Not another dead man ...’ A flicker of reviving hope returned to his stricken face. ‘Is it a mummy you mean, sitt? An old dead man?’ ‘I am afraid this one is rather fresh,’ I admitted. ‘You had better fashion a litter or something of that sort with which to carry him. Get on with it, if you please; I cannot stand here fahddling with you, can’t you see Mr Nemo needs medical attention?’ Abdullah staggered off, wringing his hands and muttering. A few words were intelligible: ‘Another dead body. Every year it is the same. Every year, another dead body ...” 0 likes
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