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The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)
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The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody #10)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  5,951 ratings  ·  159 reviews
The Ape Who Guards the Balance begins in 1907 in England where Amelia is attending a suffragettes' rally outside the home of Mr. Geoffrey Romer of the House of Commons. It seems Romer is one of the few remaining private collectors of Egyptian antiquities, and a series of bizarre events at the protest soon embroil Amelia in grave personal danger. Suspecting that the Master ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Avon Books (first published 1998)
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Very entertaining. I'm enjoying the later books in this series even more than the earlier ones. I am entirely amused by the teen-aged Ramses, now sometimes addressed as "Mr. Emerson" and sometimes dressed in the height of fashion for an Edwardian English gentleman. But mostly he is in Egypt with his parents and his adopted sister and cousin, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs and investigating murders.

Amelia Peabody is still deservedly the star of the story, but I think the scenes that are writte
Another excellent visit with the Emerson-Peabody family! I adore these characters, and the adventures they always get immersed in!

In this outing, the family, now including not only Ramses, but Nefret and David, are back in Egypt for the new season. While they expect a dull season, since Emerson's offending everyone "official" in the excavation game has led to his being given the most boring tombs in the Valley to excavate, as usual with the Emersons, dull is not to be.

Not only do Ramses, Nefret
Becca Martinson
May 01, 2007 Becca Martinson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone- but especially mystery lovers
If you've never read Elizabeth Peters, you should begin with the first in this series (Crocodile in the Sandbank) and work your way up as this is one of the later novels. Amelia Peabody Emerson is a fantastically stereotypical Victorian heroine- snappy, sharp, and utterly convinced of her own take of the world. Set in turn of the 19th/20th Century Egypt against the backdrop of the heyday of the great ancient Egyptian discoveries by the likes of Carter and his cohorts, these books are fast paced, ...more
Paused halfway thru to read Heartless. You should go read Heartless too. More to follow.

Okay, now I'm finished. This was a pretty good book. I don't want to go all spoiler-y on you, but there were some surprisingly sad parts to this one. As usual, there were also some funny parts, some educational parts, some dramatic parts, and some parts with characters from previous novels that I had frankly forgotten.

In my opinion, some of these characters were best left forgotten. On the other hand, we tied
Ramses finds himself in a dire situation; Captured and restrained, beaten and bloody, waiting and wondering if a way of escape will present itself when someone arrives ominously at the door.

"His aches and pains were forgotten in anticipation of what was to come next. The figure that stood in the doorway was not that of an enemy; worse. It was that of his mother."

At one point in the story an acquaintance wonders why the Emersons fall into the same kinds of trouble year after year. Peabody respon
"The Ape Who Guards the Balance" was my first Elizabeth Peters novel, and it's never ideal to start in the middle of a series.
This book started not-so-good. The characters, the plot, and the setting all left me wanting more. Thankfully, the book generally delivered: the setting greatly improved with the relocation to Egypt, which is lively described. I also liked the characters more as the book went on; Peabody, Emerson, Ramses, and Nefret are interesting in their own ways and had good dashes of
" the characters, they're so colorful, who cares about the plot! " - Barbara Rosenblat. Book ten audio includes a delightful interview with both the author Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Rosenblat the narrator. I couldn't agree more with that quote from Barbara! I too am completely addicted to this series! And Barbara's narration is beyond outstanding. I did read another review that praised her male voices. How she can portray a masculine Emerson so well! And now Ramses! Ah, Beautiful Ramses! I co ...more
Dear Barbara Mertz:

Thank you for Amelia Peabody and all her hangers' on. You'll be missed.
Though this book (#10 in the Amelia Peabody series) is light on the mystery aspect, I liked how Peters developed the central themes of weighing the heart in the scales of justice, the nature of true love (fraternal, familial, romantic and marital), and the pervasive nature of cultural and racial prejudice. Without giving it all away, she also killed off one of the major characters, whose self-sacrificial death saved Peabody's life. I found it heart-wrenching, but a necessary turning point for th ...more
Wow. Just wow. I found the previous book disappointing, so it was a long time before I got around to reading/listening to this one. I am so very glad that I did! Ms. Peters just knocked it out of the park on this one.


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Mar 20, 2010 Miriam added it
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Ryan Patrick
Peabody and Emerson don't change much from book to book - they're kind of the solid core of any book in the series that you can always count on (except in the fourth book) - but the children are developing into interesting characters in their own right. I think Peters was right to make them important characters in the series and introduce the Manuscript H stuff into the narrative.

(view spoiler)
I have to admit that it lagged a lot in the middle, but the beginning and ending of the novel made up for the middle of the novel. It isn't even that the middle was bad, but I guess I am so used to the Emersons' being attacked at every turn that when they weren't fighting for their lives every other chapter and with their archaeological finds uninteresting I found myself wishing for something to happen. However Amelia got herself in enough trouble in the end and the kids kept everything interest ...more
I am beginning to get more and more used to hearing Ramses' perspective, and I definitely appreciate it. The mystery in this particular novel was rather confusing - part of it was centered on this parchment the kids got their hands on, but then it was more about them being abducted. And then you add it the fuss about Akhenaten/Tiya's tomb and the horrible Mr. Davis, and at times it was hard to figure out what the focus was.

So here are some things I did and didn't like from this book: Nefret was
Shan O
Feb 17, 2008 Shan O added it
UPDATE: After almost 6 weeks of slogging through this horrible book, I finished it just to see it through to the end and to make sure my first impression was correct. I dreaded bedtime each night when I would have this badly-written mystery standing between me and a good night's sleep. I am glad it is over and will not read another one like it! Yuck!

I have just started reading this book, and I loathe it. I hate to be so utterly negative about The Ape Who Guards the Balance, but I have to be. I w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First off, I absolutely adore this series! Not only does it have a strong, confident and feisty female heroine but it mixes in important archaelogical finds of the period. This is one of my favorites in the series (I've read them at least twice) mainly because it's a swirl of so many evil geniuses, masters of disguise and so much more. Elizabeth Peters slyly educates us with the history of ancient Egypt while entertaining us with characters that feel like family. This particular book is based du ...more
Jimmy Tarlau
One thing I like about this series is that the different books are based in succeeding years and show a development and aging of the characters. This is not true in all series. Sara Paretsky's lead character, VI Warshawski, never seems to get old and the Patrick O'Brian books have 11 different novels that encompass 5 years of action in only 1 chronilogical year. It doesn't actually make sense to me. In the Amelia Peabody mysteries, the kids grow up from youngsters to adolescents to young adults. ...more
Although I thought that I have by now got used to the tricks of the author, this volume got to me. I cried and laughed through it. Although it started quite slowly, and I wondered how many new twists Peters can come up with, this book is very good in mixing the old and the new. It uses many elements from past volumes and characters from former books suddenly taking on new roles and seen by the narrator in a new light (quite a refreshing feature actually - a little like in life, when you gain a d ...more
Celia Powell
The character development in this 10th book of the Amelia Peabody series was great fun - I've skipped a couple, and it was lovely to see Ramses & Nefret as adults (and David, whom I'd never met as a child). There's a nice love story, a realistically tense family reaction, arguments between Amelia and her growingly independent children... I enjoyed these aspects of the story. I also liked the excerpts from "Manuscript H", being Ramses' diary, so that we get to see events not solely from Ameli ...more
Dayna Smith
The tenth installment in the Amelia Peabody series. It's 1907 and the Emerson clan is heading back to Egypt for another season of archeology. This season promises to be very boring, as Emerson is stuck in the already excavated tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but the life of an Emerson is never boring. There is an attempt made to kidnap Amelia, an attempt to harm Nefret, and Ramses and David are abducted. It appears the Master Criminal has returned, but what is he really after? Fans of this ser ...more
Probably would have enjoyed this more if I were more familiar with the "Amelia Peabody" series. This was the first in the series that I have ever read. This book had a fun Indiana Jones type theme to it. The writing style was a little confusing to me because it was awkward at times trying to figure out which character was narrating. However, the characters are charming and I love their proper British ways.
Henry Patterson
I am currently reading "Crocodile on the Sandbank" to my husband when we are on long drives and enjoying reading it aloud to him. I could not read this book, "The Ape Who Guards the Balance", to him aloud as he would probably fall asleep at the wheel and we'd die. I do love the characters, though, and will read the series to the end if I live long enough.
Don P
Yet another fun romp with the Peabody-Emerson clan. The usual events of mystery, murder, and mayhem occur with Amelia and her disaster-magnet son Ramses at the center. I felt this book was missing something, though. Regardless, it was another fine addition to the Amelia Peabody series and I highly recommend it to any mystery-loving reader.
A light read good for those who enjoy well written (detailed) historical fiction. It wasn't my favorite so far as mysteries go due to the fact that to solve the mystery you really needed background info from other books in the series that were only alluded to. But the characters seemed real enough and their relationships were believable.
This is part of the wonderful Amelia Peabody series. There are approximately 19 books in the series. Last summer, which I christened "The Summer of Amelia Peabody", I read through the first nine. It was such fun that I decided to read the remaining books in the series during this, my "Second Summer of Amelia Peabody".

As I resumed the series, I was not disappointed. It is now "the season" of 1907. Independently-minded Amelia and her equally unorthodox family are off once again to Egypt. Amelia an
Very much enjoying the young adult Ramses, David and Nefret. This adventure brings back Sethos, the master criminal who has strong feelings for Amelia. Emerson and family are bored doing very tedious work only to find that the crew near them makes a major discovery of artifacts. A dead body in the river and a few other distractions and Emerson is trying to do all he can to keep his family safe. I think these books would be hard to enjoy as just a stand alone novel. You have to follow the charact ...more
The Amelia Peabody books are formulaic, fast and fun. Amelia and her husband are Egyptian archeologists, with one arch nemesis (the mastermind behind the stolen antiquities underworld) and a bad habit of attracting trouble. They encounter hazardous debacles every season, and the whole family, but especially Amelia have to put their sleuthing skills to the test to solve their annual mystery and evade certain death before they can ever get much work done at their given excavation site. The charact ...more
Barbara ★
Even though once again, Radcliffe Emerson is stuck clearing already excavated tombs - a task that they all find boring - life with this gang is never dull. Undercover Ramses, David and Nefret stumble across a spectacular papyrus of unknown origins which segues into an exciting adventure where someone is trying to kill them...again Of course, Amelia can't keep her nose out of trouble and Emerson can't keep his mouth shut so chaos reigns. At times funny and sad, this is a typical adventure for Pea ...more
I like the way this one has the younger generation fully involved in the adventure as old enemies come back to haunt the Emersons. The problems begin with an attack on Amelia in London, but the case follows them to Egypt where uneventful (read dull) archeological work is interrupted by attacks on various members of the family. There are clues pointing to the involvement of their old nemesis, the Master Criminal, but could he really have broken his promise to Amelia not to target those she loved? ...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 Falcon at the Portal( Amelia Peabody, #11)
Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1) The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2) The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6) Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4) The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)

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“I don't think she realized how much she cared for him, or he for her, until the end. Hasn't someone said a woman may be known by the men who love her enough to die for her? (If they haven't, I claim the credit myself.)” 23 likes
“There was no warning, not even a knock. The door flew open, and he forgot his present aches and pains in anticipation of what lay in store. The figure that stood in the door was not that of an enemy. It was worse. It was his mother.” 19 likes
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