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The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody #3)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  9,231 ratings  ·  419 reviews
Radcliffe Emerson, the irascible husband of fellow archaeologist and Egyptologist Amelia Peabody, has earned the nickname "Father of Curses"—and at Mazghunah he demonstrates why. Denied permission to dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor, he and Amelia are resigned to excavating mounds of rubble in the middle of nowhere. And there is nothing in the barren area worthy of their in ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Harper (first published 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carly
**edited 01/27/14

WARNING: do not read this novel if you plan to maintain any awe of Victorian archaeologists such as DeMorgan, Petrie, Wilbour, or Wallis Budge. After reading this book, every time you see a mention of DeMorgan's hallowed name in a museum or article, you will start giggling about his pathetically eager desire (at least, that portrayed in this novel) to be portrayed heroically in the Illustrated London Times:

(I think the woman in the front might be Amelia herself.)
Petrie's illustr
...more
faeriemyst
Yet another fun mystery featuring Amelia Peabody. While I have to admit the mystery didn't interest me much, the repartee between the indomitable Amelia and Emerson, and Ms. Peabody's (or Mrs. Emerson's) narration, more than made up for it. Ramses can be amusing also, but he can be a bit too much sometimes, probably because he is too precocious and smart to be believed. How many languages does this five-year-old know? Although I do think this specific example is the whole point of these books an ...more
Lilja
This 3rd book in the Amelia Peabody series was a huge disapointment. The first two were hilarious and fun to read, despite the weakness of a having a pretty vague or unremarkable mysterie at their core. Peters seems to not have had much of a thought as to who the perpetrators or the mytery should be whe sitting down and writing this book. It feels like at the end whe we find out what was going on and who the villains are, she is half heartedly trying to fit the persons in as the criminals rather ...more
Bree T
The Mummy Case is the third novel in the Amelia Peabody series and once again we open with the Emerson’s in England. They plan to return to Egypt and dig at the pyramids of Dahshoor, leaving behind their precocious son Ramses with Emerson’s brother Walter and his wife Evelyn. Evelyn has just suffered a ‘disappointment’ (miscarriage) and having Ramses comforts her. Plans are thwarted when Evelyn falls pregnant again and even Emerson and Amelia can see that it will be impossible for them to leave ...more
Rebecca Huston
Last year I started to read the Amelia Peabody series by the late Elizabeth Peters, and discovered that I liked it. In the third book in the series, the Emersons are returning to Egypt, but this time they have their young, precocious son Ramses in tow, along with the cat Bastet. Assigned a distant, unremarkable site to excavate, the digging season starts out uncomfortable, but soon enough there are plenty of eccentricities to complicate matters, from several American missionaries, an overstuffed ...more
Kris
Quite a bit less engaging than the first book, The Mummy Case suffered very badly from an overdose of pompousness. From Ramses stilted sentences, and seriously WHAT 7 or 8 year old child sounds like a 50 year old college professor (and the speech impediment was just freaking annoying) to Amelia and even Emerson, whom we expect to be stuffy. Amelia's narrative bordered on self righteous and I rapidly tired of her know-it-allness. Not to mention she spent most of the book cutting off every male wh ...more
BJ Rose
Amelia is an amusing and annoying pompous know-it-all; but that's why this series works. But what makes this one even better is the inclusion of Ramses in the expedition. Proud and loving mama Amelia wasn't all that happy to include him, but Emerson insisted on having his son with them, and Ramses proceeds to take center stage. He is described by his mama as 'catastrophically precocious' and is extremely successful in finding any and every loophole in his protective mama's laundry list of instru ...more
Francesca Mascari
Penso che la famiglia Peabody-Emerson non delude mai, anche in un romanzo come questo in cui la storyline fatica a decollare, o non decolla affatto. Radcliffe, Amelia e Ramses sono così meravigliosamente descritti che è impossibile non amarli, e insieme sono la formula vincente di questa saga, nonostante in loro abbondino note caratteriali per nulla simpatiche; Radcliffe sempre più burbero e rude (ma con lato sensibile ben nascosto); Amelia irrimediabile ficcanaso dai modi spicci; Ramses pedante ...more
Barbara ★
I had difficulty with all the religious fervor in this installment though I absolutely loved Ramses. What a precocious character! Amelia and Emerson were just dying to get back to excavating in Egypt and at 4 years old (or maybe 5), they figured now was a good time to indoctrinate Ramses into tombs and mummies. Ramses may be a young child but he is wise and knowledgeable beyond his age. His little diatribes were truly hysterical until someone cut him off of course (usually Amelia) though I admit ...more
Elizabeth
Typical Amelia Peabody fare. It's funny, witty, smart, and ridiculous. I think the series gets more ridiculous with each installment. It's like Peters is making fun of "sensationalist" mysteries a la Agatha Christie. It's a fun read; I laughed and smiled a lot. Peters investigates a murder, thefts, and an off-putting group of missionaries. In the process, she gets robbed, duped, and dumped in a hidden tomb. But this only fuels her desire for detective work. Of course.

Most of the comic relief/rid
...more
Stacey Franklin
This was a disappointment. I've heard wonderful things about this author and series, but could NOT get past the gag-inducing lovey-dovey crap between the heroine (Amelia) and her handsome&sensitive (of course!) husband or the head-bashing-against-the-wall-inducing precociousness of their hideous child. Obviously this is meant to be some manner of frumpy spinster porn and I'm not digging it.
Which is too bad! Because I liked Amelia's wit, from the small amount I read, as well as the disinte
...more
Tracy
The third book is usually where a series either ends or wanders into an uninteresting vein. Not so with The Mummy Case. With the introduction of a criminal mastermind and a tangled knot of plot lines, Ms. Peters lures the reader into yet another wild caper and ensures we'll read many books to come.

There are a few tactics Ms. Peters employs with regard to her narrative that I find significantly help the story remain interesting. Time is very fluid in her novel. There are times when every second
...more
Amanda
In the depths of February, with snow piled high, the economy imploding, and my whole family (including the cat) projectile vomiting at regular intervals, I need friendly sustenance. I need a source of inspiration. I need an example of sheer bloody minded CERTAINTY. I need Amelia Peabody.

I have read these books before. Some more than others (this is my third copy of Deeds of the Disturber). I love these books. I don't give these early ones five stars just so I will have something to go up to when
...more
Rosa
Lo único que puedo decir es que no me gustan los niños que lo hacen todo bien y son tan endiabladamente perfectos. El resto, sigue la línea del resto de libros.
Jamie
A fun, light read. Peabody and Emerson take their unbelievably precocious son, nicknamed "Ramses", with them to Egypt for a season of excavation and crime-solving.

I enjoyed the point of view of Amelia Peabody's character very much. Ramses's lisp got on my nerves, but I suppose that was the author's way of reminding you that those stilted speeches were coming from a little kid. On the other hand, I was also annoyed that his parents hardly ever let him finish a sentence despite knowing full well h
...more
Sherry Ramsey
It's been a stressful six weeks, and I really needed a tried and true book to help bring those stress levels down. I was delighted to find that my local library had a few Amelia Peabody audiobooks in their collection, so I promptly downloaded one.

I read all of these books years ago, and Amelia remains one of my favorite characters of all time. She is wonderfully unreliable at times. If I could pick a fictional character with whom to sit down and have tea--well, Amelia would definitely be in the
...more
Cat
The plot was a little more jumbled in this one than in the first two. There is less of a closed cast murder mystery feel than there was in the first two books when you know that the criminal involved must be interacting with the main characters on a regular basis. Perhaps Peters got tired of that Agatha Christie convention, but for me, it made the guesswork about who did it (and why) significantly less interesting. The unraveling of the mystery was less tidy than it might have been (and hence le ...more
Katie Drake
I've read all the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. She does an excellant job of transporting the reader into the past when Egypt was thhe play ground of the wealthy adventurer. The characters are so dynamic and enjoyable to read. I recommend them to anyone who wants to escape into a good mystery.
Joanne
Listened to this installment in the Amelia Peabody series on audio, narrated by the superb Barbara Rosenblatt. She IS the voice and embodiment of Amelia in my mind, and her narration added such a new level of enjoyment to an already highly entertaining Victorian/Egyptian mystery series.
Melissa
I gave the first book of this series 5 stars, the second 3, and this only 1 star. It made me wonder if editors actually edit books once an author has had some success, because I don't see how any editor could have given this book the green light as is if they had actually read it. What was witty and clever and funny in the first book has become pompous and lecture-like and unfunny in the third, and I found myself skimming and skipping pages just to get to the end. Their 'precocious' child Ramses ...more
Elissa
I wanted to read this one to see if the series was going to get better again after a disappointing second book. But I was even more disappointed (and bored) by this book and gave up on the series.
Erin
Listened to the audiobook. The reader is great! These books always make me laugh - I'm not sure what I'd think if I read them myself, but the audiobook versions are highly entertaining.
Dillwynia Peter
The 1st two Peabody novels were fun mysteries - this one wasn't. I found it dull & over written; I found Ramses the unbelievable child irritating & I had to remove the affectations in my head to read his statements, which often were important. I hope we don't encounter him again until he comes down from either Oxford or Cambridge some 20 years in the future.

The crimes were weak & half the criminals were just silly in their crimes & behaviour. I hope the next is superior - I want
...more
Elise
Another solid installment, but Ramses affected speech slowly drove me crazy.
An Odd1
This is a favorite kind of story, a mix of genres: fun, action, mystery, love. The humor is backhanded, because we see the didactic author and her loved ones in an objective light. Action, by her and her progeny, whether children or adopted, is in an exotic setting, time and place, long ago and far away, like a fairy tale.

Even when I have read the book before, as I often have, the killer often hides. She blames much on a Master Criminal, not always right. Unfortunately, plots can get so complic
...more
Marj
This is the third in the Amelia Peabody series of stories. As is usual in these, Amelia Peabody Emerson and her husband, Radcliffe, are busy on an archeological dig in Egypt, this time accompanied by their precocious four year old, known as Ramses, and their servant, John, who is supposed to help keep an eye on Ramses and keep him out of trouble. And also, as is usual, they become involved in solving a murder or two.

Amelia suspects that the illicit antiquities market is being supplied by a Maste
...more
Vivienne
As I had done previously this novel was my audiobook-in-the-car during the week and then I would read the corresponding pages on my Kindle on Sundays. I switched to the Rosenblat edition as she is one of my favourite narrators for audio books. Her voice for Amelia is no nonsense and crisp whereas Susan O'Malley in Curse of the Pharaohs gave a more comic delivery.

The tale was engaging and only slightly marred by the presence of the annoyingly precocious Rameses. I understand from others who have
...more
Sherry
Fun read.

Comic mystery of a family, told thru Mom's eyes, of a dig in Egypt.

Mom and Dad are archaeologists, very quirky ones, who want to dig for mummies. But are assigned just an old, uninteresting dig.

They have a very precocious son, who starts his own dig. Then there occur many shenanigans, involving missing tomb artifacts. Murders occur, etc .

Much trouble ensues but all crimes are eventually solved. The humor involved arises from thier personalities and the way she tells their thoughts.
Lisa
Amelia Peabody is at it again, but this time, she and her husband are taking along their precocious son, Ramses. Too late to get the permit to dig where they really want to, they are forced to dig in an undesirable location. Not only are there slim pickings when it comes to antiquities, but there is also a group of missionaries that are causing problems. And then, when a mummy case disappears, as well as some mysterious deaths, they are forced to solve the mystery, or their entire family will be ...more
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Fans of the Late ...: One of Emerson's favorites 1 8 Oct 09, 2013 03:14PM  
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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)
  • 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)
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 Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)

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“Marriage, in my view, should be a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.” 147 likes
“Ramses. I had long since resigned myself to the impossibility of teaching Emerson the proper subjects of conversation before the servants. Wilkins is not resigned; but there is nothing he can do about it. Not only does Emerson rant on and on about personal matters at the dinner table, but he often consults Wilkins and John. Wilkins has a single reply to all questions: “I really could not say, sir.” John, who had never been in service before he came to us, had adapted very comfortably to Emerson’s habits.” 0 likes
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