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The Serpent on the Crown

(Amelia Peabody #17)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  6,922 ratings  ·  295 reviews

New York Times bestselling master of suspense, Elizabeth Peters, brings an exotic world of adventure, intrigue, and danger to vivid life, in a tale as powerful as ancient Egypt.

The Emersons have returned to the Valley of the Kings in 1922 and Amelia Peabody and her family look forward to delving once more into the age-old mysteries buried in Egypt's ever-shifting sands. B

Audio CD, Unabridged, 12 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Harper Audio (first published 2005)
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Natalie It is a way in which he resembles his father, Ramses, who was similarly precociously verbose as a child. It was a source of much exasperation for his …moreIt is a way in which he resembles his father, Ramses, who was similarly precociously verbose as a child. It was a source of much exasperation for his mother (and a fair bit of hilarity for the reader) through much of the first half of the series. (less)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  6,922 ratings  ·  295 reviews

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May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: peters-elizabeth
Hooray, this series is back on track for me. Generally speaking I enjoyed the early books of the series before the advent of the children who were featured too heavily for my taste. Then the previous book, Guardian of the Horizon, was such a dud to me that I stopped following the series. At long last I decided to tackle the next book and am so glad I did! Yes, Ramses and Nefret are featured heavily, but they are more mature now and I enjoyed them along with Amelia, Emerson and the rest of the cl ...more
It's 1922 and the Emersons are ready to begin another season of excavations. When a Mrs. Petherick arrives breathless at the Emersons' home begging to see Professor Emerson and rambling about her husband's breath being sucked from him, a priceless artifact and a curse, the Emersons are less than impressed. Mrs. Petherick, a writer of gothic novels, believes a golden statuette of an ancient god has cursed her family and she is the next to die. Emerson promises to keep the object and remove any cu ...more
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I think my favorite part of this is when Amelia arranges a family meeting with all the chairs lined up in rows and herself behind a desk, and then pretends that it's a totally normal way to have a discussion.
Stef Rozitis
This book is very, very racist. Quite sexist too but on reflection the racism was the biggest flaw. The problem is it sort of tries to get away with being progressive on the grounds that the white (never described as white) people love, trust and appreciate their servants who are portrayed as happy and devoted in their exploitation. Fatima loves "flirting with" the dodgy uncle


In terms of the way the book is written I can understand pragmatic reasons for the author wishing to switch betwee
Ida Flowers
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction, and I love series fiction. Ms. Peters (or Mertz, or Michaels) has been an inspiration to me for over a quarter-century.

When I was a very young mother, and had all the time in the world for reading and writing, Ms. Peters' books stimulated my intellect and aroused my imagination. I had no college, and through Vicky Bliss and Amelia Peabody I was inspired to learn who John Donne and Howard Carter were, to read Shakespeare and listen to Handel, and to reach for independen
Susan in NC
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reread
I have enjoyed rereading this series over the last several months after enjoying The Painted Queen, Joan Hess’ completion of an unfinished Elizabeth Peters novel. I decided to reread the books from around that point in the series to see if they held up for me after so many years.

I love the humor, the mysteries, the recurring cast of characters, the exotic locale of Egypt, the archeological information (Peters had a PhD in Egyptology), and especially the main character of Amelia Peabody Emerson a
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
August 2019: A crisscrossed many-villained book eclipsed by the ending scenes so that by the time you are done it is easy to forget the earliest mysteries. Peters is definitely setting up for the next book here (Tutankhamen!) and it’s easy to see she was thinking about how to end the series even if she never did so. Continues the simplification of Amelia and Emerson’s characters and some of their less appealing aspects are more clear too. Still four stars and five for Barbara Rosenblat whose dee ...more
Rachel N.
It's 1922 and the Emerson clan is back excavating in Egypt after the war. Mrs. Petherick gives Emerson a statue of an Egyptian king that she claims is cursed so the "black afrit" won't kill her too. Someone also seems intent on harming Ramses. I enjoy this series and loved having nearly the whole family together again for a mystery filled with lots of humor. I'm sad there are only two more books in the series that were entirely written by Peters, the last book was completed by Joan Hess. When I ...more
Emma Rose Ribbons
Mrs. Petherick, a popular novelist, gives the Emersons a statuette she believes is cursed. She's found dead soon after and it's up to our beloved characters to find out who killed her.

The culprit is obvious from page 1 but no matter - I read these books because they're wonderfully domestic and this was no exception. I loved following Amelia and Emerson on their adventures (the ending is quite romantic), Nefret and Ramses (so interesting to see how Amelia sees their relationship as very similar t
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more of these books I read, the more beloved and precious the Emerson family (and friends) become to me! They have kept me company through these last 18 months! I will be saddened when I finish the last book in the series!
This was a much better story than the last.
Amelia Peabody and her vast and varied family face one of their final mysteries, when a woman gives them a cursed statue and demands they save her from the black affrit that's been haunting her. Of course, someone dies and there's a great deal of danger and early 20th century daring-do.

This is not really my type of book, so I suspect the hardcover made it into possession by way of my mom. This is definitely a Mom Book; there's danger, violence and romance without being shockingly graphic. One c
Barbara ★
First read April 10, 2010
If you like this series, then you'll love this one. Same scenario, same people (Peabody, Emerson, Ramses, Nefret and Cyrus) but different mystery and different tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Of course, you know someone is going to be in mortal danger - no difference here. As predictable as it is, it's enjoyable anyway. I love the edition of Ramses and Nefret's four year old twins. They're a hoot!

Second read August 22, 2014
Now I'm following the series in order and it's
Julia DeBarrioz
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, egypt, victorian
So much egyptological mystery goodness....

I love it that Sethos is part of The Family in these later books, its so delightful.

And the Children! Omg they're too much!

(view spoiler)
I love this series! I've been saving it because I don't want it to end. I like the return of all the good characters. It was a feel good, cozy book to me after all the years I've gone on an adventure with them.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can always step into Amelia's world and feel right at home!
Loved it!
John Neece
I feel that Elizabeth Peters is an intelligent writer and I could see how many would love the snobbish humor of her heroes. Yet, I found myself getting tired of the book and wanting more to happen.
3.5 Somewhat confusing, and for once, the person "whodunit" came somewhat out of left field for me!
Eileen Lynx
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such fun re-reading this series by listening to the audiobook. So well read.
Cody McCoy
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s 1922. Howard Carter pops up now and again in the book. Emerson has theories about a missing tomb. What marvelous suspense!!!
Pat King
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s been a great ride!
I love this series so much. We're very nearly to the Tutankhamen discovery I think, I can't wait to experience that with my favorite archaeological family!
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2017
Another fun entry in the Peabody/Emerson adventures. I love the twins and I especially love not having to deal with a lovesick, whiny Ramses. This is one of my favorites, as it has plenty of action, some fun twists, all my favorite recurring characters, and some great new secondary characters.
Jamie Collins
I prefer to read series books in publication order, but I have made an exception in this case and skipped over Guardian of the Horizon. That one is a prequel, set earlier in the lives of the Emersons. This series spans four decades, and I have enjoyed watching this family age and grow as the years pass (although the author cheated a little bit concerning Amelia and Emerson's ages) and I don't want to regress them now.

This book is set in 1922, and the Emersons return to the Valley of the Kings. T
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, there is another body, treasure, and several attempts to end Rameses life. All of Luxor is intent on the fabulous statuette given to Emerson by the dead woman. Who is the rightful owner? Who discovered it and where? And who will do anything to obtain it. Their exciting adventures once more cause the Emerson's to place there excavations on temporary hold until the dastardly villain can be caught.
Felisa Rosa
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ms. Peters has obviously never dwelt upon a crucial writing rule: don't include scenes that do not serve a useful purpose such as plot or character development. You can get away with this type of rambling in literature if you're good enough, but I certainly wouldn't call this literature.
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yup, I'm hooked. Add another author added to my must read list. Although this book is actually number 13 or so in the series, I didn't feel lost in the plot.

To boot, the woman who read the story Barbara Rosenblat, did a wonderful job.
The Serpent in the Crown is the penultimate book in the Amelia Peabody Emerson series. Amelia is approximately 70 years old, and like the series, she’s starting to feel her age (but neither would ever admit it). It is January of 1922, and Egyptologists professional and dilettante alike should be able to tell you the significance of this year archaeologically-speaking. This book in the series is really there to set us up for the last book. Minor and rather obvious spoilers of an Egyptological nat ...more
Beth Amy
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't be "afrit," it'll be all right...

After all, the Emersons are on the case, and the Father of Curses does a great exorcism- even if it takes a while to take effect.
It starts with a widow and an artifact. The widow claims her husband had the life sucked out of him by a curse attached to a small and very valuable artifact. She insists the curse will kill her and begs Emerson to take it. She refuses to leave with it. Emerson takes it, but only for safekeeping.
Then 2 younger people arrive. The
Pamela Mclaren
Another adventure in Egypt with the Peabody Emerson family. It is 1922, and as usual Amelia "Peabody" Emerson is the know-it-all matriarch who tries to guide and manage not only the everyday activities of the family — which has grown by marriage and children — but the mystery that always seems to assume this family. This time, the Emersons have return to the Valley of the Kings where they are approached by a widow and her story of a cursed solid gold statuette that killed her husband and is now ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Serpent on the Crown by Elizabeth Peters 4 stars 2 11 Dec 09, 2018 09:25AM  

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Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote 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 Frede ...more

Other books in the series

Amelia Peabody (1 - 10 of 20 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 Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)

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