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Old 07-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
Synamon
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It was very like Scooby Doo, especially all the bumbling when trying to catch the mummy. I wanted to like this, but the plot was too predictable. I suppose that's my problem with most romances, there's really only one way they can end. The mystery element of the story was obvious and contrived, so the interesting setting couldn't save the book for me.

I've recently been enjoying The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books which have only a minor mystery element and are mostly about the setting and the characters, so this type of narrative can work for me, just not this particular book/series.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #17
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You know, of course, that Amelia Peabody is based on a real person? She's very much inspired by the Victorian novelist and Egyptologist Amelia B. Edwards (1831-1892), who wrote a book of her travels in Egypt called "A Thousand Miles Up to Nile" which became a massive bestseller. (You can find it in the MR Library here - I thoroughly recommend reading it). Many details of the story are taken directly from "A Thousand Miles Up the Nile" - eg both the real and fictional Amelias (Ameliae?) travel in a Dahabeeya called the "Philae"; both are given the nickname "the lady doctor" by the locals (to be strictly accurate, in the real Amelia's case it was her companion who was given the nickname), and much more.

Similarly, Emerson is very much inspired by the British archeologist Sir Flinders Petrie, some of whose methods are directly described in passages in "Crocodile on the Sandbank" (such as preserving a delicate painting by using his finger to cover it with a preservative.) Like Emerson, Petrie had a reputation for being grumpy, shouting at people, and having no patience with people he considered to be fools.

I should add that it was reading this series that inspired me first to visit Egypt (which is probably my favourite place on Earth) and secondly to learn more, read about, and create a nice eBook edition of the book of, the real Amelia Edwards - a very formidable lady, by all accounts.
Ah, thanks for this, HarryT. I had certainly heard of Sir Flinders Petrie, having studied a bit of Egyptian history and archaeology, but hadn't come across Amelia Edwards. That explains why the book sounds so note perfect.

And thanks for the tip - I'll look out the book in the library.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:00 PM   #18
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Jinkees! It's the ex-lover.

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Old 07-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #19
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Jinkees! It's the ex-lover.

Rooby Rooby Roo!
Yeah, I felt sorry for Walter, but then lots of guys have problems with their girlfriends' mummies.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 07-21-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:07 AM   #20
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Yeah, I felt sorry for Walter, but then lots of guys have problems with their girlfriends' mummies.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synamon View Post
It was very like Scooby Doo, especially all the bumbling when trying to catch the mummy. I wanted to like this, but the plot was too predictable. I suppose that's my problem with most romances, there's really only one way they can end. The mystery element of the story was obvious and contrived, so the interesting setting couldn't save the book for me.
It's the setting that's the whole point of the book for me, but I have a love affair with Egypt. I can understand that for someone who's never been there, or has no interest it in, it perhaps wouldn't appeal.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:01 AM   #22
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Add me to the group that thinks the book was predictable but still an enjoyable read. This was a reread for me. I had read the first book before and a few of the later books in the series. I'm going to try to go through the series in order this time. I've already got book 2 on hold at the library.

The setting and the main characters were interesting and the writing just sweeps you along in the story. You know where it is going and can just relax and enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:05 PM   #23
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This was a re-read for me (though last time was audio)...but I love visiting old friends. I've read much of this series and enjoy the characters immensely, especially with the spice of mystery thrown into the mix. With the setting in Egypt...the story is a win for me.

Lol...never thought about Scooby and the Gang...but, yes...can see it now!

Interestingly...I'm reading the latest Mercedes Lackey novel, Home from the Sea, and I swear there was a reference to Amelia Peabody and gang when describing some travel in Egypt. The description fit exactly, including reference to her amazing parasol!

The Peabody book also sent me on a Google search for images of "Rational Dress"...especially since it wasn't bloomers (though she wanted some made) or the simple divided skirts often used in the era. Not sure of all the bonafides, but for a quick walk through clothing of the era, it will do. http://www.fashion-era.com/rational_dress.htm

Just as an aside, for those interested in the rest of the series, go for it! They are fun, fast reads and well worth the time. The audiobook of the first was well done, though the others I've read in print. My teenage son really enjoyed the bits he was forced to listen to in the car--now that's a recommendation.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:10 PM   #24
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OK, picture this...

Amelia and the gang being chased by the mummy in a pyramid with multiple rooms with doors down a long hallway.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:15 PM   #25
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:17 PM   #26
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Picture this: Amelia and the Gang in Egyptian dress posed in front of the precious Pavement as the mummy runs by!
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #27
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Great line from the text..

"Lucas, for pity's sake, seize it! Don't stand there deriding its linguistic inadequacies!"
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:16 PM   #28
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Well, this Gentle Reader is coming a bit late to the party, but I finished Miss Peabody's first adventure today. I liked it well enough that I will carry on with the series, see where it leads. The characters were the big hit for me, they fairly sparkled off the page, particularly in the beginning.

I wasn't surprised by the villain, but there were enough twists that it was still fun. What did surprise me was the ending.

Spoiler:
Maybe Elizabeth Peters didn't plan for it to be a series? The big leap in time and events at the end...catch the miscreants, get on the boat, next thing you know people are having babies all over the place! It felt rushed and just tacked on; I'd have much preferred to make my way throughout courtships, weddings, expeditions either in this book as part of the next one or two.


Anyway, good choice and thanks to those who nominated and voted for this one.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:45 AM   #29
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Spoiler:
Maybe Elizabeth Peters didn't plan for it to be a series? The big leap in time and events at the end...catch the miscreants, get on the boat, next thing you know people are having babies all over the place! It felt rushed and just tacked on; I'd have much preferred to make my way throughout courtships, weddings, expeditions either in this book as part of the next one or two.
Spoiler:

Absolutely right - it was written originally as a standalone book. It was only 6 years later that she returned to it and decided to make it a series. There's a real problem with Amelia's age as we get later in the series, and into the 1920s!
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:28 PM   #30
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Absolutely right - it was written originally as a standalone book. It was only 6 years later that she returned to it and decided to make it a series. There's a real problem with Amelia's age as we get later in the series, and into the 1920s!
OK, good to know, ty! A shame really, but then I'm a sucker for snappy repartee and characters who fight to the bitter end before recognizing what has been plainly obvious to the rest of us.
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