This book, written out of chronological order, is "off" in other respects too. Peabody is just plain manipulative, as is Emerson. Peters is out of her element, as she's writing about Palestine instead of Egypt, her first love and the Emerson family's first love. The relationship between Ramses and Nefret is all but non-existent--in fact Ramses admits to himself that he's gone to Palestine with an inferior archaeologist mainly because he can't bear to be in the same room with her. I'll read anything in this series, but this one rather put my teeth on edge compared to most of them. I agree with Amelia's conclusion--she wants to go home, and she means Egypt, not England. This isn't a bad book, just not up to par.
I have enjoyed her books. The main trouble I find with serials is that many facts about the characters have to be repeated for first time readers. I still enjoy the books about ancient times in the middle east.
The flavor of this Amelia Peabody book is "off". There are no foreign phrases. No shirts are ruined. Emerson doesn't get cut off mid-word when he disparages someone's heritage. Nefret is obedient -- or at least acquiescent. And Ramses uses the latrine (a function that was never mentioned in previous books). All of which lead a fan to ask "Has Elizabeth Peters taken on a ghost-writer or an assistant?"
It's not a bad story, but the characters seem to have lost dimension and the genuine affection they had for one another in previous novels.
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