For archaeologist Amelia Peabody and her family, the allure of Egypt remains as powerful as ever, even in this tense time of World War. But nowhere in this desert land is safe ' especially for Amelia's son Ramses and his beautiful new wife Nefret.
Treachery and peril are pursuing the two young lovers across the length and breadth of this strange, exotic world, strengthening a bond of passion and devotion that only death can sever. And the grim discovery of a recent corpse in a tomb where it does not belong is pulling Amelia deeper into a furious desert storm of intrigue, corruption, kidnapping, and murder ' and toward dark revelations that threaten to awaken the past...and alter the family's destiny.
"Irresistible... a disarming series... Amelia is still a joy. She and Emerson continue to dig into the past with gusto, while leaving the more energetic encounters with grave robbers and war-borne villains to their swashbuckling son, Ramses."
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Wonderfully entertaining... As juicy and tasty as a ripe peach."
"The hype is true. This is Peters' best book."
TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL
"Elizabeth Peters... weaves [her] expertise in breathtaking detail.... The younger members of the family join their indomitable elders in these adventures, injecting this rich, tongue-in-cheek desert romp series with some fresh and vibrant blood."
NEW YORK POST
"As always in this series of uproarious Egyptological mysteries, plenty of strange doings are afoot in the desert, and readers will find all the delicious trappings of a vintage Peters extravaganza lost tombs, kidnappings, deadly attacks, mummies and sinister villains."
"Hard to put down."
"Peters delivers a great blend of adventure and wit."
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April 02, 2002
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Excerpt from Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters
"I challenge even you, Peabody, to find a silver lining in this situation," Emerson remarked.
We were in the library at Amarna House, our home in Kent. As usual, Emerson's desk resembled an archaeological tell, piled high with books and papers and dusty with ashes from his pipe. The servants were strictly forbidden to touch his work, so the ashes were only disturbed when Emerson rooted around in one pile or another, looking for something. Leaning back in his chair, he stared morosely at the bust of Plato on the opposite bookshelf. Plato stared morosely back. He had replaced the bust of Socrates, which had been shattered by a bullet a few years ago, and his expression was not nearly so pleasant.
The October morn was overcast and cool, a portent of the winter weather that would soon be upon us, and a reflection of the somber mood that affected most persons; and I was bound to confess that these were indeed times to try men's souls. When the war began in August of 1914, people were saying it would be over by Christmas. By the autumn of 1915, even the sturdiest optimists had resigned themselves to a long, bloody conflict. After appalling casualties, the opposing armies on the western front had settled into the stalemate of trench warfare, and the casualties continued to mount. The attempt to force the Straits of the Dardanelles and capture Constantinople had been a failure. A hundred thousand men were pinned down on the beaches of Gallipoli, unable to advance because of the enemy's control of the terrain, unable to withdraw because the War Office refused to admit it had made a catastrophic mistake. Serbia was about to fall to the enemy. The Russian armies were in disarray. Italy had entered the war on our side, but her armies were stalled on the Austrian frontier. Attack from the air and from under the sea had added a new and hideous dimension to warfare.
There was a bright spot, though, and I was quick to point it out. After a summer spent in England we were about to leave for Egypt and another season of the archaeological endeavors for which we have become famous. My distinguished husband would not have abandoned his excavations for anything less than Armageddon (and only if that final battle were being fought in his immediate vicinity). Though acutely conscious of the tragedy of world war, he was sometimes inclined to regard it as a personal inconvenience -- "a confounded nuisance," to quote Emerson himself. It had certainly complicated our plans for that season. With overland travel to the Italian ports now cut off, there was only one way for us to reach Egypt, and German submarines prowled the English coast.
Not that Emerson was concerned for himself; he fears nothing in this world or the next. It was concern for the others who were accustomed to join us in our yearly excavations that made him hesitate: for me; for our son Ramses and his wife, Nefret; for Ramses's friend David and his wife Lia, Emerson's niece; for her parents, Emerson's brother Walter and my dear friend Evelyn; and for Sennia, the little girl we had taken into our hearts and home after she was abandoned by her English father.