Morrow, May 2001, 25.00, 404 pp.
In 1915, archeologist Amelia Peabody returns to Cairo for the season accompanied by her spouse Emerson, their son Ramses, and his wife Nefret. Amelia quickly realizes that the charm of the city has been muted by the arrival of European agents from both camps and blatant tomb robbers. Still Luxor is so out of the way, Amelia expects a serene dignified dig.
However, her dreams of quiet success turn nightmarish when Amelia finds a corpse that requires law enforcement to date the homicide. As the war heats up in Northern Africa, the murder count rises too. Amelia, worrying about the killer striking again, begins her brand of sleuthing to uncover the identity of the culprit before her family is harmed.
The latest Amelia Peabody historical mystery contains all the elements that make this series such a delight. The who-done-is cleverly devised and the glimpses at Egyptology through a historiographer's eyes are intelligently used to foster the feel of the times (along with World War I) without slowing down the plot. Still, the tale belongs to the intrepid Amelia who may suffer perils like a Pauline, but rescues herself and others rather than wait for the handsome hero to arrive. Somewhat a witty satire, LORD OF SILENT is a fabulous novel that will add to the reputation of excellence sub-genre fans and critics have bestowed on author Elizabeth Peters.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner