Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Constable & Robinson
Release Date: February 2003
ISBN: 1841194867
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Historical Crime (1903, Egypt)
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:

Seeing A Large Cat
By Elizabeth Peters 

     This is the ninth of Elizabeth Peters' delightful Amelia Peabody series, which Constable has made available to her many UK fans. Everything after what I regard as her masterpiece, The Last Camel Died At Noon, seems to belong to the second stage in this series when a more somber tone creeps in, the pace slows down and there starts to be some harking back to more carefree times. This is one of the least apprehensive of the later books with the whole extended family excavating some rather obscure tombs and having to puzzle out why they have been sent a note that reads "Stay away from tomb Twenty-A!" As there is no such tomb, it takes some digging before the surprise is revealed, and the Peabody clan also has to fend off the unwelcome attentions of Southern gentleman Colonel Bellingham and his predatory daughter Dolly, as well as sort out Enid's marital problems as her husband Donald appears to have fallen in love with the ghost of an Egyptian princess.

     As usual there is plenty of adventure, readers can renew their acquaintance with many of the usual characters and meet a few colorful new ones. There is less about excavation and Egyptology in this book and more about the family, which at times gets tedious, and Ramses' diary extracts often go over what we already know without adding anything that cannot be guessed. The plot treads water in some places but manages to keep the reader guessing a bit, but by this stage the series is as much family saga as a mystery and so the archaeology and adventure take a back seat. My advice to anybody wanting to start reading these books would be to start at the beginning. Anybody who has read my other reviews of this series will know that I prefer the earlier volumes, but this is one of the most enjoyable of the later numbers and a rare mixture of murder, humor and adventure.

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