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The Painted Queen: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense

The Painted Queen: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense

Written by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess

Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat


The Painted Queen: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense

Written by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess

Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

ratings:
4.5/5 (11 ratings)
Length:
13 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 25, 2017
ISBN:
9780062190574
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Egypt, 1912—Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters' bestselling, beloved mystery series.

Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word—"Murder"—before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia's name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: "Judas." Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.

It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin—someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for Emerson—Where were you?"—pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.

But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Amarna, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.

For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge . . . and perhaps be unmasked at last.

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 25, 2017
ISBN:
9780062190574
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. During her fifty-year career, she wrote more than seventy novels and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She received numerous writing awards and, in 2012, was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.

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Reviews

What people think about The Painted Queen

4.3
11 ratings / 9 Reviews
What did you think?
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I had no idea that there was a final book in the works so this was a wonderful surprise. I read some reviews where people thought the tone was different but I didn't feel that. I just loved the book and will probably re-read the whole series soon. I will miss Amelia Peabody.
  • (3/5)
    Three stars for being adequate; two stars for being not very good. It was quite choppy and didn't make a whole lot of sense.
  • (3/5)
    Not my favorite Elizabeth Peters book--the deaths of the Godwin brothers felt a bit ham-fisted/contrived. Otherwise enjoyable.
  • (4/5)
    Synopsis: One of the archaeologists finds what appears to be a sculpture of Nefertiti and promptly goes nuts. In the mean time, Peabody, while relaxing in a bath, is attached by a man intent on murdering her. Amelia and Emerson must follow the clues to find out what has happened to the statue, thwart five assassins, and outwit the 'Master Criminal', Seth.Review: The story line was excellent, as always, The characters were as vivid, as always, and the setting was exceptionally accurate. There were some rather rough places in the book because it was completed after Elizabeth Peters' death. I am sorry she is gone and also sad that the author who finished the book, Joan Hess, has also died. Two of my favorite authors are gone.
  • (3/5)
    As fond as I am of Peabody and co. this story fell flat. The "murder" attempts were farcical and even the character development was lacking. It was an admirable attempt to finish Ms. Peters last manuscript but fails to come close to the humor and excitement of some of the classics of this series.
  • (5/5)
    This is a bittersweet joy of a novel. The author died before the book was finished, and her friend Joan Hess, also an amazing mystery writer, stepped in to finish the manuscript. There is no obvious break between the work of the two authors. Hess does an amazing job of mimicking the language and style of Peters. Still, knowing that this is the last of the Amelia Peabody stories is sad.In typical Peabody fashion, she finds herself enmeshed in mystery almost as soon as she arrives in Cairo. Taking a bath to wash of the grime of travel, Amelia is accosted by a man who charges into her bathroom before falling dead with a knife in his back. He is not the first assassin Amelia will have to deal with in this adventurous tale. There is also the archeological mystery. A German archeologist has discovered a break taking bust of Nefertiti and then, apparently, gone mad. There are a number of twists and turns and a satisfying resolution. This is another fine title in the Amelia Peabody series.
  • (5/5)
    I know that some people are never happy with pastiches of a favorite author's work, but I have the happiness to be relatively tolerant in that regard. I thought that the writing was seamless, and I forgot that the book was not entirely written by Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz). I do wish that occasionally Amelia had used a word other than sapphirine to describe Emerson's eyes. Once or twice a character seemed a little off, but I enjoyed the book thoroughly, and I thank Joan Hess and Salima Ikram for bringing it to us. A reviewer in Amazon, "legalpoodle", gave the books a two star review, and had a list of inconsistencies, if one is interested. I applaud the reviewer's attention to detail and memory, but I don't remember them that well and I was blissfully undisturbed.The story of the Nefertiti bust (which some people have insisted is actually a forgery) is quite interesting, and I was glad to be introduced to it. I recommend at least looking it up in Wikipedia; I don't know if there is a book on it. The Egyptians would of course like to have it back, but it sounds like it would be worth the life of anyone in Germany who tried to give it to them. Apparently the Berliners are very attached to it. I'd suggest making an extremely good copy of it, and giving the original to Egypt, or perhaps flipping for it, but I suspect that feeling runs a little too high such a simple solution.So I hope that the prospective reader knows his/her tolerance for pastiches, and decides to read it or not on that basis. I for one was glad to read it. Possible spoiler: I would like to go back and read the series in chronological order, since it is a little odd that in this book, Nefret and Ramses have not reconciled, although we know from earlier books that they will be. This was Peters' (Mertz's) decision, not Joan Hess's, so I have no complaints there. Perhaps during a rereading, I will be bothered by the inconsistencies, but hopefully not.
  • (4/5)
    I assume this is going to be the last book in this series since Ms. Mertz has passed away. This one was started by her but completed by Joan Hess, Although I think they did a good job in copying Mertz's style, for me, the book didn't have the zip of the ones Mertz wrote herself. In general, as I read through the series, I liked the earlier ones the most and the later ones, I liked dome and not others. This one was OK but the mysteries were not that mysterious. And some things had too much repetition, like Emerson's overpowering personality. Still, a good read if not a gripping one.
  • (5/5)
    The final Amelia Peabody story (completed by Joan Hess after Elizabeth Peters passed away) is set in 1912. Amelia and Emerson are preparing for another season of excavating in Egypt. However, they aren't in Egypt two hours when the first assassin breaks into Amelia's bathing chamber and dies from a knife in the back. Amelia, being Amelia and not unfamiliar with being the target of assassins, takes this in stride. Amelia and Emerson soon learn that she and Ramses are being targeted by the five remaining Godwin brothers who want revenge for the death of Nefret's villainous husband Geoffrey Godwin. The only distinguishing feature to identify the assassins is that they were monocles. But assassins aside, Emerson and Amelia are directed to Amarna to check on excavations by Herr Morgenstern who has been behaving erratically. Apparently he has absconded to Cairo with a bust of Nefertiti that he found in his excavations. This sets Ramses and David on a quest to find the bust. Which they do, but not before uncovering a number of forgeries and villains who want the bust also.Meanwhile, Morgenstern wanders in and out of danger apparently having some sort of mental episodes that leave him paranoid and confused. Amelia dashes into danger to save him a few times despite the threat of assassins. I love this series and this final volume had all the things I love. The relationship between Amelia and Emerson is a a match of equals. Amelia is profoundly herself - entitled, decisive, and determined. She has a reckless disregard for her her own safety probably fostered by her belief that she is invincible. The mystery with the many busts of Nefertiti and the actions of the hirsute missionary added interest. The inept assassins added both danger and humor. Someday, I want to read this whole series again in internal chronological order to see how everyone changed and grew.