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The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody) Paperback – 26 Apr 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: C & R Crime; New Ed edition (26 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845295641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845295646
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 346,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I can't wait for the next Peabody story... I really do think [Elizabeth Peters'] books are great entertainment. (Angela Rippon)

A writer so popular that the public library has to keep her books under lock and key.' (Washington Post Book World)

Think Miss Marple with early feminist gloss crossed with Indiana Jones... accomplished entertainment. (Guardian)

Book Description

In Cairo, the younger members of the Peabody Emerson clan purchase a mint-condition papyrus of the famed "Book of the Dead", the collection of magical spells and prayers designed to ward off the perils of the underworld and lead the deceased into everlasting life. But for as long as there have been graves, there have also been grave robbers.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Highly regarded archeologist Professor Radcliffe Emerson has recently alienated too many administrators. In retaliation, he has been relegated to wandering around the Egypt's Valley of the Kings, which by 1907 has been explored too many times for any individual to get excited about it. However, having his beloved wife Amelia Peabody, their adult son Ramses, and their foster children (Nefret and David) along with him will ease the tedium.
In a slummy section of Cairo, the children purchase a papyrus of the Book of the Dead. Abruptly what was to be a dull season has become very exciting because two people are murdered and the Master Criminal has surfaced. This time he defeats Amelia in his game of cat and mouse, but fails to account for her now maturing allies, the next generation of Emersons, who just might tip the scales back in favor of the good guys.
The tenth Peabody novel, THE APE WHO GUARDS THE BALANCE, demonstrates why Elizabeth Peters recently was the recipient of the Grand Master Award by the Mystery Writers of America. The novel, like all the Peabody tales, is complicated but humorous and loaded with interesting historical references from two eras (antiquity and the first decade of the twentieth century) that surround an intriguing mystery. However, what makes the latest entry so refreshing and fun to read is the maturing of the next generation of Emersons. This will elate fans of the series and bring in new readers as well.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It helps if you have read previous books in this series. As usual, the characters spring out at you from the very first page and the humour is wonderful. I got a bit confused over who was writing which bit of the manuscript (the book is made up of several manuscripts written by different characters) but the story still flowed easily. I have 'watched' Ramses grow from a baby to an almost full grown man and I can see that there is a whole new series in the offing, featuring the 'children' Ramses, David and Nefret. I can't wait! For anyone who has read previous Elizabeth Peters books, this one is a must.
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Format: Hardcover
This series of mysteries, starring an eccentric British archaeologist husband & wife team who are excavating in Egypt at the turn of the century, just gets better and better. They are witty, hilarious, ingeniously crafted mysteries, and fascinating in their depiction of archaeology at that time (Peters, the author, is actually an egyptologist and is correct in every historical and period detail). What makes them special is the relationships between the characters. Peters has assembled an all-star ensemble cast who play against eachother wonderfully. The family relationships in this group of intelligent, competitive, and passionate people are drawn with such skill that you laugh and ache with them. While the earlier books were narrated entirely in the first person by the undauntable Amelia Peabody, this latest book (and also the previous one "Seeing a Large Cat") includes parts told from the viewpoints of other family members, particularly her precocious son Ramses who we watched grow up in preceeding books. Peters captures the generation gap perfectly, deftly exposing the frailties of both groups - the tendency of parents to underestimate their children, and vice-versa. Having read the series from start to finish (about 12 books) I am completely hooked. I can't wait for the next book to see what happens next in the lives of this remarkable group of people Peters has created.
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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The master criminal is back! Amelia & co are back in an Edwardian tale of dastardly criminals, women's rights and general mayhem in Egypt. For series aficionados this is one of the best I have read so far. A convoluted plot full of humour, mockery and tears.
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Format: Paperback
I had read one other story in the Amelia Peabody series before I read "The Ape Who Guards the Balance" (The Ape). "The Ape" occurs before my previous read. As each story solves its mystery, that was not a problem. Nor did I have difficulty jumping into the overarching story of the Emerson family.

Elizabeth Peters writes about the adventures of the Emerson family and their friends, servants and enemies. The family consists of Amelia Peabody Emerson (matriarch) and Radcliffe Emerson (patriarch). Both Amelia and Radcliffe have been with the series from the beginning. Walter (Ramses) is their son and Nefret their ward. In "The Ape" we also have Lia, the daughter of Radcliffe's brother and sister-in-law and their ward, David. All six travel to Egypt for the 1906-07 excavation season.

Their adventures begin before leaving England. A mysterious man appears at a suffragette picket that Amalie and Ramses attend. This man later turns up in connection with a break-in and hauls away a large collection of Egyptian antiques. Shortly after, the stranger also seems to be involved in a kidnapping attempt of Amalie. The entire family suspects an old "enemy", Sethos.

Once they arrive in Egypt, Ramses and David go on an adventure including a stolen papyrus, mysterious strangers and a blackmailing Nefret. The Professor is livid when he finds out what the threesome has done. But he is also intrigued. Then a mysterious bearded man turns up in Egypt as well, and it is not Sethos.

The Emerson family is egalitarian for the time it is written for (and for many families and places today). Nefret has just finished her clinical practice and Peters show us what a feat that was for a woman:

"Acquiring that training had been a struggle in itself.
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