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A River in the Sky (Amelia Peabody) Paperback – 21 Apr 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184901597X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849015974
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I really do think Elizabeth Peters' books are great entertainment. (Angela Rippon)

As full of riches as King Tut's tomb. (Denver Post)

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

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

Book Description

Amelia Peabody’s back in her 19th adventure!

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Set in 1910, this is another of the books that skips back in time (like Guardian of the Horizon (Amelia Peabody Murder Mystery)) and is set immediately after that book and before the fateful Falcon at the Portals (Amelia Peabody Murder Mystery). With war with Germany on the horizon, the Emersons are drawn into the pre-war machinations in the middle east. Ramses has taken himself off to Samaria to put some space between him and Nefret, while the older Emersons are drawn into British pre-war intelligence - but, as usual, nothing goes quite to plan.

I was really looking forward to Emerson taking on the old testament but this is sadly a slow paced book which never really engages with any of the plot points that it sets up at the start. While Amelia is as spiky as ever, this novel lacks the levels and sub-plots that have made the earlier books in the series so wonderful, and also lacks emotional finesse, so that nothing new is discovered and nothing is ever really at stake.

The pacing is also deficient: Amelia doesn't even get to make one of her famous lists till p.279 of a 304 page narrative, a mark of the rambling story that feels like it's scene-setting until the end is suddenly upon us.

So if you're following the series then it's almost impossible not to read this, but this really isn't a good place to start for new readers. The earlier books are far richer, funnier, sometimes emotionally tense and just full of a kind of joie de vive that is conspicuously lacking here: I did enjoy this in a half-hearted kind of way, but the falling off in standards is everywhere.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the Peabody journals for years, even seeking out titles in New York that I couldn't get easily in UK, but......for the first time I have put this story down half finished.
Other reviewers are right, it's slow in pace & seems to have been an effort to create a decent plot. Amelia's narrative is not as witty as heretofore, (or maybe I've read too many & am a little jaded!)
Pleasant for bed time reading & I will finish it, but will not be quite so keen to seek out the next installment, sorry Ms Peters, you have served me so well!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is number nineteen in a series of books by Elizabeth Peters about an archaeologist Amelia Peabody and her family. The first eighteen books detail their escapades in Egypt where their lives as archaeologists are carefully intertwined with ancient Egyptian finds and modern detective fiction, as Elizabeth Peters blends real Egyptologists with fictional people. This book number nineteen in the series has Amelia Peabody in Israel where she is involved more in detection than in archaeology.
I hope her next book will return to the digging up the past rather than dealing with her detective role as it is in her writing about archaeology where she excells.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a long standing fan of Amelia Peabody and E.Peters I have to admit the terrible truth... I gave up after about 20 pages! Such a boring, contrived, uninteresting book I have not had in my hands for a very long time.
There is no story to speak about, the jokes are tedious at best, there is no pace, no mystery...sorry but I would not recommend this book to anyone. If I could give it zero stars -that would be my choice.
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Format: Hardcover
Pleasant. Not a bad thing at all, in my view. All of the Amelia Peabody novels are pleasant and that is sometimes all that one wants. This book was quite gripping too. It also had the advantage of taking a step back in time to when the Emerson 'clan' was not as large. It felt like that created fewer distractions and added depth to the characterisation.

Many crime novels, particularly when the series runs to so many books, can seem a bit formulaic, but that seems to matter less with the Amelia Peabody books than with others. The writing is excellent and very entertaining, as ever.

Ultimately, it may boil down to a matter of expectations. If you want to relax, have a grin and learn a bit along the way, then please choose this book. If one is after a historical tour-de-force, then perhaps 'Crime' isn't the right category to be looking in.

By the way, I would love there to be a book in which Emerson is left to his own devices. It could be a little too close to home, mind you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought to complete my Amelia Peabody collection - so I'm a fan. A good read, and if you are REALLY interested, Elizabeth Peters introduces some interesting sidelights on the present day situation in the Middle East - showing how it developed from European "interests" in the area in the late Victorian era through the 14-18 War and its aftermath. But that doesn't take away from the whodunnit and howdunnit of the basic story.
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Format: Paperback
I am a huge Peabody fan and bought the book in great anticipation, which explains the great feeling of disappointment. The plot is as shallow as described by other fellow readers, with the writer starting off so slowly I dropped off to sleep the first 8 chapters, and then providing half-hearted conclusions to all subplots too quickly in too few words, leaving me open-mouthed with disbelief and sadly, relief, when I reached the final page. Most importantly, the narrative lacks the dry humor which I had greatly enjoyed in the Peabody series. Perhaps the time has come, as the unfortunate practice has been in the industry, for a ghost writer to write instead of E.Peters herself?
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