cover image Seeing a Large Cat

Seeing a Large Cat

Elizabeth Peters. Warner Books, $23.5 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51834-5

It's 1903, and irrepressible archeologist Amelia Peabody, returning with her extended family in their charming ninth adventure (after The Hippopotamus Pool), is in Cairo, headed for the Valley of the Kings. Her husband, Emerson, receives an anonymous note telling him to stay away from tomb Twenty A. Digging there, the group discovers the mummified body of the wife of English archeology patron Colonel Bellingham who was rumored to have disappeared five years earlier with a lover, leaving behind the Colonel and his then teenage daughter, Dolly. Close examination of the corpse reveals that the woman was murdered. Since the Colonel already believes that Dolly's life is in danger, all agree that the young woman needs protection. Unruffled, Dolly keeps trying to attach herself to Amelia's teenage son, Ramses, who is intrigued by a man who might have been the dead woman's lover and who definitely attacked him while he escorted Dolly in a Cairo public garden. Meanwhile, Ramses' former tutor asks for help with her husband, who has come under the influence of a seer and now believes that the spirit of an ancient Egyptian princess wants him to find her tomb. With characteristic aplomb, Amelia straightens everything out and finds the killer. In the process, she puts off observing that her son has grown to be a handsome young man, that his Egyptian friend, David, is a quiet potential rival and that few have overlooked the beauty and intelligence of her ward, Nefret. Peters's fans will relish this latest adventure that explores mysteries of the heart as well as murder. (July)