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A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon an even more disturbing outrage concerns the intrepid clan of archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.Yet this is nothing compared with the lethal fate that threatens Ramses. Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Ramses must journey to this ancient fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile Ramses's wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own....… (more)
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Synopsis: The Golden One is a combination of two stories. The first story deals with the search for an unknown tomb, one where some artifacts have started to appear on the black market. The second story follows Ramses Emerson as he is sent on another mission behind Turkish lines.
After arriving in Egypt in January, 1917, Amelia acquires a magnificent cosmetic jar with the cartouche removed. Rumors of a new, previously untouched tomb are rife, and this is significant evidence. After a brief stay in Cairo, the family moves on to their home in Luxor. When the Emersons arrive in Luxor, they encounter Joe Albion and his family, a wealthy American collector of antiquities, who make no secret of his desire to deal on the black market. Cyrus Vandergelt is acquainted with Joe Albion, and tells Emerson he would do anything to get what he wanted. This riles Emerson, and relations with the Albions are frosty at best.
Jamil, a former employee and Jumana’s brother, is at the center of the rumors about the tomb. Early in their excavations, the Emersons discover one looted tomb with links to Jamil. They learn that he is manipulating a number of people and even attempts to kill Emerson and Peabody. When his family confronts him, his ancient musket explodes, mortally wounding him. But before he dies, he leaves a clue to the location of the tomb – “in the hand of the God”. The Emerson and Vandergelt expeditions now try to figure out which “hand of the God” Jamil meant.
Just then Ramses is called back into service as an agent. An English spy, claiming to have converted to Islam, has become a tool of the Turks and is now known as Ismail, the Holy Infidel. Ramses is sent to discover if the turncoat is Sethos. It so happens that Ismail is in Gaza, just inside the Turkish lines. Ramses is forced to take a novice agent with him as well, but manages to get into Gaza without much trouble. While trying to get a look at Ismail, Ramses companion fires at Ismail and misses. In the confusion, Ramses is caught but the other agent makes his escape.
The head of the Turkish secret service, Sahin Pasha, takes possession of Ramses, but makes a surprising offer: convert to Islam and marry his daughter, Esin, and he will set Ramses free. While Ramses is left to consider the offer in a dungeon, Esin engineers Ramses’ escape.
Meanwhile, the Emersons, who had secretly arrive in a town just behind the British lines, are ready to come to Ramses aid if needed. They get word of his capture and are working out a rescue plan when Ramses shows up. They prepare to make their getaway when Sethos also appears, with Esin in a rug. They are forced to escape to a temporary hiding place, where they again encounter Sethos. He was indeed Ismail, sent to destroy Sahin Pasha, which he has done by humiliating him. But his work is not done and he returns to Gaza.
As the Emersons are about to leave for Cairo, Sahin appears, hoping to regain his status by returning with both his daughter and Ramses. Though he wounds Ramses, Emerson captures him, and they all return to Cairo. Sahin Pasha is turned over to the authorities, and Esin is sent to a secure home.
When the Emersons return to Luxor, they concoct a story that for most people would be implausible, but does bear some resemblance to previous adventures, so no one asks much about it.
However, the tomb is still undiscovered. The Albions are making it clear that nothing will stop them from getting what they want, and they seek to abuse Jumana’s trust as one means of doing so. Both Bertie Vandergelt and Ramses have encounters with the Albion son.
When Jumana is caught by Peabody sneaking into the compound one night, Peabody assumes the worst and decides to harshly punish her. Peabody is terribly disappointed, and feels that Jumana has abused her position of trust in the family.
But that morning, Cyrus and Bertie appear, unable to contain their excitement. Bertie, with help from Jumana, has found the tomb in the hills above Deir el Medina. The two of them had been climbing for the last few nights around a rock formation that looked like a fist, the “Hand of the God”. It is a royal cache, containing the mummies and funerary times of four of the Wives of the God. Peabody realizes her mistake and for once is contrite about jumping to conclusions.
Sethos reappears, and is amazed at the discovery. He also warns Emerson of the Albions. Sethos considers them unscrupulous, a serious charge coming from Sethos. But the Albions appear again, making it clear that they expect to get some of the items from the tomb. When they are sent away by Emerson and Cyrus, they decide to try force. Sethos warns Emerson, and the Emersons and Vandergelts ambush the Albions and their hired thugs. Caught by Emerson and Vandergelt, the Albions are forced to give up the few items they had bought from Jamil, and then disappear.
The only thing left is the announcement that Ramses and Nefret are going to have a baby.
Review: Don't know that I particularly like Jumana. I do like that there are two separate stories and that they are woven back together in the end. ( )
  DrLed | May 14, 2021 |
More like 3.5 stars.

Another balancing act of wartime spying and archeological murder mystery. I liked the reappearance of Sethos and the mentions of Molly in the final chapters. Ramses is a babe as always. ( )
  a-shelf-apart | Nov 19, 2019 |
As usual, I enjoyed the book, but couldn't keep track of the plot. Overall, the series gets a bit darker as time goes by, although you could hardly call it noir. ( )
  themulhern | Feb 16, 2019 |
More than any other volume of the fourteen I've read so far, this Amelia Peabody book was a serial installment rather than a freestanding novel. There was not enough exposition to orient new readers to significant character interactions, and the superimposed plots, while all braiding nicely with the those established earlier in the series, did not cohere with each other in a way that would give the book a sense of unity. The usual archaeological intrigues, the family drama, and the World War I espionage all fit together nicely--only if you had been reading earlier books. It was also quite long, perhaps the longest of them so far.

I did enjoy it, though. A lot happened, including the introduction of some entertaining new characters, and the final 20 pages or so were full of portents for the volumes to come.
1 vote paradoxosalpha | May 21, 2017 |
Deir el Medina & The God's Wives...

Let me just say that Elizabeth Peters aka Barbara Michaels/Mertz is one of my all time favorite authors! I absolutely love all of her books but this series is my most favorite because of its ancient Egypt and archaeology theme. Plus I fell in love with Amelia Peabody and her family from book one. It literally has some of everything that I enjoy- exotic locales, mystery, espionage, war, suspense, adventure and travel, archaeology, Egyptology etc.etc. It just resonates with me on so many levels. I'm going to be so sad when I reach the end of the series! I actually stopped reading it a year or so ago because I was getting close to the end and I wasn't ready for that at all, but for one of our Summer Book Bingo squares we had to read a book by an author that has passed away so I figured this was my cue to suck it up and just savor the few remaining books. I'm very glad I did. I've missed their family dynamics and their scheming... 
 
In this particular book they have just arrived at their home in Luxor, Egypt for an extended stay because the war is on and traveling back to England by ship is too dangerous because of the military submarines. They are working at the site of Deir el Medina; speculation about the possible location a royal tomb is running rampant and British Intelligence is seeking out Ramses for another mission. As always there is never a dull moment and the story is highly entertaining. If you haven't read any of Peters' books yet you should give them a try one day. Just a word of caution though, I would stay away from the audio of this particular series. I don't care for the narrator at all. In my opinion, she doesn't do the series or characters the justice they deserve. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
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To Tracey
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When I am in one of my philosophical moods, I am inclined to wonder if all families are as difficult as mine.
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We praise the Golden One,
the Lady of Heaven, Lady of Fragrance,
Eye of the Sun, the Great Goddess,
Mistress of All the Gods,
Lady of Turquoise, Mistress of Joy, Mistress of Music...
that she may give us five children,
happiness, and a good husband.

-Epithets of Hathor,
compiled from various sources
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon an even more disturbing outrage concerns the intrepid clan of archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.Yet this is nothing compared with the lethal fate that threatens Ramses. Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Ramses must journey to this ancient fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile Ramses's wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own....

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