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The Ape Who Guards the Balance (1998)

by Elizabeth Peters

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1,796267,697 (3.99)57
In 1907 Egypt, Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her family investigate the mystery of an extraordinary papyrus "Book of the Dead" that may be connected to some recent murders.
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English (25)  French (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Synopsis: 'Luxor, 1906-1907. The Emerson clan is trying to determine where to dig during the upcoming season. But before they even leave England, they encounter Sethos and foil an attempt to kidnap Amelia. Suspicion for the attempt falls on Sethos, but not everyone is sure.
Upon arriving in Egypt, the children, Nefret, Ramses and David, now in their early twenties but still children to Amelia and Emerson, acquire a magnificent papyrus, but are also stalked. Is Sethos behind this too?
Since Emerson has managed to annoy M. Maspero to the point of distraction, he is initially not even allowed near the Valley of the Kings, where another of Emerson’s rivals and targets of invective, Theodore M. Davis, has the rights to the entire valley. Much to everyone’s surprise (and possibly with Nefret’s help), Emerson is granted permission by Davis to clean up three tombs thought to be already excavated in full, KV3, KV4 and KV5.
Not only does his rival Davis find yet another rich tomb, right next to the debris-filled and empty tomb he excavates, once again somebody is still after the Emersons—particularly, it seems, Amelia. But help is on the way, from surprising, or perhaps not so surprising, quarters.'
Review: 'The book's title refers to the Egyptian god Thoth, the divine scribe who waits for the heart of the dead to be weighed on a scale and judged so that he may record its fate; Thoth is usually represented as having the head of an ibis, but also appears as a baboon or ape with the balancing scales.' As usual, I loved the book. ( )
  DrLed | Apr 24, 2021 |
A private Egyptological collection is stolen from a house in London during a suffragette demonstration. Somebody attempts to kidnap Peabody. More untoward events occur when the family relocates to Egypt for a new digging season. Has The Master Criminal returned?

I always enjoy Amelia Peabody's narrative voice but it's been a while since I've read some of these so I didn't always get the references to earlier instalments - especially as the footnotes were missing from this edition. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Jan 7, 2020 |
Unf, this family. My feelings. I love how this series is progressing, and the family dynamics and the kids growing up and coming into their own and the darker plotlines and just- unf. Love.

I'm glad this book addressed Amelia's reaction to David and Lia . It's always been obvious to a 2018 reader that Amelia is super racist, albeit in a fond, paternalistic kind of a way and I've been enjoying the series guiltily regardless. It shouldn't have taken until book 10 for the author to acknowledge it, but I'm glad it happened at all. ( )
  a-shelf-apart | Nov 19, 2019 |
In this entry in the series, there are now three voices: Ameila's (as an edited diary), Ramses' (novelistic), and Nefret's (epistolary). This makes for lots of fun. And Barbara Rosenblat's narration is entirely enjoyable. ( )
  themulhern | Dec 22, 2018 |
This is the tenth book in the Amelia Peabody historical mystery series. The entire family, including Amelia, her husband Professor Emerson, their son Ramses, and adopted daughter Nefret, are preparing to return to Egypt. They have had some bad luck trying to secure a choice excavation site in the Valley of the Kings, primarily due to Emerson's combative nature. Nevertheless, Amelia is determined to be back in her beloved Egypt.

Once they arrive, the three youngest members of the team, Ramses, Nefret, and Ramses best friend, David, disguise themselves and head into one of the most dangerous parts of Cairo. They purchase a copy of The Book of the Dead, an ancient collection of prayers and spells that will help guide the deceased through the underworld. The mystery surrounding this book will soon find Amelia dealing with the usual assortment of criminals and grave robbers.

I found this book to be enjoyable, but not quite as good as the previous books in the series. Most of the action was done by the three younger characters, but I did enjoy seeing Ramses, Nefret and David becoming more important parts of the story. I particularly found the parts dealing with the Emerson's realization of their prejudice to be quite interesting and well done. I enjoyed the audio version of the series, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, and will continue to check in periodically on the Emerson clan.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Petersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was inserting an additional pin into my hat when the library door opened and Emerson put his head out.
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In 1907 Egypt, Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and her family investigate the mystery of an extraordinary papyrus "Book of the Dead" that may be connected to some recent murders.

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