In the fourth Amelia Peabody book Ramses in eight and the family returns again to Egypt. This time Emerson has managed to get at Dahshoor. However, shortly after coming to Cairo, the Emersons run into Kalenischeff who was a flunky of the chief villain in the previous book. Kalenischeff has attached himself to a wealthy heiress, Ms Debenham, and Amelia is convinced that he is running some sort of scam.

However, Emerson insists that they continue quickly to the excavation site. Before they have time to do so, however, Ramses is kidnapped and is saved by a mysterious man. He turns out to be an English drug addict so naturally the tender hearted Emersons hire him to watch Ramses. Also, Kalenischeff is murdered into Ms Debenham’s bed and the girl is missing. Amelia is convinced that the Master Criminal from the previous book is behind both of these events.

The Emersons leave for Dahshoor but they aren’t left alone for long. Among their baggage they find, to their astonishment, the sacramental vessels which were stolen from a Coptic Church nearby in the previous year. Also, soon they find a fainting girl on the desert. Emerson believes that she is one of Petrie’s assistants but Amelia suspects that she is actually the missing Ms Debenham.

I liked this book more than the previous ones (or maybe Emerson is finally growing on me!). It’s very humorous, especially the absurd ending.

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