Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody Mysteries)

by Elizabeth Peters

Hardcover, 2006

Call number





William Morrow (2006), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages


In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Peters's eagerly anticipated Amelia Peabody adventure, the Emerson clan is a hairsbreadth away from unearthing the legendary site they've been searching for. But a sinister plot and a dark family secret stand in the way of their ultimate ambition -- and threaten to change things forever. . . . Convinced that the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon lies somewhere in the Valley of the Kings, Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson and his wife, Amelia Peabody, seem to have hit a wall. Emerson has tried desperately to persuade Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter to relinquish their digging rights. But Emerson's trickery has backfired, and his insistent interest in the site has made his rivals all the more determined to keep the Emerson clan away. The family returns to Luxor and watches from the sidelines as Carter and Carnarvon "discover" King Tut's tomb. But before their own excavation can get underway, Emerson and his son, Ramses, find themselves lured into a trap by a strange group of villains demanding "Where is he?" The Emersons embark on a quest to uncover who "he" is and why "he" must be found, only to discover the answer is uncomfortably close to home. Now Amelia must find a way to protect her family -- and perhaps even her would-be nemesis -- from the forces that will stop at nothing to succeed in the nefarious plot that threatens the peace of the entire region.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mccin68
I liked this book only for it's interplay between characters especially Peadbody and Emerson. The story did not hold together well the drama dead ended several times and the ending was anti-climatic. I started reading hoping there would be a mystery tightly woven around archeology the characters
Show More
came off as more secret agents than archeologists or egyptologists. I would have loved to have the story of King Tut's tomb a more signficiant part of the mystery as those details were very exciting. I will read more by her simply because of the engaging character and hopefully other stories will be more cohesive and suspensful.
Show Less
LibraryThing member DebR
Disappointing. I adore Eliz. Peters and the Amelia Peabody mysteries (of which this is one), but I found this one slow going and muddled and could never quite figure out why I should even care about the mystery aspect, such as it was.

I kind of wish Ms. Peters would either wind up the Amelia
Show More
stories and move on to something else, or jump ahead to the next generation of the family. Best I can figure the math (and anyone who knows me well knows how scary THAT phrase is!), Nefret’s and Ramses’ twins should be in their early- to mid-twenties at about the time of WWII and I could see some interesting story possibilities there. But for this story, I give it a rather sad D+ and that’s being generous.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Darla
This is the 18th, and latest book in the Amelia Peabody series. It's really bittersweet being all caught up--I've loved reading them, but it's sad knowing I don't have any more waiting for me.

The year is 1922, and if you're familiar with Egyptology, you'll know that that's the year when King Tut's
Show More
tomb was found. Unfortunately, credit for the discovery doesn't go to the Emersons--since Radcliffe had betrayed his interest, Howard Carter and his sponsor, Carnarvon, decided to remain in the Valley of the Kings for one more season, and Carter discovers the tomb.

The Emersons are eager to be in on the discovery and offer their help, but when Radcliffe accuses Carter and Carnarvon of stealing artifacts from the tomb, they ban him from the site.

Meanwhile, Sethos arrives in the grip of a malarial fever, with a coded message he says is putting his life in danger. Keeping him hidden is no easy matter, with all the journalists around for the opening of Tut's tomb, including Sethos's estranged wife. And the family, including their butler Gargery who's arrived from England, is suddenly (again) under constant threat of attack and abduction.

Ramses and David, who were in the intelligence service during the war (as was Sethos), use their contacts to try to discover who's behind the attacks and the message, and uncover an assassination plot, and David is torn between his loyalties to his English family and his Egyptian heritage.

Mostly, though, it's an adventurous visit with old friends. Amelia and Emerson are getting older, and now that Ramses and Nefret's twins are 5, the family that's been a working unit for so long is starting to break apart. Just like it does in real life, the impending independence of the younger generation is a matter for both pride and sadness. I have no idea if it's the case or not, but Tomb of the Golden Bird feels like an end to the series. Maybe I'm just affected because it's the last one in my TBR pile, but with everyone planning on going their own ways, it feels final. At any rate, if there is a next book, it'll be interesting to see who's the focus and how the separation is handled.
Show Less
LibraryThing member webgeekstress
This latest entry in the long-running Amelia Peabody series is set against a backdrop of Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamon's tomb. The "plot", such as it is, though, is more concerned with nationalism in the Middle East. It's a pity that Peters didn't see fit to focus more attention on that
Show More
aspect of the story. Still, it's an entertaining hoot. For fans of the series, there are no surprises.
Show Less
LibraryThing member KayDekker
I'm afraid that I didn't like this as much as I have the other Amelia Peabody books. I felt that there were too many plots about which I cared too little, and, as a result, too much explanation and tying of loose threads as the book reached its close.

What did profoundly touch me was the closing
Show More
scene, which I prefer not to give away and risk reading a reader's pleasure. If the author were contemplating an end to the series, that would be the perfect place - but I do hope that there will be more!
Show Less
LibraryThing member MuseofIre
After a brief return to form in Guardian of the Horizon and The Serpent on the Crown, Peters is back to phoning in the mystery while she dwells on the domestic relations of the vast and quarrelsome Emerson clan. After all, who could possibly be interested in such petty matters as the discovery of
Show More
King Tut's tomb, political unrest in the post-WWI Middle East, or a tomb robber who somehow blows himself up when we could be discussing the stormy state of Sethos and Margaret's marriage (maybe Amelia, with her vast knowledge of psychology, could teach these two a little about communication skills), the need for Ramses and Nefret to have some independence (it only takes them 3 months to decide to do what Amelia planned for them from the beginning), or whether Bertie and Jumana will finally get together (they do, in one of the most rushed and undramatic romances Peters has ever penned). Even Amelia disappoints, as she fails to deliver her usual blithe outrageousness (she does figure out the baffling cipher, but it's a meaningless clue that leads nowhere). Also, the book is riddled with annoying grammatical errors that should have been cleaned out by a good copy edit.
Show Less
LibraryThing member nolak
The Emerson clan comes to Egypt sure that the tomb of Tutankhaman will be found in the East Valley, and Emerson finds the spot, but it is not in his area, so he has to get Howard Carter to actually open it. Everyone is anxious to get into the caves before they are officially opened, including the
Show More
Emersons, which causes great rivallry to be fired up and anger on all sides. There are other political uprisings afoot, which Sethos gets involved in, and brings the family into when he falls ill. All the characters go their separate ways with a wonderful conclusion at the end of the book, which will leave all Amelia's fans very satisfied.
Show Less
LibraryThing member oldbookswine
This series of books gives one a wonderful historical view of archaeologists in fiction form. Recommended to all.
LibraryThing member jugglingpaynes
We loved this book, but as with all the books in this series, it just left us wanting more! (And also wondering how old Amelia is at this point.)
LibraryThing member Dorritt
I usually try to be thoughtful and reasoned when doing a review, but this book was just plain bad. This series jumped the shark several books ago, but I keep hoping Peters will realize this and turn the series over to a new generation of characters that *might* be able to breath some new life and
Show More
new ideas into the plotlines.

Alas, this is nothing but a "clips show" of old material (Sethos as rogue - we get it! David entangled in Egyptian independence - done! And, PLEASE, no more visions of Abdullah, family Xmas celebrations, councils of war, tea at Shepherd's or Kadija's green goop!) thrown together in hopes of suckering fans of the series into spending money. My advice: if you *have* to read this one, borrow it from the library. I know I won't be purchasing any more books in this series.
Show Less
LibraryThing member riverwillow
I'm a huge fan of this series of books. Although Peters is an Egyptologist herself the fun for me comes with the interplay between the characters, with Amelia and her redoubtable parasol at the heart. This time Howard Carter's discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen is at the heart of the novel, much
Show More
to Emerson's chagrin.

All the key characters are present and on fine form, even Gargery and David make it to Egypt. But for all of that this feels as though, chronologically at least, it might be the end of the series, as Ramses and Nefret’s family starts to grow up and Amelia and Emerson are, well, like Gargery, ageing.

A superb read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jepeters333
Amelia and Emerson's contemporary, Howard Carter, discovers Tut's tomb.
LibraryThing member susanamper
A late entry (2006) in the Amelia Peabody series. Ramses and Nefret are grown, married and have two children. The story takes place in 1922 when the tomb of King Tut was found by Howard Carter. There are several red herrings and no mystery to speak of. Too many characters spoil this soup.
LibraryThing member charlie68
I found this book confusing and the plot convoluted. Perhaps it is better read than listened to. And being one of a series perhaps I need more back-story.
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
As the final book in the series (chronologically speaking) this book leaves long time readers with a satisfying wrap up. Ms. Peters creates a convincing story around the discovery of King Tut's tomb (crediting the Professor with the intuition to find the burial place) and overlays it with on-going
Show More
unrest in Egypt. There is the token attempted antiquities heist, but mostly this book is fun for all the interplay between the various characters. I will miss the Emerson clan!
Show Less
LibraryThing member RoseannC
I am having a hard time keeping my focus reading this book. This is the first Elizabeth Peters book I have ever read. Might try another to see if it is just her style of writing for me.
LibraryThing member Olivermagnus
In the 18th book of the Amelia Peabody series, we join the archaeological Emerson family in 1922 Egypt for another digging season. Radcliffe Emerson is sure a major find is still waiting to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings. Professor Emerson is trying to dissuade the wealthy Lord Carnavon
Show More
and his hired archaeologist, Howard Carter, from continuing their work and giving the concession to him. Unfortunately Carter and Carnavon want one last season, in which they will soon discover where Tutankhamen is buried.

I've been looking forward to this installment of the series for some time. I've always wondered how they would combine the real-life discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb with the fictional story of “the world's greatest archaeologist”, Radcliffe Emerson. I enjoyed discovering how Amelia manages to get in on the excitement of the discovery and how she and Emerson refuse to be thwarted by Carnavon and Carter. I really enjoyed seeing how the author slipped in the storyline of how Professor Emerson might have been responsible for letting loose the Mummy's curse that ends in the deaths of Carter and Carnavon, along with other members of the crew.

The series is getting older, as is our heroine, Amelia Peabody. It's not quite as exciting as it used to be but I always give an extra star when listening to the audio book version, narrated by the incomparable Barbara Rosenblat. She personifies Amelia to me, much as Jayne Entwhistle personifies Flavia de Luce. If you are a fan of the series, you should enjoy this one.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bookwoman247
This Amelia Peabody adventure centers on Howard Carter's discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922.

Of course, the Emerson family gets caught up not only in the excitement of the discovery, but in fighting crime and all kinds of intrigue as well.

This was a very satisfying addition to the series.

Show More
simultaneously read Carter's own account of the tomb's discovery. which made this book even more fun and interesting.
Show Less
LibraryThing member benfulton
The climax of the science of Egyptology - the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen - will probably also be the final chapter in the history of the Emerson clan. Covering probably a good thirty years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the series runs the gamut of actual characters
Show More
in history and adds many additional Egyptologists besides; and manages to walk the fine line between melodrama and ludicrousness quite successfully. In this episode, Ms. Peters attempts a sweeping tale of earthshaking proportions while also adding her usual precise historical detail. Unfortunately, to succeed in the task would have required a book of Harry Potter-esque proportions, and the resolution of several subplots feels to be a bit abrupt. Nevertheless, not to read it would leave one who has read the earlier books aching to know what happens; while one who has not read them, should. Either way Tomb of the Golden Bird would eventually be a must-read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kmartin802
The finale of the Amelia Peabody series takes place in 1922 and centers around the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen. An argument with Howard Carter leaves the Emersons on the outside looking in but we do see some of the activities around the discovery.

The Emersons are busy with problems of
Show More
their own when Sethos shows up fighting a bout of malaria and trailing villains who want to recover an encrypted note that he stole. When David arrives from England, he gets involved in the same issues that he was involved with as a younger man: encouraging Egyptian independence from the British, it looks like both David and Sethos are dealing with different aspects of the same plot.

There are a series of threats but not murders in this episode ruining the Emerson's murder-a-season record. The threats seem rather half-hearted and include kidnapping and then releasing the Emerson's butler among other sorts of nuisance threats.

One plot point concerns whether or not Sethos has really reformed and also deals with his relationship with his wife Margaret. Ramses isn't at all sure that Sethos's reformation is real since he could easily have arranged the threats without breaking his word to Amelia to leave the family alone.

I will miss the Peabody/Emersons. I wish that I could watch the grandchildren grow up past the age of six. I greatly enjoyed this series which was filled with interesting archaeological details and characters who will live forever in my memory.
Show Less


Audie Award (Finalist — 2007)




0060591803 / 9780060591809
Page: 0.8714 seconds