Cover image for The ape who guards the balance
The ape who guards the balance
Peters, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Rockland, MA : Wheeler, [1998]

Physical Description:
569 pages (large print), : map ; 24 cm.
Format :


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Item Holds
X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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Amelia Peabody's archaeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, has been ignominiously demoted to examining the most boring tombs in the valley of the kings. But luckily for Amelia's thrill-seeking detective nose, this year the legendary land of the pharoahs will yield more than priceless artifacts. Entering the seedy underworld of grave robbers & mythical guards of those who have died, Amelia & company are up to their throats in a deadly mystery. Her seemingly dull season quickly turns from monotonous to threatening, for even deeper mysteries than she could ever deduct lurk in the mysterious valley. Bestselling author Elizabeth Peters sets forth another groundbreaking novel in her award-winning Amelia series.

Author Notes

Barbara Mertz was born on September 29, 1927 in Astoria, Illinois. She received a bachelor's degree in 1947, a master's degree in 1950 and doctorate in Egyptology in 1952 from the University of Chicago. She wrote a few books using her real name including Temples, Tombs and Hieroglyphs (1964), Red Land, Black Land (1966), and Two Thousand Years in Rome (1968). She also wrote under the pen names Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters.

She made her fiction debut, The Master of Blacktower, under the name Barbara Michaels in 1966. She wrote over two dozen novels using this pen name including Sons of the Wolf, Someone in the House, Vanish with the Rose, Dancing Floor, and Other Worlds.

Her debut novel under the pen name Elizabeth Peters was The Jackal's Head in 1968. She also wrote the Amelia Peabody series and Vicky Bliss Mystery series using this name. She died on August 8, 2013 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Readers who have enjoyed Amelia Peabody Emerson's numerous adventures will welcome this new one in which Peters continues to give prominent roles in the action to members of the younger generation in the Emerson household. In fact, it's Ramses Emerson, his friend David, and his adopted sister, Nefret, who start the ball rolling, as the young men don disguises to reclaim an Egyptian papyrus for sale on the black market, and Nefret becomes involved with the nascent women's movement in Egypt, a cause also dear to Amelia. The three have no idea that their actions have invited trouble--not only from Sethos, the gentlemanly master of disguises whose affection for happily married Amelia is second only to his love of precious antiquities, but also from vicious Bertha, who wants Amelia dead. Amelia's devoted husband, "The Father of Curses," and a lively assortment of characters encountered in previous books are on hand again, and there's plenty of period flavor, with Peters poking great fun at the social conventions of the early 1900s. Peters also incorporates some terrific action and a nice bit of romantic tension between Ramses and Nefret, which promises to be developed in future books--along with more about Sethos, who, as usual, gets away scot-free. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

In April of this year, Peters, who has been writing mysteries for 30 years, was honored as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. This captivating novel, her 10th Amelia Peabody tale (following Seeing a Large Cat, 1997), validates her peers' high regard. Prospects for the 1907 excavation season in Egypt seem lackluster for the Emersons, since Professor Emerson, Amelia's beloved husband, can't abide the fools who administrate such activities‘and makes no secret of that fact. But the family, including their adult son, Ramses, and his foster siblings, Nefret and David, departs for Egypt nevertheless after incidents in London point to the resurfacing of their old nemesis, known as the Master Criminal. The younger generation buys an ancient papyrus from an antiquities dealer and sets in motion a sinister chain of events. Two horrendous murders draw all of the Emersons further into the fray, and at times it seems as if the Master Criminal and his minions will at last best Amelia. But by drawing on the skills of all, the Emerson contingent once again brings villains to justice. The plot is complicated and involving, but the maturing of Ramses, Nefret and David offers particular pleasure and gives the book depth and poignance. Rich in characterization, incident and humor, this latest adventure of Amelia Peabody is a grand, galloping adventure with a heart as big as the Great Pyramid itself. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Amelia Peabody is back in Egypt for another season of excavations with her husband, Emerson, as they compete with other archaeologists for the discovery of ancient treasures. This time the family becomes involved in the illegal trade of antiquities. Son Ramses and wards David and Nefret, who have grown up during the course of the series, are now major players in the drama. They come into possession of a rare papyrus in the unsavory part of Cairo. When the Peabodys and their entourage try to track down the source of this artifact, they encounter danger in the form of their old enemy Sethos. Peters's (Summer of the Dragon, Audio Reviews, LJ 12/98) formula continues to satisfy. An appealing cast of characters is led by a curious and adventurous heroine capable of handling any crisis that appears. The setting among ancient Egyptian ruins is an ever-fascinating one. Barbara Rosenblat's reading is lively, and her characterizations effective. Recommended for Peters fans and for public library collections.ÄCatherine Swenson, Norwich Univ. Lib., Northfield, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA‘Fans will gravitate to this new addition to this popular murder-archaeology series. From the streets of London to the Egyptian desert, the Peabody-Emerson family is in danger. This complex story set in 1907 opens with an attempt to kidnap Amelia. Grisly murder, villains in disguise, and intrigue follow the family to excavation sites in Egypt, and neither the characters nor readers initially understand why. Teens will be pleased that the children introduced in earlier volumes have greater roles in this story. Son Ramses, his friend David, and Amelia's and Emerson's adopted daughter, Nefret, are mature young people who obey and disobey their parents when it suits them. All is related through Amelia's first-person, witty narration. This one is sure to be as popular as Peters's earlier books.‘Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.