Select one of the keywords
The Painted Queen: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense    by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess order for
Painted Queen
by Elizabeth Peters
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

At the time of author Barbara Mertz’s passing, she was in the process of writing another of her very popular series – the Amelia Peabody books which she wrote under the pen name of Elizabeth Peters. Her very close friend of forty years, Joan Hess, took up the challenge to finish The Painted Queen. Hess is an accomplished writer and a very popular author in her own right.

I found it a great delight to have another Egyptian tale featuring the same unforgettable characters who graced Peters' wonderful tales of Egypt in the years just before World War II. Amelia tells most of the story. She is a strong woman, desperately in love with her husband known as Father of Curses, a sobriquet bestowed on him from his habit of loud curses when things do not go his way. His English name is Radcliffe Emerson. Their son Ramses is more like his mother, quieter than his father but able to live in two worlds with ease – half a year in England and the other in Egypt. Other minor players keep the story going. A few new characters appear and disappear almost as soon as they are introduced, although Nefret plays an important role.

The family arrives in Egypt to begin another season of excavating – looking for more buried tombs where antiquity reigns. They hope to uncover an important tomb full of ancient artifacts. Instead they find themselves having to keep looking over their shoulders as a certain family seems to be determined to wipe out all the Emersons. The assassins bring a note of humor if the reader can find humor in death. Several subplots keep the story moving quickly. The art of disguise is explored. Amelia's efforts to be fair to all could easily backfire on her. I do love her utility belt and parasol.

I found myself trying to decide where one author left off and the other began and finished. Take my advice and don't try. Just read and enjoy the book as a whole. I shall miss not having another of Amelia's tales to read. She brought enjoyment to worldwide readers for many years. Thank you, Barbara Mertz for the many you wrote. You are missed.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Historical books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews