Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas is a Time ....to read Amelia Peabody ( and others)



I love getting hooked on a new series. I love having two weeks off wherein I can do full justice to said new series.

This Christmas, when I have sped through Elizabeth Peters at the speed of lightning and mentioned to my long-suffering family "I'm going up to the corner to get more crack!": I really mean that I am hopping up to the used bookstore here in small-town Orillia to buy them out of their Amelia Peabodys.

I started with one, The Crocodile on the Sandbank which I bought on a winter walk last week alongside a few Georgette Heyers (Georgette Heyer was supposed to be my Christmas project this year; but, poor Georgette is going to have to wait. I am nearly done Cotillion; but since I brought home Sylvester, Arabella and The Talisman Ring and have not started any of them, I am a little behind). I was immediately and completely hooked by forward thinking archaeologist-detective Amelia Peabody.

She is whip-smart, funny as hell and brandishes her parasol as others would a sword. She is a Victorian woman whose "well-done, sister suffragette" attitude dictates that her impending spinsterhood ( at the ripe age of 32) only means the opportunity to explore the world. She has the means, she has the spirit, the entirety of the globe awaits her perusal.

It's Egypt, though, that she likes the best. Alongside her adorably sweet and pretty companion, Evelyn, Amelia descends upon Cairo like a gust of desert storm. She immediately butts heads with the Emerson brothers: Egyptologists whose intense studies of the pyramids only counter the younger brother, David's, sweet disposition ( and automatic liking to Evelyn) and the older brother, Radcliffe's, Byronic rants. I ADORE RADCLIFFE EMERSON and I adore how quickly Amelia asserts herself as his equal.


Part romance, party mystery and all-parts snappy dialogue and humour, this is my favourite discovery in the mystery genre in an age.

I am completely hooked. I proceeded to gobble up the next three in sequence ( don't you love holidays: where reading late by the Christmas tree doesn't wreak havoc on the next day's delightful plans of nothingness??!) and am already on the fourth.

I have dappled in Heyer, have read a few Christian books ( to keep up with my publisher copies), have started Charles Finch's A Stranger in Mayfair (I DO love his Charles Lenox series), but Amelia and Emerson's adventures in Egypt are sort of prevailing here.


19th and early 20th C "seasons" in Egypt are just as romantic and exciting as the ton's best seasons in a Georgette Heyer Regency.

The wonderful thing about books is you can pick which adventure you want, what world you want to dwell in for awhile, what characters you want for companionship.... and travel space and time and continent in your mind's TARDIS ( so to speak).


CHRISTMAS READING: 2.0 weeks; tons of books ( also tons of social engagements, family stuff, etc., so I think I have done relatively well!)

Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace ( review to follow)

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott ( I read this every year!)

Black Jack by Leon Garfield ( review to follow)

This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson ( review to follow)

The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters

The Curse of the Pharoahs by Elizabeth Peters

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer ( see previous blog posts)

Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr ( see previous blog posts)

The Lightkeeper's Bride by Coleen Coble


I have home-made fudge and Amelia Peabody awaiting me for the rest of this glorious day
( with an interruption to go to the gym! Need to counter all of this fudge and this sedentary reading!)

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I read the 1st Amelia Peabody way back when, and while I liked it for some reason I never continued with the series. Hmm...you're making me think I should change that. But with the # of reading challenges I already have lined up for 2011, that may be a 2012 project. :)