This third installment in Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody series is the nonstop-laugh-inducing introduction of the Emersons’ son Walter Peabody Emerson, otherwise known as Ramses. Ramses made his first appearance in The Curse of the Pharaohs, but it was very brief. In The Mummy Case he is present and actively participating in the action, much to the delectation of the reader.
Amelia and Emerson decide it is time to take their son with them to Egypt when they go for their yearly dig. Ramses, so named for his beak of a nose, is definitely the offspring of the opinionated and capable couple. He is decidedly precocious and knows almost as much as they do about Egyptology. Amelia has almost more than she can manage with Ramses along for the trip.
From the beginning of their stay in Egypt they are plagued with unusual circumstances and happenings. Extraneous mummy cases, proselytizing Christians, and Ramses’ propensity for danger and trouble add up to a delicious read that should not be missed. Amelia and Emerson spar over the possibility of a Master Criminal; she for, he against in another Victorian Era battle of the sexes that keeps the Emersons happily married. Before they can settle down to real work the three will have to team up and solve all the mysterious happenings.
Reading the book and witnessing the byplay between Amelia and her son are priceless. Elizabeth Peters hit a jackpot when she created Ramses. He becomes a central character as the series unfolds. In fact the situations he gets into are one of the reasons I have read this series over and over. It’s just fun.
There are no explicit scenes, and maybe a word or two. Mostly the swearing is along the lines of “good gad” or “the devil” instead of the current foul language in use today. (Although I do know a 91-year-old lady who uses “egad” on a regular basis!)