It is the fall of 1919 and W.W.I is finally over. It's also the first chance in many years for the entire extended Emerson clan to spend the season excavating in Egypt. This will also be the first year that a third generation of Emersons will get a taste for archeology. Ramses and his wife, Nefret, are the proud parents of 2-year-old twins, Charla and Davy.

While waiting for the rest of the family to arrive from England, Amelia Peabody concentrates on helping her old friend Cyrus Vandergelt prepare the remarkable artifacts from the Tomb of the God's Wives. Officials from the Cairo Museum want everything preserved and sent to them. The only problem is that one of the restorers, a Senor Martinelli, disappears along with several valuable jewelry pieces. Frantic to find the missing pieces before museum officials discover their loss, Cyrus turns to Amelia and Emerson. As Senor Martinelli was recommended by Sethos, the former Master Criminal and Emerson's half-brother, Amelia feels compelled to act. During the war Sethos was one of Britain's master spies; could he have returned to his old ways?

As always, some dark plot is afoot, but Amelia is not about to let anything spoil her family reunion or excavation. Not many authors can take a series through 15 books and keep it amusing, inventive and entertaining. That there are now three generations of Emersons just adds to the fun and presents exponentially more possibilities. Elizabeth Peters is a national treasure! (Apr., 416 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith