In the mood for exotic romance and adventure, spiced with a heavy dash of humor? Look no further than the latest chapter in the ongoing chronicles of intrepid Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson.

THE HIPPOPOTAMUS POOL returns the Emerson family to Thebes, this time in search of the lost tomb of Queen Tetisheri. The closely knit if unconventional family includes Amelia, her husband Emerson, their eccentric teenage son Ramses and their beautiful ward Nefret Forth.

Amelia soon realizes that it will be business as usual when a mysterious masked man offers Amelia and Emerson a map to the lost tomb. Unfortunately the stranger is murdered before he can divulge the secret. Emerson, however, has a trick up his sleeve and soon fools the tomb robbers into giving away its location.

While Emerson and Amelia managed to rout Sethos the Master Criminal in their last adventure, his empire is now being fought over by an assortment of nefarious criminals, all of whom want the treasure of Queen Tetisheri. With his unerring gift for finding trouble, Ramses manages to save local boy David from assassination. Having worked for an abusive antiquities dealer and forger, David may hold the key to at least part of the mystery.

With murderers, kidnappers, tomb robbers and precocious teenagers abounding, Amelia and Emerson are in for a bumpy ride, as usual. Discovering the lost tomb may be a piece of cake compared to trying to protect their family from harm.

Awe-inspiring author Elizabeth Peters never disappoints, and her legion of fans will be utterly delighted with this latest exhilarating romp. (Apr., 382 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith