The incomparable Ms. Peters hits an all-time high with the ninth chapter in her exceptionally witty and exciting adventure series. The real joy in this book is the emergence of Ramses as a potential new action hero. I can't wait for the next installment!

It is the dawn of a new century as famed archeologists Emerson and Amelia Peabody Emerson, along with their teenaged entourage, return to Cairo for the excavation season. Due to unfortunate disagreements with those in charge of parceling out excavation sites, Amelia and Emerson are relegated to a less productive area of the desert...or at least that is what they assume. Not long after their arrival, Amelia and Emerson start receiving cryptic notes warning them to stay away from tomb Twenty-A. Not a problem since there is no tomb Twenty-A.

Also arriving for the season are old acquaintances Donald and Enid Fraser. Donald seems to have developed an obsession with finding the tomb of a Princess Tasherit and fallen into the clutches of a fake spiritualist named Mrs. Whitney-Jones.

Civil War veteran Colonel Bellingham and his beautiful daughter Dolly have also arrived. For the Colonel, the visit holds mixed memories, for during his last visit his young wife Lucinda disappeared with another man.

Action heats up when the Emerson family finally locates the mysterious tomb, discovering the mummified body of a young woman. The woman, is no ancient princess; however, she turns out to be the missing Lucinda.

It is the younger generation of Emersons who unlock the mystery, as Ramses, Nefret and David begin their own investigation.

(July, 352 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith