When Lady Baskerville’s husband Sir Henry dies after discovering what may have been an undisturbed royal tomb in Luxor, she appeals to eminent archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson and his wife Amelia to take over the excavation.GOODREAD’S BLURB
If Crocodile On The Sandbank was the Prologue, we’re now in Chapter One of the Peabody Saga. Amelia and Emerson are happily married with a child, Ramses AKA one of my favourite characters in the history of ever. Picture Damian Wayne (Batman comics) and William Brown (Just William series) as a single character. And that’s just him as a child.
THE CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS
We start in England. Amelia and Emerson are both very depressed to be stuck in the rainy, foggy, not-hot country. They don’t like their neighbours. They don’t like the English way of life. However, they are doing it for their son – Ramses – who is alarmingly precocious and also too young to go to Egypt.
There’s this delicious scene where Amelia is trying to be polite to a neighbour and in comes Ramses, with an ‘unbroken stream of liquid filth’ marking his path. He dumps something he’s found in the compost heap onto her lap.
Ramses put his head on one side and studied his bone with a thoughtful frown. ‘I fink,’ he said, ‘it is a femuw. A femuw of a winocowus.’
‘There are no rhinoceroses in England,’ I pointed out.
‘A a-stinct winocowus,’ said RamsesTHE CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS PAGE 13
And then Amelia – who really has had enough of her neighbour, Lady Carrington – has an idea:
‘A splendid bone,’ I said, without even trying to resist the temptation. ‘You must wash it before you show it to Papa. But first, perhaps Lady Carrington would like to see it.’ALSO PAGE 13
(She did not want to see it. The ensuing scene is hysterical.)
… it’s just brilliant, okay? I love it. I adore it. This is everything. Thank you. Goodbye. However, Ramses is left in England, safely with Evelyn and Walter as Emerson and Amelia are Summoned to finish the excavations of someone who has died under Mysterious Circumstances.
There is a curse! (Or is it a curse?!) There is danger – which Amelia deals with with typical aplomb:
We had almost reached the top when a sound made me glance up. I then seized Emerson by the ankles and pulled him down. The boulder which I had seen teetering on the brink missed him by less than a foot, sending splinters of rock flying in every direction when it struck.
Slowly Emerson rose to his feet. ‘I do wish, Peabody, that you would be a little less abrupt in your methods,’ he remarked, using his sleeve to wipe away the blood that was dripping from his nose. ‘A calm “Watch out, there,” or a tug at my shirt-tail would have proved just as effective, and less painful.’THE CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS PAGE 79
All in all, it’s a hilarious addition to the series. Characters who will appear throughout the series are introduced, there is the typical villain (all of the mysteries are excellent), and of course – a secondary romance that Amelia definitely doesn’t have a hand in matchmaking. She would never.
I would wish that Ramses appears more in this book, but knowing as I do how much of a staple he’ll be in this series – it’s okay. We’re good.
Oh! And then Emerson is accosted by a woman who believes he is her lover from a previous life. Because OF COURSE he does. It’s hysterical. 10/10. Please read.