No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017/46: The Deeds of the Disturber -- Elizabeth Peters

"... your – how shall I put it? – your panache, your disregard for convention, your remarkable talent for criminal investigation –"
"I prefer the term 'panache'," I interrupted. [loc 624]
The only novel in the series to be set wholly in London, Deeds of the Disturber opens with a mysterious death at the British Museum. With remarkable alacrity, the popular press start on about curses, and Amelia teams up with journalist Kevin O'Connell to find a murderer -- and uncover the identity of rival reporter M. Minton.

Meanwhile, peace has forsaken the Emerson household, as Amelia's unpleasant brother has asked her to look after his two repulsive children. Percy is a bully, Violet is greedy and sullen. Ramses loathes them both, but is already, at nine, too much of a gentleman (in this respect, at least) to reveal their nasty schemes and general dishonesty. Amelia is oblivious, for most of the book, to the torments inflicted by Ramses' cousins: when she does realise the truth, she is swift to apologise, which pleased me disproportionately. ('although he was wise enough not to say so, I could see he felt I had been a trifle too quick to assume he was at fault. I had to agree; but I would like to point out that Ramses’ past history tended to confirm such an assumption.' [loc. 5532])

Also features a mysterious woman (she is no lady) from Emerson's past; 'vices natural and unnatural', a distinction which Emerson declines to explain to Amelia; escape via corset; and some unflattering observations about Queen Victoria.

Pretty damned good, though Percy (who we do meet again) is vile, and Violet (who doesn't seem to feature in any other books) is, despite her appetite, somewhat two-dimensional.

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