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

Monday, May 01, 2017

2017/48: The Hippopotamus Pool -- Elizabeth Peters

Careers for women! That is a favourite theme of yours, I believe? Why, then you should commend my efforts, for I have given gainful employment to women – downtrodden, oppressed females of this and other countries, who work not for men but for themselves – and for me. A criminal organization of women![loc. 5712]
Amelia and her family are in Cairo to greet the 20th century (technically a year early) when a mysterious visitor produces an ancient gold ring, some hints about an undisturbed tomb, and -- shortly thereafter -- his own inexplicable disappearance. There are other mysteries, too: in the absence of Sethos (a.k.a. The Master Criminal), who has taken over the thriving trade in forged antiquities? Could there be two factions? If so, which faction is trying to prevent Emerson from finding and excavating the rumoured tomb? And is the forger Abd el Hamed's sullen juvenile apprentice, David, to be trusted?

Also features another fat villain; a Theosophist; Nefret being awesome; the return of Walter and Evelyn, and the latter regaining some verve; the cat Bastet obeying a command; Amelia's narrative shading into smugness.

There were quite a few typos in this Kindle edition ('pouring over the message', 'a wealthy window') as well as sentences where the words ran together without spaces, and at least one missing line. Still, very enjoyable, and has rather more history and archaeology than some of the others in the series.

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