New York Times bestselling
author Elizabeth Peters brings back beloved Egyptologist and amateur sleuth
Amelia Peabody in an exciting tale set amid the ancient temples and simmering
religious tensions of Palestine on the eve of World War I.
August 1910. Banned from the Valley of the Kings by the Antiquities
Service, Amelia Peabody and her husband, Emerson, are relaxing at home in Kent,
enjoying the tranquil beauty of summer. But adventure soon beckons when they
are persuaded to follow would-be archaeologist Major George Morley on an
expedition to Palestine, a province of the crumbling, corrupt Ottoman Empire
and the Holy Land of three religions. Searching for the vanished treasures of
the Temple in Jerusalem, Morley is determined to unearth the legendary Ark of
The skeptical Emerson wants no part of the scheme, until a request from
the War Office and Buckingham Palace persuades him to reconsider. The Germans
are increasing their influence in Palestine and British intelligence insists
that Morley is an agent of the Kaiser, sent to stir up trouble in this politically
volatile land. Emerson can’t believe that the seemingly inept Morley is a
German spy, but could he be mistaken?
Determined to prevent a catastrophically unprofessional excavation that
could destroy priceless historical artifacts—as well as cause an armed protest
by infuriated Christians, Jews, and Muslims who view the Temple Mount, also
known as the Dome of the Rock, as sacred—Amelia, Emerson, and company head to
Palestine. Though it is not to her beloved Egypt, the trip to Jerusalem will
also reunite her with her handsome and headstrong son, Ramses, who is working
on a dig at Samaria, north of the holy city.
Before Ramses can meet his parents, however, he is distracted by an
unusual party of travelers who have arrived in Samaria, including a female German
archaeologist and a mysterious man of unknown nationality and past.
Unfortunately, Ramses’ insatiable curiosity and his knack for trouble lead him
to a startling discovery: information he must pass on to his parents in
Jerusalem—if he can get there alive.
Once again the
Peabody-Emerson clan must use all their skills and wiles to find the truth,
prevent a bloody holy war, and save their son from the clutches of a nefarious
enemy in this wonderfully engaging tale chock-full of thrills, mystery, and
daring from the inimitable Elizabeth Peters.
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