Barbara Mertz

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland
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Egypt, 1912—Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ bestselling, beloved mystery series.

Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word—"Murder"—before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: "Judas." Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.

It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin—someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for Emerson—Where were you?"—pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.

But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Amarna, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.

For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge . . . and perhaps be unmasked at last.

Convinced that the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon lies somewhere in the Valley of the Kings, eminent Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson and his intrepid wife, Amelia Peabody, seem to have hit a wall. Having been banned forever from the East Valley, Emerson, against Amelia's advice, has tried desperately to persuade Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter to relinquish their digging rights. But Emerson's trickery has backfired, and his insistent interest in the site has made his rivals all the more determined to keep the Emerson clan away.

Powerless to intervene but determined to stay close to the unattainable tomb, the family returns to Luxor and prepares to continue their dig in the less promising West Valley—and to watch from the sidelines as Carter and Carnarvon "discover" the greatest Egyptian treasure of all time: King Tut's tomb. But before their own excavation can get underway, Emerson and his son, Ramses, find themselves lured into a trap by a strange group of villains ominously demanding "Where is he?" Driven by distress—and, of course, Amelia's insatiable curiosity—the Emersons embark on a quest to uncover who "he" is and why "he" must be found, only to discover that the answer is uncomfortably close to home. Now Amelia must find a way to protect her family—and perhaps even her would-be nemesis—from the sinister forces that will stop at nothing to succeed in the nefarious plot that threatens the peace of the entire region.

Filled with heart-stopping suspense, political intrigue, and Amelia Peabody's trademark wit and wisdom, Tomb of the Golden Bird is the latest thrilling installment from the renowned and beloved "grande dame of historical mystery" (Washington Post).

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