Monday, August 01, 2005

What I've been reading - The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters

I was first introduced to Amelia Peabody about about eight years ago. This was when I was working in a public library and I was perusing the mystery paperbacks and my eyes alighted upon a fictional gem. The bonus was that it was the first book in the series, Crocodile on the Sandbank.

After reading the first one I quickly realised there were a further six to read! It didn't take me long to fly through them, becoming another one of Elizabeth Peters hordes of fans.

I then had to wait for the next installments just like them. There are now a total of 17 Amelia Peabody adventures.
Take one Victorian lady with acerbic wit who is ahead of her times, archeological fever, a dashing hero and the Egyptian desert and its pyramids as backdrop and this gives you a small clue as to what the books are about. Have you seen the movie The Mummy? This is the type of wondrous, enchanted background, dripping with antiquity that awaits you.
Recently I read an interview of Elizabeth Peters and they spoke about how her books are just mere 'fiction'. Yes they are escapist and would probably not venture upon the shelves in the 'literary' section or in a university library, but this is what makes them all the more fantastic. When I know another new installment has been released I feel a thrill of excitement go through me. I'm sure that all Harry Potter fans know what that means. Elizabeth Peters answered this criticism by saying, that yes, it is lighter reading, however, she is a writer that spends an enormous amount of time researching her work. And that is what it is. Work. Also Elizabeth Peters has the sort of credentials that highlight within her fictional work that she is one author who knows what she is talking about. She has a Ph.D in Egyptology. She also writes under another psuedynom, that of Barbara Michaels. Under this guise her books are different. They are more gothic horror. One remark often seen on the covers of her books is that public libraries need to keep her books under lock and key!
Anyway, I was behind in the series. I actually thought it was one book, but then discovered it was three! My reason for this is because I left my position in my public library branch to buy a cafe. (Something I will need to blog about soon. We had the cafe for a year, and I now dub this as the Shit year.) After getting rid of the thing (this is how I view that), I then found a position in a university library and began an undergraduate degree. Consequently, I didn't have time to read, and it is only now I am working through a long list of fiction I am trying to catch up with. University libraries only keep the 'good literature' on their shelves.
I'm digressing. So, I've just finished reading Guardian of the Horizon and strangely enough, this part of the story follows on from one in the series even further down the list. It really threw me when I brought it home from my local library branch. Two of the characters had gotten married the last time I read the series, and here they were prowling around each other, gone back to the sexual tension before admitting their feelings for each other. I was very confused. So much so I had to jump onto the 'net to try and find out if I was reading this book in the right order. I was positive I hadn't read this particular one as yet. I finally worked it out and had yet another enjoyable read.

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