I just finished the 19th and final Amelia Peabody mystery, The Tomb of the Golden Bird (by Elizabeth Peters). I can’t remember the last time I stayed up so late to read a book, or the last time I cried after reaching the final pages.
For the past six months, Amelia (I feel as though we’re on a first-name basis) and her family have been a daily part of my life. Their adventures — every year, another dead body! — are sometimes (often) eye-rollingly melodramatic, but the characters are some of the most vivid of any I have read.
I loved the plucky lady archeologist from the start, and she has easily become one of my favorite female characters (even despite her repeated digs at journalists, who rank only slightly higher than murderers in her book). It’s hard to do justice describing her, but I think Amelia’s son, Ramses, probably does it best:
“She is a handsome lady, and she has many admirable qualities. But to my father she is quite simply the most beautiful, desirable, intelligent, amusing, exasperating, infuriating, wonderful woman on the face of the earth. He loves her for all those qualities, including the ones that drive him wild.”