rating: 4 of 5 stars
Elizabeth Peters brings back Vicky Bliss in a modern setting, this time heading to Egypt to solve the theft of King Tutankhamun's mummy from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor (ancient Thebes). I started this book about a month and a half before I actually went to Egypt, and although it took me too long to read it (in snippets during lunch breaks, mostly), I really enjoyed it. I got about 3/4 of the way through it before I went on vacation and finished the rest once I got home. Having just been there and seen the places Peters describes, I have to say I got SO much more out of the book once I came home! Before my trip, I'd have rated the book probably at about 3 or 3 1/2 stars. Afterward--particularly after reading the ending where Peters writes herself into the story, which tickled my fancy--I'd have to give it 4 or even 4 1/2 stars. I now want to purchase a copy to reread and savor, knowing, for example, exactly what the Karnak Temple complex looks like at night and how enormous it is and how easy it would be to hide in the shadows (and how difficult to find or follow anyone!).
Peters does refer numerous times to previous Vicky Bliss novels, so if it's been a while since you've read them, it could be helpful to reread them before beginning this one. Also--don't expect it to follow chronologically with the earlier Vicky Bliss novels, which were written years ago. Peters just jumps ahead to present day as though the other books took place within the previous few years. Neither Vicky nor Schmidt nor John have aged significantly.
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