OK, more male bashing by Barbara Metz... "The naivete of the male sex never ceases to amaze me," says Mrs. Emerson, for whom only female readers are "sensible." The amount of criticism Amelia reserves for almost everybody--from queen Elizabeth to queen Victoria, to museum directors, scholars, 99% of the historical figures mentioned, to policemen, her servants, and most women--will try anyone's patience. Yet, Amelia Emerson actually admitted she was "swept away by emotion"! But... isn't she the only cool-headed human in the planet?! Later on she describes her arrival at an office when not one of the gentlemen "removed a hat or assumed a coat or rose from his chair or asked how he might assist me"! But during the whole series of books her character continuously, noxiously, endlessly harps about women being men's equal--actually being more intelligent and trustworthy then men! The thing is, Amelia Peabody Emerson is Barbara Mertz alter ego. Mertz non-fiction is punctuated by dismissive comments about men and self-aggrandizement. This statement from Amelia seems to explain why Mertz hates men: "Between [my father] vagueness and my brothers' cruelty and indifference, I had learned to have no good opinion of men..." One other shocking thing is Mrs. Peabody casually mentioning that her (annoyingly precocious, pompous) son once dressed as a "little golden-tressed girl"! If you can discount all mentioned above, the book can be entertaining. (This was the first I couldn't figure from the beginning who the killer was.)
#5 of series takes place in England but with an Egyptian flavour. Plot includes a haunted mummy case, an Egyptian prostitute, and an ancient Egyptian priest who flits in and out of the museum. The book is interesting except for the author's portrayal of children. Amelia's son Ramses is especially artificial as he corrects his father's dissertation and spouts encylopedic knowledge.
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