The Ape Who Guards the Balance, Paperback

The Ape Who Guards the Balance Paperback

Part of the Amelia Peabody series

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Prospects for the 1907 archaeological season in Egypt are looking somewhat dull to Amelia.

As a result of Emerson's less-than-diplomatic behaviour, they have been demoted to examining only the most boring tombs in the Valley of the Kings - mere leftovers, really. And then, in a seedy section of Cairo, the younger members of the Peabody Emerson clan purchase a mintcondition papyrus of the famed Book of the Dead, the collection of magical spells and prayers designed to ward off the perils of the underworld and lead the deceased into everlasting life.

But for as long as there have been graves, there have also been grave robbers - and so begins a new adventure into antiquity.

The season rapidly switches from dull to deadly as Amelia strives to untangle a web woven of criminals and cults, stolen treasures and fallen women - all the while under the unblinking eye of a ruthless, remorseless killer.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781845295646



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The story starts in London with Amelia attending a suffragette protest organised by the Pankhursts. A crime is committed and in the ensuring melee Amelia recognises an old foe. Soon the Emersons are back in Egypt and we get the usual mix of archaeology, tomb robbing, murder and mayhem. I particularly like how Peters has matured her characters and how she uses the device of Manuscript H and Nefret's letters pad out the story and give an interesting perspective away from Amelia's first person narrative. The story itself is the usual mix of thrills and spills, but is also, at time, quite unbearably sad. A brilliant addition to the series.

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