The Painted Queen (Amelia Peabody, #20)
Egypt, 1912—Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ bestselling, beloved mystery series.Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word—"Murder"—before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: "Judas." Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin—someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for Emerson—Where were you?"—pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Amarna, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge . . . and perhaps be unmasked at last.

The Painted Queen (Amelia Peabody, #20) Details

TitleThe Painted Queen (Amelia Peabody, #20)
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 25th, 2017
PublisherHarperLuxe
ISBN0062201360
ISBN-139780062201362
Number of pages544 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Fiction, Historical Mystery, Adventure, Cultural, Egypt, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Adult, Cozy Mystery

The Painted Queen (Amelia Peabody, #20) Review

  • OutlawPoet
    May 2, 2017
    ***ARC received via Amazon Vine***The first Elizabeth Peters novel I read was The Seventh Sinner (highly recommended if you haven’t read it). After reading it, I immediately went and read every book of hers I could find. Then, when I discovered she also wrote under the name Barbara Michaels, I read those. In fact, my very first review on Amazon way back in 1999 was for an Elizabeth Peters book! I loved them all.But most of all, I found I loved her Amelia Peabody series.When Ms. Peters (Michaels/ ***ARC received via Amazon Vine***The first Elizabeth Peters novel I read was The Seventh Sinner (highly recommended if you haven’t read it). After reading it, I immediately went and read every book of hers I could find. Then, when I discovered she also wrote under the name Barbara Michaels, I read those. In fact, my very first review on Amazon way back in 1999 was for an Elizabeth Peters book! I loved them all.But most of all, I found I loved her Amelia Peabody series.When Ms. Peters (Michaels/Mertz) passed away in 2013, I was so saddened. Her books brought (and still continue to bring) such joy.When given the opportunity to read The Painted Queen, I was excited…and worried. I’ve never read Joan Hess. Would she do the book and our beloved characters justice?Oh, I’m so happy to say that she did - this is an Elizabeth Peters book! Within a few pages, I forgot my worries and was thoroughly enmeshed in an Egyptian Adventure! Amelia and her cutting wit (and equally dangerous parasol). Handsome Emerson (sigh). Nefret and Ramses and David and, of course, murder and mayhem and tombs (oh my!). Oh, and wondrous secrets from Ancient Egypt.Hess does Peters justice!While I’m very sorry that this is the last book we’ll read from a favorite author, I felt like this book was a little gift to her fans. And I think Ms. Peters would have been absolutely delighted with the end result.And a quick note: you may want to skip the introductions and get right to the treasure of the story. Take the time to read them. They are by people who knew Ms. Mertz (Peters/Michaels) well. They’re funny, touching (have Kleenex), and will give you a chance to get to know your favorite author a little better. Hint: there’s a lot of Amelia in her!And a quick note to Ms. Hess: Thank you for doing our Amelia and her author justice. This fan appreciates it!
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  • Laine
    July 26, 2017
    It is obvious Joan Hess admired Barbara Mertz greatly and wanted to do her stories justice. Her introduction is heartfelt and I can only imagine the difficulty of writing a book in the middle of such an established series. Unfortunately, I agree with those who have described the Painted Queen as mediocre fanfiction. In his moving tribute to the Amelia Peabody novels following the death of Elizabeth Peters, Orson Scott Card pointed out that many mystery writers mistakenly believe they are funny. It is obvious Joan Hess admired Barbara Mertz greatly and wanted to do her stories justice. Her introduction is heartfelt and I can only imagine the difficulty of writing a book in the middle of such an established series. Unfortunately, I agree with those who have described the Painted Queen as mediocre fanfiction. In his moving tribute to the Amelia Peabody novels following the death of Elizabeth Peters, Orson Scott Card pointed out that many mystery writers mistakenly believe they are funny. Elizabeth Peters was funny! She also wrote characters who were flawed, true to their own time, and still endlessly endearing. Her mysteries were fun and engaging, without ever feeling over-the-top. The same praise cannot be given to The Painted Queen.The Painted Queen falls at a particularly emotionally fraught point in the story, between two of the most intertwined novels of the series (in my opinion). The characters seem unlike themselves in general, from (view spoiler)[Amelia falling into Emerson's arms after an unsuccessful attempt on her life, to Ramses and David being permitting to prowl Cairo alone when assassins were after Ramses (hide spoiler)]. Amelia also seems to have lost some of her feminist principles, hoping Ramses did not learn (view spoiler)["manly things" with the sheikh (hide spoiler)] among other odd comments. More grievous was the characterization of Nefret and Ramses, both of whom act like pre-Falcon at the Portal versions of themselves beyond a few bits of lip-service paid to the events of that novel. Ramses also (view spoiler)[threatens nearly everyone he meets in Cairo, behaving more like Emerson than himself (hide spoiler)]. We are told who the characters are, frequently, but they never act like themselves, and the relationships characters are off for the time period in which this novel is supposed to take place, especially with (view spoiler)[Sethos (hide spoiler)].The errors in continuity, such as Nefret being referred to as Ramses' little sister in spite of her being three years older and the fact that she is continuously referred to as Dr. Forth even though she didn't become a doctor until she spent 1913 in Switzerland, could have been overlooked had the overall plot been better constructed and the characters felt more like themselves. As it stands, I'm grateful Elizabeth Peters herself wrote Tomb of the Golden Bird before her death, and that this book is so obviously flawed that I can easily ignore it as canon.
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  • The Library Lady
    July 23, 2017
    There have been examples before of someone taking the unfinished work of a beloved author, and doing a very good job of it. The prime example I would think of is Jill Paton Walsh, who not only took Dorothy L Sayer's Thrones, Dominations and completed it believably, but has gone on to write her own Peter Wimsey mysteries. She occasionally gets a detail wrong, but overall, the transition is nearly seamless. Unfortunately, the selection of Joan Hess to finish this book was not an equally wise decis There have been examples before of someone taking the unfinished work of a beloved author, and doing a very good job of it. The prime example I would think of is Jill Paton Walsh, who not only took Dorothy L Sayer's Thrones, Dominations and completed it believably, but has gone on to write her own Peter Wimsey mysteries. She occasionally gets a detail wrong, but overall, the transition is nearly seamless. Unfortunately, the selection of Joan Hess to finish this book was not an equally wise decision. She was a good friend of Barbara Mertz (Elizabeth Peters), she had talked about her work with her, she had visited Egypt with her. But her own charming mysteries are modern day books set in the American South, and her writing skills just don't mesh with Peters' work. She doesn't have the feel for the just-before-WWI setting, for the nuances of daily life. Small details, like the mention of "pita" and "hummus", terms NOT in Amelia's vocabulary, jarred me. The interaction between the characters feels awkward. She may love the characters Peters left behind, but she doesn't catch their voices. I was constantly aware that this wasn't a true Amelia book.What this winds up being is Peters' manuscript combined with very high quality fan fiction. And though I could wish for more Amelia books, from the forwards I gather that Hess clearly isn't planning on writing them. And no matter how well this book sells (and it will) I hope that Mertz's heirs stick to that plan!
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    July 3, 2017
    To be reviewed over at Fresh Fiction!
  • LK
    May 18, 2017
    I hate to let Amelia go but this was a fine final installment. Ms. Hess did an admirable job finishing Ms. Peters manuscript - a task that must have been intimidating.
  • Tricia Bowling
    June 14, 2017
    Clearly written with love by Joan Hess and a must read for dedicated fans, but unfortunately for me the voice of all the characters ( except perhaps Sethos) was so different that it was really hard to finish. I read an ARC so maybe there will be some changes. I also found several mistakes in the "canon".
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  • Alisha Trenalone
    May 15, 2017
    I have been eagerly awaiting the final installment of the Amelia Peabody series ever since I heard that the late author Elizabeth Peters had one final book in the works. Thanks to the gracious folks who responded to my request at William Morrow/Harper Collins Publishers, I was able to get my hands on this advance reader's edition, and you may be sure that I devoured it!For those who may be coming to this book with no prior knowledge of the series, even though this book is #20, it fits chronologi I have been eagerly awaiting the final installment of the Amelia Peabody series ever since I heard that the late author Elizabeth Peters had one final book in the works. Thanks to the gracious folks who responded to my request at William Morrow/Harper Collins Publishers, I was able to get my hands on this advance reader's edition, and you may be sure that I devoured it!For those who may be coming to this book with no prior knowledge of the series, even though this book is #20, it fits chronologically about two-thirds of the way into the series and fills in a gap between previously published books. The Painted Queen will certainly be most meaningful to you if you have read the books that precede it, but I think it would stand up even if you came to it without that context.That being said, here are my thoughts:This is a stellar addition to the Amelia series. On page one, I admitted to myself some reservations. Joan Hess is the co-author for this work; I wondered, how would the collaboration flow? Would I really recognize my favorite characters? Would I be able to suspend disbelief and go along on their adventures with the same thrill I've gotten in many of Elizabeth Peters' other works?I realized by about page seven that the answer to all of those questions was YES! In fact, this book may actually mark the series' peak of comedy, derring-do, and suspense. It's very, very funny, and the action is tightly plotted without any slow bits.I love the premise, which is absurd and therefore sits fair and square in Amelia's world. Without any apology whatsoever, she OWNS the fact that her life is straight out of the most sensational of novels. She and her family of archaeologists are just beginning their latest venture in Egypt when a villain with a monocle bursts into her bath chamber, gasps "Murder!" and collapses in a dead heap on the floor moments before he would have strangled her. Naturally, she hoists herself out of the tub and begins going through his pockets. When she and her husband Emerson begin speculating about the presence of the monocle, she immediately informs him that it must be the insignia of a secret society, and that assassins sometimes travel in gangs."Assassins do not travel in gangs," says Emerson.(They are the perfect duo!)This is the point at which I began to dissolve into fits of chuckling.And that is just the beginning of an adventure that involves a whole parade of monocled men named after the great traitors of history. Also, you know the iconic treasure sitting in a museum in Berlin, the Nefertiti bust? The Emerson family is seamlessly inserted into that historical narrative. (I love the way Elizabeth Peters has always had them at or near the scene of great discoveries, but always in such a way that real history is left intact...they get their hands all over the story, but in the end they leave no trace!)So, yes, the Nefertiti bust has been discovered, but then it vanishes, but then it reappears again...and again...and again...how many of them can there be? Amelia's son Ramses and his best friend David traverse Cairo hunting down each new copy.This keeps Ramses mostly away from Nefret, the Emerson family's ward, now a grown woman with a tragedy in her past. Readers of The Falcon at the Portal and He Shall Thunder in the Sky know that since this new book is filling in that chronological gap, the relationship tension must be kept intact. It simmers ever so slightly below the surface.I must mention one other big thing that I adored in this book....the appearances of the Emerson family's perpetual nemesis (actually, at this point, "frenemy" is probably a more accurate description). Yes, it's Sethos, or as Amelia likes to call him, the Master Criminal. His disguises and plots are ongoing joys of the series. When he shows up in The Painted Queen, it's with greater panache than ever before. There are thundering hooves. There are dramatic interventions. It's glorious. Those who know the rest of his story will revel in these moments.So, in review, this book is everything I wanted the last Amelia Peabody novel to be. I'm sad that there won't be any more of her adventures, but I'm happy that The Painted Queen is such a fitting swan song. I am totally elated to have read it, and you will be too. It goes on sale July 25!***SO MANY THANKS to William Morrow/Harper Collins Publishers who provided me with this free advance copy in exchange for an honest review
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  • Christina Startt
    June 10, 2017
    I'll start off my review by saying that this is for the Advanced Reader copy I received, and I fully intend to read the official copy in July.I waited on pins and needles since I first heard whisperings of this book. I was intrigued and excited that, yes, Amelia would be gracing us one final time. And then suddenly, she was here, in the rough stage, maybe, but here nonetheless. I vowed to read slowly, and slowly I did.Here's a confession. When was in the first few chapters, and even at times nea I'll start off my review by saying that this is for the Advanced Reader copy I received, and I fully intend to read the official copy in July.I waited on pins and needles since I first heard whisperings of this book. I was intrigued and excited that, yes, Amelia would be gracing us one final time. And then suddenly, she was here, in the rough stage, maybe, but here nonetheless. I vowed to read slowly, and slowly I did.Here's a confession. When was in the first few chapters, and even at times near the end, I experienced what I can only describe as psychological block. I felt as though there was a strange barrier between me and the characters. I can only assume this is because another author was attached to the writing. I think knowing this had me so worried everything would be different, that I couldn't settle at first. Maybe reading so slowly exacerbated this feeling, or maybe in the long-run, being able to reflect on the contents of each chapter helped me recognize the characters for who they've always been.Ms. Hess did not disappoint me. I eventually was able to see past the fact that this wasn't 100% MPM, and fell into the story with pleasure. Amelia and Emerson were FANTASTIC. I was laughing often at their banter with each other and other characters, as I followed the fantastical mystery along, fully enjoying how so very Amelia Peabody it was. So many assassins, so little time.AND SETHOS. GUYS, SETHOS WAS A DREAM. All the crazy disguises and appearances had me in stitches. I think that perhaps he won the day with this book. The sass was strong as ever, and his interactions with Ramses were amazing.I think my only issue with it was that Ramses and David felt a little off to me at times. I think this was mostly due to them saying things occasionally that didn't strike me as quite Them. And I was sad at the lack of Nefret, and a little surprised at the lack of interaction she had with Ramses. Now, obviously, I understand that they probably can't even stand to look at each other what with Falcon being the previous book in the timeline, but I was hoping for something verbal to illustrate the stress between them. Mostly, we get the idea through Amelia's observations of the pair. Perhaps some of these little things will be altered in the official copy, since I know some changes were definitely made.One of my favorite things about this book were all the little Easter eggs thrown in, which the Reader will certainly recognize when he or she comes across them. They'll make you smile very hard!!!As all of you who have read this Amelia and all the others know the feeling, suddenly I hit the last chapter. I couldn't really believe this was it, despite the July release, and I had to mentally prepare myself. In the words of JK Rowling, all was well. The ending showcases Amelia in all her vivacious glory, and I couldn't have been happier with it. The fact that Painted Queen takes place primarily in Amarna seems to me a wonderful way to bookend a series that has been so much to me these past few years, and I give my thanks to MPM, Joan Hess, and Salima Ikram for their hard work in giving us this final, wonderful Peabody adventure.
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  • Angela Jett
    June 19, 2017
    Sorely missed Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody novels. I was extremely saddened when Barbara Mertz passed away... Joan Hess did a great job completing this novel. Now I need to go back and re-read prior novels to compare the styles. I almost want to say that Joan's version better describes the interactions and relationships of the main characters (and the cursing). But that could be my memory playing with me. Regardless, she does Amelia, Ramses, Nefret, and Emerson justice! Oh, and Sethos too. Q Sorely missed Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody novels. I was extremely saddened when Barbara Mertz passed away... Joan Hess did a great job completing this novel. Now I need to go back and re-read prior novels to compare the styles. I almost want to say that Joan's version better describes the interactions and relationships of the main characters (and the cursing). But that could be my memory playing with me. Regardless, she does Amelia, Ramses, Nefret, and Emerson justice! Oh, and Sethos too. Quite enjoyable.
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  • Renee
    July 26, 2017
    After rereading one novel in the Amelia Peabody universe, my excitement for The Painted Queen grew exponentially, as did the poignantly bittersweet ache of returning to my absolute favorite fictional family for the final time. The Painted Queen takes place the year after Falcon, in the lead up to WWI. Cue the drama! Cue the ridiculous adventure!And... I have to admit that I was vastly disappointed. Elizabeth Peters only competed a third of the manuscript prior to her illness, and to a devout stu After rereading one novel in the Amelia Peabody universe, my excitement for The Painted Queen grew exponentially, as did the poignantly bittersweet ache of returning to my absolute favorite fictional family for the final time. The Painted Queen takes place the year after Falcon, in the lead up to WWI. Cue the drama! Cue the ridiculous adventure!And... I have to admit that I was vastly disappointed. Elizabeth Peters only competed a third of the manuscript prior to her illness, and to a devout student of her work (aka ardent fan girl), the transition between Peters and Hess was obvious. For the majority of the novel, the characters are shells or themselves. The series' strongest trait is its characters, and none of them feel right. It's like reading fan fiction by a writer who is not up to par with all her canonical facts. Ramses: Too honest, too direct, too snappish. And there are no brooding passages, no sardonic self deprecating remarks, no cynicism. Nothing swoon worthy.Nefret does not giggle, and neither she nor Amelia would never nap so frequently or admit it at the very least. Amelia is even more prone to silly bouts of derring do, and it doesn't work as well in this context. I became -- dare I admit it? -- a trifle bored. And the plot inconsistencies: the big one is the location of Nefret's Cairo clinic that Hess has in Luxor. And then the common knowledge of the Lost Oasis. I can't imagine that Amelia would admit that to anyone, especially a new acquaintance. That was a well kept secret. The length of Katherine and Amelia's friendship is also confused with Evelyn, and then there are the flagrant anachronisms. The best part of this is the introduction for MPM: a send off to one of my favorite writers. In the future, I will revisit beloved books in the canon in order to get my Emerson family fix. I did appreciate Hess's attempt to bring closure to this final manuscript. No one can take MPM's place, but Hess does succeed in providing an ode to her and of course Amelia's indomitable memories. 2.5 stars.
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  • Stephanie
    May 16, 2017
    This was an excellent book. The transition from Elizabeth Peters to Joan Hess was almost undetectable. There were many Easter eggs referring to earlier books in the series. I shall miss Peabody, Emerson, Nefret, Sethos and especially Ramses. I highly recommend this book, and I wish there could be more written by Joan Hess.
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  • Wendy Benavides
    July 26, 2017
    Disappointing.It seems the author was trying too hard and fell short. There were inconsistencies with the rest of the series, for in chapter 5 we read "Katherine was my closest confidante; she had watched over Ramses since his birth and was as bemused as I by his eccentric nature." However Katherine doesn't meet the Emerson's until Ramses is 16 in Seeing A Large Cat. Also some of the characters didn't ring true. Nefret is portrayed as someone who would never harm anyone, but in the other books s Disappointing.It seems the author was trying too hard and fell short. There were inconsistencies with the rest of the series, for in chapter 5 we read "Katherine was my closest confidante; she had watched over Ramses since his birth and was as bemused as I by his eccentric nature." However Katherine doesn't meet the Emerson's until Ramses is 16 in Seeing A Large Cat. Also some of the characters didn't ring true. Nefret is portrayed as someone who would never harm anyone, but in the other books she sleeps with a knife under her pillow. It's a good story but just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the series
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  • Linda Cain
    June 11, 2017
    Thank you to Goodreads for the opportunity to read this book. A wonderful adventure with Amelia Peabody and her family on the trail of archeological treasure and murderers. The historical and archeological information was fascinating and blended into a very enjoyable read!
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  • Jennybeast
    March 23, 2017
    Read it, for the closure, for the reminder of this fabulous series, and for the introduction. My actual review is that it misses the mark. Too many red herrings, too many distractions from all the actual Egyptology, too much managing of Amelia by her family as though she is a silly idiot. She is a silly idiot sometimes, but her main accomplishments in this book are to nap and eat well, and that's not the Amelia Peabody I remember. Clearly this book was written with love and thoughtfulness and re Read it, for the closure, for the reminder of this fabulous series, and for the introduction. My actual review is that it misses the mark. Too many red herrings, too many distractions from all the actual Egyptology, too much managing of Amelia by her family as though she is a silly idiot. She is a silly idiot sometimes, but her main accomplishments in this book are to nap and eat well, and that's not the Amelia Peabody I remember. Clearly this book was written with love and thoughtfulness and reluctance by Joan Hess. If she didn't quite capture the rest of the series, dear reader, well, who could?
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  • Lianne
    May 30, 2017
    Sad that this is the last Amelia Peabody story. I have always looked forward to the next one. I believe Joan Hess did a good job in finishing Elizabeth Peters final story. The characters remained true. The story itself was a bit different, but it all worked.
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  • Nae
    May 22, 2017
    I received this book as a review copy from Good Reads and I am so very glad I did! Why this series of Ameila Peabody adventures has never been picked up for a series of movies staring Anglina Jolie I will never know. "The Painted Queen" was only halfway finished when Peters passed away. Quite Frankly I would never have known she did not write this whole book. Joan Hess should be really, really proud of herself because it is impossible to tell where Peters left off and Hess took over. I call that I received this book as a review copy from Good Reads and I am so very glad I did! Why this series of Ameila Peabody adventures has never been picked up for a series of movies staring Anglina Jolie I will never know. "The Painted Queen" was only halfway finished when Peters passed away. Quite Frankly I would never have known she did not write this whole book. Joan Hess should be really, really proud of herself because it is impossible to tell where Peters left off and Hess took over. I call that the ultimate tribute to a friend to be able to subsume your own voice and write with Peter's voice. Well done Ms. Hess, well done!
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  • Li
    January 2, 2017
    2017 release! http://mpmbooks.com/new-website/
  • Cat C
    July 4, 2017
    I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and that has not affected my opinion.Someone recommended the Amelia Peabody series to me a few months ago because I enjoy the wry narration of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate, and so I entered a few Goodreads giveaways and to my surprise won the last book in the entire series! Oops! Thankfully, the preface notes that this is chronologically not the last thing that happened to Amelia and Emerson, but is rather the final installment of various a I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and that has not affected my opinion.Someone recommended the Amelia Peabody series to me a few months ago because I enjoy the wry narration of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate, and so I entered a few Goodreads giveaways and to my surprise won the last book in the entire series! Oops! Thankfully, the preface notes that this is chronologically not the last thing that happened to Amelia and Emerson, but is rather the final installment of various adventures.I was able to understand this book fairly well despite never having read anything else in the series, though there are references to various crucial events that I assume are dramatized in other books. I didn't much care for it as a mystery, but did very much enjoy it when I took of it as an Egyptology-flavored screwball comedy--the villains certainly come off as cartoonish, and Amelia narrates with a dry wit. I think early exposure to Agatha Christie and The Mummy film with Evie the librarian instilled in me a fascination with Egyptian settings and archaeology, so I enjoyed spending time in that world.There are a few different prefaces explaining that the author of the series died and this book was edited posthumously. As I've never read anything by the author, that means little to me, though I'm curious whether devoted series readers notice something different in tone! I do appreciate, though, the preface explaining the historical basis for the main plotline here, as it's always nice to know that a historical novel has some scholarship behind it--Professor Salima Ikram, who wrote that preface, is even credited on the title page as an archaeological consultant!I enjoyed the opportunity to check out this series, which I've been meaning to read. I won't be running to get my hands on all the other 19 books immediately, but I would enjoy occasionally returning to this world, especially if we see the beginning of Amelia and Emerson's romance in early books (what can I say, I'm primarily a romance reader).
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  • Christie
    May 8, 2017
    The Painted Queen was a bit of a haphazard whirlwind of a mystery. It was an unfinished manuscript that Joan Hess was asked to finish after Ms. Peter's death. I feel like she did a good job at capturing the author's voice and staying true to the characters but the mystery aspects felt off... The assassins were dispatched laughably easily, and while this could have been because they were idiotic buffoons, it all felt a little too ridiculous. I started reading the Amelia Peabody series years ago, The Painted Queen was a bit of a haphazard whirlwind of a mystery. It was an unfinished manuscript that Joan Hess was asked to finish after Ms. Peter's death. I feel like she did a good job at capturing the author's voice and staying true to the characters but the mystery aspects felt off... The assassins were dispatched laughably easily, and while this could have been because they were idiotic buffoons, it all felt a little too ridiculous. I started reading the Amelia Peabody series years ago, and while I was late to discovering them, I was quickly swept up into the Egyptian atmosphere, mysteries and the unforgettable cast of characters. I particularly enjoy the "romantic" interactions and unconventional conversations between Emerson and his Peabody. I do wish I had read the series in chronological order because it was confusing to follow along when books would jump back and forth in time from the previous entry. I wish the series had ended on the latest time-wise in the series, Tomb of the Golden Bird, as it felt like more of a fitting goodbye to these characters we had spent so many years with. I will miss catching up on the antics and adventures of these characters. But it feels right to leave them now without Ms. Peters at the helm. I can see these as a TV series or movie, though...
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  • Pat
    May 15, 2017
    I received a free copy of "The Painted Queen" by Elizabeth Peters" through the "Good Reads First Reads Giveaway."The dramatic style and the unusual descriptions are not suited for all. Many of the expressions seem dated, although it is obvious that the author is very familiar with 20th Century Egypt and Archeology.This book is probably best for readers who are familiar with previous works, dealing with the same characters.
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  • Anne
    June 27, 2017
    ARC from Goodreads Contest.I haven't read an Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody in years--and was not disappointed. Lovely to pick up the storyline again and follow with enjoyment the Emerson family and their adventures. Joan Hess has done an admirable job with this last installment of the stories by Peters.
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  • Betty
    July 28, 2017
    It is with mixed feelings that I write this review and say Goodbye to the series. I have read both authors' books many times. I admire both their satire. Elizabeth Peters was and still is my favorite author. I still remember the first time I read CROCODILES ON THE SANDBANK many years ago. I laugh throughout the book. Together they have given the fans one last Amelia Peabody adventure. The plot is good and held my attention. Yes, there are errors in the Peabody timeline, I noted them but they did It is with mixed feelings that I write this review and say Goodbye to the series. I have read both authors' books many times. I admire both their satire. Elizabeth Peters was and still is my favorite author. I still remember the first time I read CROCODILES ON THE SANDBANK many years ago. I laugh throughout the book. Together they have given the fans one last Amelia Peabody adventure. The plot is good and held my attention. Yes, there are errors in the Peabody timeline, I noted them but they did not take away my enjoyment of the book.
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  • Andrea Johnson
    July 31, 2017
    Wow, the reviews on this are all over the place! I was pleased to have the opportunity to read another Amelia Peabody adventure. Always entertaining, even this one, which is sadly the last. Kudos to Joan Hess for finishing this manuscript and making it available to Amelia fans.
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  • Michelle
    July 30, 2017
    Oh, this is killing me. It's bad enough that Elizabeth Peters is dead. This alone is traumatic. I'm heartbroken that this is the last Amelia Peabody book. Although I have to admit I am so thankful that the estate does not plan on pulling a Tom Clancy here. Whew. Thank you. :-) I wanted to love this desperately, for this to take me back to how much I love these books. And . . . as a mystery book it really wasn't that bad. It's not that I didn't enjoy it. I did. It's just . . . I'm sorry. I don't Oh, this is killing me. It's bad enough that Elizabeth Peters is dead. This alone is traumatic. I'm heartbroken that this is the last Amelia Peabody book. Although I have to admit I am so thankful that the estate does not plan on pulling a Tom Clancy here. Whew. Thank you. :-) I wanted to love this desperately, for this to take me back to how much I love these books. And . . . as a mystery book it really wasn't that bad. It's not that I didn't enjoy it. I did. It's just . . . I'm sorry. I don't know much about the author that finished this book, but . . . she certainly was not Elizabeth Peters. The farther I got into the book, the more the dialogue grew stilted and awkward. All the women sounded like Amelia on steroids, and all the men sounded like the Professor on steroids (terrifying thought.) I mean, I'm sorry. Nefret does not talk just like Amelia, and Ramses does not talk just like his father. It just didn't work. I'm glad the book got finished, and I'm glad I read it, and now I'm going to go in a corner and cry for the ending of my most favoritest mystery series ever.
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  • Jane
    July 30, 2017
    Like most avid readers of this series, I was eagerly looking forward to spending time with Amelia, Emerson and their family and friends. I realized that it would be a daunting task for Ms Hess to capture the style and wit of Elizabeth Peters writing, but I wasn't expecting a story full of so many errors - errors that are just careless. It's almost like she hadn't read the other books in the series. Things like: Nefret did not have a clinic in Luxor at this time, she had a hospital in Cairo; she Like most avid readers of this series, I was eagerly looking forward to spending time with Amelia, Emerson and their family and friends. I realized that it would be a daunting task for Ms Hess to capture the style and wit of Elizabeth Peters writing, but I wasn't expecting a story full of so many errors - errors that are just careless. It's almost like she hadn't read the other books in the series. Things like: Nefret did not have a clinic in Luxor at this time, she had a hospital in Cairo; she didn't go to Paris to recover from the trauma in The Falcon at the Portal, she went to Switzerland; Daod did not have multiple wives and a large family; Amelia carried brandy in her belt of tools not whiskey; she wore trousers as her working costume not a divided skirt; Catherine was not Amelia's oldest friend and did not know Ramses as a baby - he was 16 when they met. These are just a few of the mistakes, there are many, many more. I'm surprised that Elizabeth Peters' long-time editor didn't catch these pointless mistakes. In addition to these errors, there are plot points that don't make sense and people acting out of character and the voices are often wrong. So instead of enjoying this book, I find myself noticing only the errors and saying things like "Emerson wouldn't act like that" or "Amelia wouldn't say that". I'm only a third-way through this book and I can't believe I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to finish the story. It's very disappointing.
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  • Richard N.
    July 26, 2017
    I am a long time fan of Elizabeth Peters, both the Amelia Peabody and Vickie Bliss series. I was concerned and excited when I learned about the Painted Queen. I had two concerns. First, I'm suspicious when a writer is hired to finish the work of an author who has died. (I'm sorry, but Nero Wolfe died with Rex Stout as far as I'm concerned). Second, the series, chronologized the Peabody Family and the last book (The Tomb of the Golden Bird) took place in 1922. What was this going to do? There did I am a long time fan of Elizabeth Peters, both the Amelia Peabody and Vickie Bliss series. I was concerned and excited when I learned about the Painted Queen. I had two concerns. First, I'm suspicious when a writer is hired to finish the work of an author who has died. (I'm sorry, but Nero Wolfe died with Rex Stout as far as I'm concerned). Second, the series, chronologized the Peabody Family and the last book (The Tomb of the Golden Bird) took place in 1922. What was this going to do? There didn't seem to be anyplace further for the story to go. The good news is that the story was put into the competent hands of Joan Hess. There couldn't have been a better choice. It was a great read. The story backs up a decade & recounts a version of finding a statue of Queen Nefertiti. It is extremely well done, and fits neatly into the overall Peabody story line. For instance, during this period Nefret is confused and upset by Ramses' stand-offishness. Those of us who have read the rest of the series knows why. All in all this is a fun read.
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  • Tricia
    July 14, 2017
    Barbara Mertz aka Elizabeth Peters, aka Barbara Michaels, has been a favorite author of mine for years and years. Her writing is so well done but the most impressive feature of her writing is her characters. Whether reading the Amelia Peabody series or The Vickey Bliss series or Jacqueline Kirby series (under Elizabeth Peters) her female leads are strong capable woman that are so very likeable and very rememberable. In the Painted Queen, Amelia is in Egypt accompanied by her husband, Radcliffe E Barbara Mertz aka Elizabeth Peters, aka Barbara Michaels, has been a favorite author of mine for years and years. Her writing is so well done but the most impressive feature of her writing is her characters. Whether reading the Amelia Peabody series or The Vickey Bliss series or Jacqueline Kirby series (under Elizabeth Peters) her female leads are strong capable woman that are so very likeable and very rememberable. In the Painted Queen, Amelia is in Egypt accompanied by her husband, Radcliffe Emerson, for an excavation in Amarna. Aside from uncovering Egyptian artifacts, Amelia evades several would-be assassins. There are mysteries to be solved and humor making this an all round entertaining read. Amelia is such a unique character and she makes for great reading.Since this is the last Amelia book, I couldn't help but take my time and love every minute of reading this book.If you are reading Amelia Peabody series I highly recommend reading them in order.
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  • Rebecca
    July 25, 2017
    I was terribly disappointed in this book. I looked forward to loving it like the others. I've read all the Amelia Peabody books at least twice, but not this one. Once was enough. The characters were out of character. Some of the conversations were too modern. The ending while rushed, was predictable. There was very little continuity from one story to the next. And why was there no mention of Sennia from The Falcon in the Portal, that caused so much of the tension between Nefret and Ramses.
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  • Sarah Adamson
    July 27, 2017
    Feeling very torn right now.Love the series and EP.Have not enjoyed books by Joan Hess - sorry just not my style. Felt this book lacked the subtle humor of EP and at times seemed to belittle the non-white characters which drastically reduced its enjoyment for me.Will think on this some more. Story arc was fine but things happened with the characters that I just could not see happening.
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  • Diane Haney
    July 30, 2017
    Sadly this is the last of the Amelia Peabody suspense novels. As usual, it is filled with interesting characters, intrigue and Peabody's steadfast refusal to stay out of harms way. Whether the plot or characters is plausible or not, these are always a fun read with a bit of Egyptology and archeology thrown in.
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  • J Vassilakos
    June 4, 2017
    It's wonderful to spend time with Amelia & co. again. But, with a change in authors, she has changed. I had not realized how much her driving narration added to my enjoyment of the books. In this one her voice is less sure. Still, it was a pleasure to spend time with her family once again.
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  • Carol
    July 25, 2017
    The Final AdventureThanks to Joan Hess for finishing the last manuscript for an Amelia Peabody Emerson adventure, and maintaining much of the tone Barbara Peters/Mertz used in the long running series. I will miss Amelia and her exceptional family, friends,including staff and fellow archeologists, and even enemies.
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  • Gabrielle David
    July 27, 2017
    PoignantWhile Joan Hess's touch is discernible, Elizabeth Peters' hand is the most apparent. As a fan of Amelia Peabody and her ménage, I was happy to have one more book to read and sad that there will never be another.
  • Joanne
    July 25, 2017
    Joan Hess did a great job and Barbara Rosenblat revived our beloved characters so we had one last visit with them- it was good for that reason alone- it was a good Amelia Peabody- true to her character ! Was nice to get one more story
  • Danielle
    July 29, 2017
    Fully enjoyed it, Joan Hess did a fabulous job finishing the book for Elizabeth Peters. It was bittersweet though, because this is the last Amelia Peabody book I'll get to read for the first time
  • Martina
    February 9, 2017
    Coming this summer! Number 20 (and the final novel) in the Amelia Peabody series! I've been reading these for eons! At least it seems that long. Looking forward to this....
  • Siobhan F.
    July 25, 2017
    While not quite as good as the other Amelia Peabody mysteries (Manuscript H in particular feels a little off), it is still wonderful to have this final addition to the series.
  • WHPL Reference
    July 25, 2017
    Find it at the West Hempstead Public Library http://encore.alisweb.org/iii/encore/...
  • Leah
    July 29, 2017
    Not quite the same as those written purely by Elizabeth Peters but I still loved dipping back into Amelia's world one last time.
  • Jane
    July 27, 2017
    So sad that there will be no more. Joan Hess does a great job of maintaining Peters' tone, characterization, & plotting.
  • Jill
    February 8, 2017
    I'll write a more complete review closer to the actual pub date...crying when reading the introduction!!!
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