The Painted Queen

Peters, Elizabeth & . Morrow. Jul. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780062083517. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062083524. M
Mystery surrounds the legendary Egyptian queen Nefertiti bust discovered in 1912 by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt. While the world may never know how the artifact ended up in Germany, we now understand the roles the great archaeologist Radcliffe Emerson and his equally eminent wife, Amelia Peabody, had in its discovery. Following the events detailed in The Falcon at the Portal, Amelia and her family are gearing up for another excavation season. No sooner do they check in to their Cairo hotel than a man tries to kill Amelia. While accustomed to danger, she and her husband must determine who is trying to get rid of them this time. After their son Ramses reports that someone tried to kill him, their adopted daughter Nefret figures out that the family of her former husband, Geoffrey Godwin, are seeking revenge for his death. When legendary author Peters died in 2013, she left behind a partially finished manuscript for this book. Her friend and fellow mystery writer Hess agreed to finish the story. Hess tries too hard to emulate Peter's style and, at times, the writing veers toward parody.
VERDICT Despite a few flaws, devoted Amelia Peabody fans (this reviewer counts herself as one) will read this book with tears in their eyes as they bid farewell to these much-loved characters (and author). [See Prepub Alert, 1/30/17.]
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