Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Mummy Case

The Mummy Case

Elizabeth Peters

Date: 1985   —   $6.75   —   Book

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Fiction, Mystery

There's something about covers from the mid-80s that is absolutely appalling. While technically correct in a number of ways, they show a complete disregard for the conventions of the period they are supposedly portraying, and, in the case of mysteries, tend to emulate James Bond movie posters. I recall one particularly flagrant example, on the cover of a Louisa May Alcott biography, where the subject was wearing a dress that was styled correctly, but was a modern shade of hot pink, the girl had blue eyeshadow, extreme blush, and lavender lipstick!

The cover I have for this is not much better; there is a woman, probably Amelia Peabody Emerson, who is wearing a hairstyle reminiscent of the early eighties, upswept though it is, and has on vivid blue eyeshadow. Eyeshadow? Blue? *sigh* I give up.

The Emersons have taken their rambunctious son (nicknamed Ramses) to their excavations, within the sight of the pyramids they so longed to have. However, with the death of an antiquities dealer in Cairo, they are on their guard, and when tensions start flaring in their immediate vicinity, they start snooping, to their peril.

Ramses is an unfortunately rationalizing child, who always follows the letter of the law. This leads to there beings such statements made as "Ramses, don't let the lion out of its cage" and "Ramses, you are forbidden from entering a pyramid unless your mother and father are present." I rather suspect that his parents don't have quite the strength of will to deal with him properly, because that would be unfair and they are scrupulously fair people.

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