Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Walk like an Egyptian

In the colds of January, as manuscript pages pile up around my ears (I am almost being literal; you should see the floor by my bed), where do I turn when I need a comfort read? I'll tell you. Elizabeth Peters.

I don't know why I love her books so much--wait, yes I do. They combine mystery, adventure, romance, and often an historical aspect or setting with very feisty feminist protagonists and lots of intelligent humor. I am equally devoted to her Amelia Peabody series and her Vicky Bliss series, though I also adore her standalones, her Jacqueline Kirby mini series, and her pseudonymous Barbara Michaels paranormals.

This past week I have been redevouring the Vicky books, in which our art historian heroine takes off from her Munich museum job at a moment's notice (her boss doesn't mind because he usually joins her as a Watsonian sidekick) for sundry international locations and the antiquities capers they contain. I think my favorite is the penultimate, Night Train to Memphis (that's Egypt, not Tennessee). I've read it so many times that the ink is smudged. Chris said, "I need to get you some new books." No way! You can have your Jonathan Lethems and Jonathan Safran Foers. Give me Elizabeth Peters any day.

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