I know I’m nearly a week late for Halloween. I have posted a personal update on my home page, but despite the lateness of this, I thought I would use my extra hour from the end of Daylight Saving Time to share with you my Halloween costume and a recommendation for the book that started it all.
The series of books are the Amelia Peabody Mystery books by Elizabeth Peters. The first book is Crocodile on the Sandbank, and once I finished the twenty-one books in the series, I had decided to dress as Amelia for Halloween. I’d highly recommend all of the books as well as Peters’ other books under her other pen names.
I enjoyed going through my clothes and accessories to come up with the epitome of the Amelia Peabody Emerson look, and managed to put together what I think is a good rendition of how I pictured her. I did try to get a pith helmet to wrap my scarf around, but I wasn’t able to find one in my price range, however, I decided instead to wear my “second best hat”.
I think I’m ready to head out on the dig. Or to find the murderer whichever one comes first.
In a Twitter thread unrelated to the books, I was introduced to the Amelia Peabody mystery series through her umbrella and a reference to whacking someone, who shall remain nameless, in the shins with it. This was in 2018 in the middle of July. I immediately checked the first five books out of the e-library and began my adventures. And that was that. No more books were available. And then recently, I was informed that all New York residents were eligible for an e-library card from the New York Public Library. And thus begins a new chapter in my reading material. I discovered to my delight that they had all but one of the books and I was able to read the rest of the twenty book series in a ridiculously short period of time.
And then I read them again.
Since the end of October, I have been in constant touch with Amelia Peabody and her family. I am currently finishing the last in the series (chronologically) for the third time and each reading brings with it notices of new things, new insights, new critical looks: at the Emerson journals, at the time period, at the caste system and bigotry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
My first read through was in publication order; my second was in chronological order. I read some excerpts from the later books to witness more of Ramses and Nefret’s relationship and in my continuing reading I realized how much I have in common with Amelia, both to my satisfaction and my chagrin.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts today on National Umbrella Day as well as during the month of February when so many things occurred after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun: the opening of the burial chamber in 1923 (February 16), the raising of the sarcophagus lid in 1924 (Feb. 12), and the suspension of the excavation (for a year) in 1924 as well, returning to work at the end of January of the following year.