Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody Series #15)

Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody Series #15)

by Elizabeth Peters

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The Great War has ended at last. No longer must archaeologist Amelia Peabody and her husband, Emerson, the distinguished Egyptologist, fear for the life of their daring son, Ramses, now free from his dangerous wartime obligations to British Intelligence. But in the aftermath of conflict, evil still casts a cold shadow over violence-scarred Egypt. The theft of valuable antiquities from the home of a friend causes great concern in the Emerson household. Ramses’s strange encounter with a woman costumed in the veil and gold crown of the goddess Hathor only deepens the mystery. And the brutal death of the suspected thief washes the unsettling affair in blood—setting Amelia on a terrifying collision course with an adversary more fiendish and formidable than any she has ever encountered.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061999376
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #15
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 149,714
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago’s famed Oriental Institute. During her fifty-year career, she wrote more than seventy novels and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She received numerous writing awards and, in 2012, was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.


A farm in rural Maryland

Date of Birth:

September 29, 1927

Place of Birth:

Canton, Illinois


M.A., Ph.D. in Egyptology, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1952

Read an Excerpt

Children of the Storm

Chapter One

The encrimsoned sun sank slowly toward the crest of the Theban mountains. Another glorious Egyptian sunset burned against the horizon like fire in the heavens.

In fact, I did not at that moment behold it, since I was facing east. I had seen hundreds of sunsets, however, and my excellent imagination supplied a suitable mental picture. As the sky over Luxor darkened, the shadows of the bars covering doors and windows lengthened and blurred, lying like a tiger's stripes across the two forms squatting on the floor. One of them said, "Spoceeva."

"Russian," Ramses muttered. scribbling on his notepad. "Yesterday it was Amharic. The day before it sounded like -- "

"Gibberish," said his wife.

"No," Ramses insisted. "It has to mean something. They use root words from a dozen languages, and they obviously understand one another. See? He's nodding. They are standing up. They are going ... " His voice rose. "Leave the cat alone!"

The Great Cat of Re, stretched out along the back of the settee behind him, rose in haste and climbed to the top of his head, from which position it launched itself onto a shelf. Ramses put his notepad aside and looked severely at the two figures who stood before him. "Die Katze ist ganz verboten. Kedi, hayir. Em nedjeroo pa meeoo."

The Great Cat of Re grumbled in agreement. He had been a small, miserable-looking kitten when we acquired him, but Sennia had insisted on giving him that resounding appellation and, against all my expectations, he had grown into his name. His appearance was quite different from those of our other cats: longhaired, with an enormous plume of a tail, and a coat of spotted black on gray. With characteristic feline obstinacy he insisted on joining us for tea, though he knew he would have to go to some lengths to elude his juvenile admirers, who now burst into a melodious babble of protest, or, perhaps, explanation.

"Darling, let's stick to one language, shall we?" Nefret said. She was smiling, but I thought there was a certain edge to her voice. "They'll never learn to talk if you address them in ancient Egyptian and Anglo-Saxon."

"They know how to talk," Ramses said loudly, over the duet. "Recognizable human speech, however -- "

"Say Papa," Nefret coaxed. She leaned forward. "Say it for Mama."

"Bap," said the one whose eyes were the same shade of cornflower-blue.

"Perverse little beggars," said Ramses. The other child climbed onto his knee and buried her head against his chest. I suspected she was trying to get closer to the cat, but she made an engaging picture as she clung to her father. They were affectionate little creatures, much given to hugging and kissing, especially of each other.

"They're over two years old," Ramses went on, stroking the child's black curls. "I was speaking plainly long before that, wasn't I, Mother?"

"Dear me, yes," I said, with a somewhat sickly smile. To be honest -- which I always endeavor to be in the pages of my private journal -- I dreaded the moment when the twins began to articulate. Once Ramses learned to talk plainly, he never stopped talking except to eat or sleep, for over fifteen years, and the prolixity and pedantry of his speech patterns were extremely trying to my nerves. The idea of not one but two children following in the paternal footsteps chilled my blood.

Ever the optimist, I told myself there was no reason to anticipate such a disaster. The little dears might take after their mother, or me.

"Children learn at different rates," I explained to my son. "And twins, according to the best authorities, are sometimes slower to speak because they communicate readily with one another."

"And because they get everything they want without having to ask for it," Ramses muttered. The children obviously understood English, though they declined to speak it; his little daughter raised her head and fluttered her long lashes flirtatiously. He fluttered his lashes back at her. Charla giggled and gave him a hug.

The question of suitable names had occupied us for months. I say "us," because I saw no reason why I should not offer a suggestion or two. (There is nothing wrong with making suggestions so long as the persons to whom they are offered are not obliged to accept them.) Not until the end of her pregnancy did I begin to suspect Nefret was carrying twins, but since we had already settled on names for a male or a female child, it worked out quite nicely. There was no debate about David John; no one quarreled with Ramses's desire to name his son after his best friend and his cousin who had died in France in 1915.

A girl's name was not so easy to find. Emerson declared (quite without malice, I am sure) that between our niece and myself there were already enough Amelias in the family. It was with some hesitation that I mentioned that my mother's name had been Charlotte, and I was secretly pleased when Nefret approved.

"It is such a nice, ordinary name," she said.

"Unlike Nefret," said her husband.

"Or Ramses." She chuckled and patted his cheek. "Not that you could ever be anything else."

Charla, as we called her, had the same curly black hair and dark eyes as her father. Her brother Davy, now perched on his mother's knee, was fair, with Nefret's blue eyes and Ramses's prominent nose and chin. They did not resemble each other except in height, and in their linguistic eccentricity. Davy was more easygoing than his sister, but he had a well-nigh supernatural ability to disappear from one spot and materialize in another some distance away. The bars had been installed in all the rooms they were wont to inhabit, including the veranda, where we now sat waiting for Fatima to serve tea ...

Children of the Storm. Copyright © by Elizabeth Peters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.


All About Amelia
Over the course of her 14 previous adventures, Victorian Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson has gone from being an unconventional spinster to an independent-minded wife and rather unorthodox mother. With Children of the Storm, which begins one year after World War I, she's become a delightfully eccentric grandmother -- but her insatiable curiosity and passion for justice are still as strong as ever! Ransom Notes asked Amelia's talented creator to talk a bit about Amelia's various tranformations:

Elizabeth Peters: I would say that, more than anything else, growing older has affected Amelia's views. Some people get crotchety as they age; some mellow; some gain wisdom and understanding. Dogmatic though she often sounds, Amelia is capable of learning from experience, and she has been strongly, if unconsciously, influenced by her husband's unorthodox religious and social views.

Of course, Amelia couldn't be who she is in any but this particular historical setting. It is her defiance of the customs of her time that makes her so funny and, I have been told, such an effective role model. I love doing historical research, especially about Egyptology, because that's my field. It has always been my passion, and (no false modesty here) I know a lot about it. I have to maintain a high standard of accuracy because readers are not slow to tell me when I go wrong. (I love hearing from readers. They can reach me through my web site,, or by writing me at Box l80, Libertytown MD 21762-0180.)

Ransom Notes: What do you like best about writing about Amelia and her family?

EP: One of the most interesting aspects of Amelia's development, to me, is the way in which she has come to appreciate her son, Ramses. As she admitted early on, she is not a maternal woman, and heaven knows, Ramses as a child would have tried any mother's patience. Also, Amelia's wholehearted devotion to her husband has at times made her jealous of those Emerson also loves -- even her own son. She is a typical Victorian mother in one sense, believing in discipline rather than "developing the whole child." It wasn't until Ramses showed himself a "true Briton," risking his life for his country and his principles, that she came to realize how much she loves and admires him, and was able to tell him so.

RN: In most ways you present Amelia as an extremely practical person. What made you decide to make premonitions part of her character?

EP: I like the contrast between Amelia's practicality and her "streak of superstition," as she calls it. Her premonitions are one of my little jokes, really, because half the time they are flat-out wrong. Her dreams have added a depth to her personality, a spiritual element that makes her more vulnerable and more sympathetic -- and more human.

RN: Amelia is a woman of strong opinions, wed to a man of equally strong and frequently opposed ones. What makes them such a good team, as coworkers, mates, parents, and investigators?

EP: As Amelia says, "I would not allow a man to dominate me, and I would despise a man who allowed me to dominate him." She and Emerson are perfectly matched because they accept and appreciate each other's weaknesses as well as their strengths. And of course there is that -- er -- other element that she would never name. Sex, in other words.

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Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I reread the entire series while eagerly awaiting 'Children of the Storm'. It was like visiting with dearly loved friends. 'Children' adds another generation to the wonderful Emerson-Peabody clan, and finally makes Sethos a real and important addition to the family. Ms. Peters' attention to historical detail is, as usual, magnificent. Her characters are wonderfully human, as well as being heroic, intelligent, eccentric... I can't recommend this series of books highly enough. When is the next one being published? Ms. Peters, your public (and of course, Amelia's) awaits.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A full cast of characters and an elaborate mystery make this one of the best Amelia Peabody mysteries to date. The whole Emerson family is in Luxor for this one, along with several of the characters who enlivened previous books in the series. As usual, the mystery is well-developed, and the book is suspenseful up to its gratifying ending. For those new to this series, I recommend reading some of the earlier books first just to add to the enjoyment of this one.
bookwoman247 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Amelia Peabody series still hasn't grown stale for me. The characters are so delghtful, their adventures are so exhilarating, and so many wonderful new characters are added, that it is still fresh and more fun than the three-ring circus that their lives often resemble.In this installment, Amelia and co. are on the trail of thieves who've stolen a few very valuable pieces of Ancient Egyptian jewelery from their good friend, Cyrus Vandergelt, as they try to work out a pattern to a number of other seemingly unrelated events.
reeread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For once, it wasn't Amelia who was in dire danger waiting to be rescued. She has the less familiar experience of being powerless to change anything and simply has to wait before all is revealed and resolved. This episode in her life has her surrounded by many family members, a contrast to those set in the war years when travel was limited.
nolak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book opens with the introduction of Ramses and Nefret's twins, a boy and a girl. The next generation of the Emerson family and that of Abdullah rises to the fore as they all converge on the new family home in the Luxor area. Sethos is disturbed by his daughter's hatred, so Amelia acts as an intermediary to bring them back together. A theft and a murder and strange appearances of someone dressed as the goddess Hathor and kidnapping all combine to cause the family to wonder who is left of their enemies to cause them trouble. It turns up to be someone bent on revenge, but of whose existence they were entirely unaware. The intense ending of the story and the positive outcome make it worth reading. It is fun to see Amelia and Emerson as grandparents as well.
michcard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
needed something while at the folks' place. I like her style and the characters, but why is the solution based on a fact not in the storyline?
mccin68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have fallen in love with these stories as much for the witty, action oriented stories as the narrator Barbara Rosenblat. I have read a few of the stories and found them slightly less enjoyable that hearing the dynamic readings they are such a treat!
bugs5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
good book, likeable characters, but not a pg. turner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and look forward to the next with baited breath
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At last! The next generation. As always a terrific mystery and hilarious happenings as can only occur to the Peabody - Emerson's!
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BGWW More than 1 year ago
The Amelia Peabody series is so entertaining I am able to re-read them, and enjoy doing so.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your like me and love to read the Amelia Peabody Series you can't leave this one out. This suspenseful book will have you reading all hours of the day. Absolutely wonderful as always.