The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody Series #5)

The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody Series #5)

by Elizabeth Peters

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

$9.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 25


Can fear kill? There are those who believe so—but Amelia Peabody is skeptical. A respected Egyptologist and amateur sleuth, Amelia has foiled felonious schemes from Victoria's England to the Middle East. And she doubts that it was a Nineteenth-Dynasty mummy's curse that caused the death of a night watchman in the British Museum. The corpse was found sprawled in the mummy's shadow, a look of terror frozen on the guard's face. What—or who—killed the unfortunate man is a mystery that seems too intriguingly delicious for Amelia to pass up, especially now that she, her dashing archaeologist husband, Emerson, and their precocious son, Ramses, are back on Britain's shores. But a contemporary curse can be as lethal as one centuries old—and the foggy London thoroughfares can be as treacherous as the narrow, twisting alleyways of Cairo after dark—when a perpetrator of evil deeds sets his murderous sights on his relentless pursuer . . . Amelia Peabody!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061999222
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Series: Amelia Peabody Series , #5
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 78,181
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(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

In a great many respects I count myself among the most fortunate of women. To be sure, a cynic might point out that this was no great distinction in the nineteenth century of the Christian era, when women were deprived of most of the "inalienable rights" claimed by men. This period of history is often known by the name of the sovereign; and although no one respects the Crown more than Amelia Peabody Emerson, honesty compels me to note that her gracious Majesty's ignorant remarks about the sex she adorned did nothing to raise it from the low esteem in which it was held.

I digress. I am unable to refrain from doing so, for the wrongs of my oppressed sisters must always waken a flame of indignation in my bosom. How far are we, even now, from the emancipation we deserve? When, oh when will justice and reason prevail, and Woman descend from the pedestal on which Man has placed her (in order to prevent her from doing anything except standing perfectly still) and take her rightful place beside him?

Heaven only knows. But as I was saying, or was about to say, I was fortunate enough to o'erleap (or, some might say, burst through) the social and educational barriers to female progress erected by jealous persons of the opposite sex. Having inherited from my father both financial independence and a thorough classical education, I set out to see the world.

I never saw the world; I stayed my steps in Egypt; for in the antique land of the pharaohs I found my destiny. Since that time I have pursued the profession of archaeology, and though modesty prevents me from claiming more than is my due, I may say that mycontributions to that profession have not been inconsiderable.

In those endeavors I have been assisted by the greatest Egyptologist of this or any other century, Radcliffe Emerson, my devoted and distinguished spouse. When I give thanks to the benevolent Creator (as I frequently do), the name of Emerson figures prominently in my conversation. For, though industry and intelligence play no small part in worldly success, I cannot claim any of the credit for Emerson being what he is, or where he was, at the time of our first meeting. Surely it was not chance, or an idle vagary of fortune that prompted the cataclysmic event. No! Fate, destiny, call it what you will—-it was meant to be. Perchance (as oft I ponder when in vacant or in pensive mood) the old pagan philosophers were right in believing that we have all lived other lives in other ages of the world. Perchance that encounter in the dusty halls of the old Boulaq Museum was not our first meeting; for there was a compelling familiarity about those, blazing sapphirine orbs, those steady lips and dented chin (though to be sure at the time it was hidden by a bushy beard which I later persuaded Emerson to remove). Still in vacant and in pensive mood, I allowed my fancy to wander—-as we perchance had wandered, among the mighty pillars of ancient Karnak, his strong sun-brown hand clasping mine, his muscular frame attired in the short kilt and beaded collar that would have displayed his splendid physique to best advantage?

I perceive I have been swept away by emotion, as I so often am when I contemplate Emerson's remarkable attributes. Allow me to return to my narrative.

No mere mortal should expect to attain perfect bliss in this imperfect world. I am a rational individual; I did not expect it. However, there are limits to the degree of aggravation a woman may endure, and in the spring of 18—, when we were about to leave Egypt after another season of excavation, I had reached that limit.

Thoughtless persons have sometimes accused me of holding an unjust prejudice against the male sex. Even Emerson has hinted at it—-and Emerson, of all people, should know better. When I assert that most of the aggravation I have endured has been caused by members of that sex, it is not prejudice, but a simple statement of fact. Beginning with my estimable but maddeningly absent-minded father and five despicable brothers, continuing through assorted murderers, burglars, and villains, the list even includes my own son. In fact, if I kept a ledger, Walter Peabody Emerson, known to friends and foes alike as Ramses, would win the prize for the constancy and the degree of aggravation caused me.

One must know Ramses to appreciate him. (I use the verb in its secondary meaning, "to be fully sensible of, through personal experience," rather than "to approve warmly or esteem highly.") I cannot complain of his appearance, for I am not so narrow-minded as to believe that Anglo-Saxon coloring is superior to the olive skin and jetty curls of the eastern Mediterranean races Ramses strongly (and unaccountably) resembles. His intelligence, as such, is not a source of dissatisfaction. I had taken it for granted that any child of Emerson's and mine would exhibit superior intelligence; but I confess I had not anticipated it would take such an extraordinary form. Linguistically Ramses was a juvenile genius. He had mastered the hieroglyphic language of ancient Egypt before his eighth birthday; he spoke Arabic with appalling fluency (the adjective refers to certain elements of his vocabulary); and even his command of his native tongue was marked at an early age by a ponderous pomposity of style more suitable to a venerable scholar than a small boy.

People were often misled by this talent into believing Ramses must be equally precocious in other areas. ("Catastrophically precocious" was a term sometimes applied by those who came upon Ramses unawares.) Yet, like the young Mozart, he had one supreme gift—-an ear for languages as remarkable as was Mozart's for music—-and was, if anything, rather below the average in other ways. (I need not remind the cultured reader of Mozart's unfortunate marriage and miserable death.)

Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody Series #5) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
mom2gr8kids More than 1 year ago
I love this series. I bought books 1-4 for my nook. I am a little ticked off that Barnes & Noble would put a series in ebook format and LEAVE ONE OUT! UGH! Like I am going to spend all this money on a e reader and then have to buy one stupid book in the series. Bummer. I wish they would hurry up and make it an ebook. :) Please hit button requesting it as an ebook for me please. Thanks!
Fernwood More than 1 year ago
I own hard copies of the entire series, and love it so much that I sat down at my computer today to re-order all the books for my new Nook reader. What an unpleasant surprise to discover this volume is missing from the e-series. I'm not ordering with a missing book. Despite the enormous space-saving advantages of switching to an electronic reader and the lovely thought of clearing the walls of physical books out of my house, I still have real doubts about the value of the Nook. Finding one volume missing, and with no explanation, from such a well-known series, reinforces that concern. I think it's going to be a few years before these readers live up to their publicity. At the very least, dear Barnes and Noble, you owe your readers an explanation so we'll know whether to expect this volume for the Nook soon - or never.
Supergirl9801 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this series and very frustrated that this book in the middle of the series is not available for NOOK! I clicked the button to request it, have no idea how long that will take. Please add!
jodidean More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love following the characters as they develope and age. I mainly read for escapism and I can get into this world easily. I feel like I know the family and am taking part in their adventures with them.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn¿t think that this was the best one of the series. It had a plot but it wasn¿t very interesting. The romantic tension between the girl reporter and our old friend Kevin O¿Connell was a little forced. There wasn¿t a clear suspect to suspect in this one. The villain was pulled out of nowhere & we readers didn¿t even really have anyone in mind to think about. Yah, a weak attempt at framing the aristocracy was around but I didn¿t even have interest in it. Luckily there was humor and the writing was as good as always.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ah, Elizabeth Peters, you've done it again! In this installment, Amelia Peabody Emerson and her husband Radcliff Emerson are back from the latest archaeological season in Egypt with their son, Ramses. They are staying in London so that Emerson can finish his book with ready access to the records at the museum, and of course they get embroiled in the latest mystery. Two men have been found dead in front of the museum's latest addition to the Egypt Room, a female mummy. Is this really a message from an outraged supernatural source (as the Daily Yell would have us believe), or is there something even more sinister going on? Amelia is, of course, determined to find out. I'd give this four stars, but the mystery was a little too convoluted and at one crucial moment Amelia is guided by a strange dream she had. Rather too convenient, that. Also, it was pretty plain to the reader that Emerson was not involved in any extramarital affairs, so Amelia's worry and jealousy come across as silly. Not that jealousy generally makes much sense to the outsider, and the point is that it makes you irrational, but it did leave me a little impatient with Amelia for being so dense. But I guess that's part of what makes her such a human character; for all her strength and determination, she has some very vulnerable points. Peters handles her characters so effortlessly, and they never are contorted into doing something uncharacteristic or hard to believe. And they are such lively people to read about! Whether it's Emerson growling through his favorite disguise (a big bushy beard), Ramses launching into one of his interminable speeches, or Amelia herself forging through a crowd with the point of her formidable parasol, they are outrageously themselves and yet somehow believable. Ramses' cousins Percy and Violet are humorous additions to the family circle this time around. I'm starting to see why this series is such a great one in the world of detective fiction. The characters are fun, the historical setting of Victorian England feels real, the Egyptology is fascinating, the narrative voice is opinionated and distinctive, and the mysteries themselves aren't bad. It's a winning combination that has won a legion of fans. And I can't say enough about Barbara Rosenblat's narration. I listened to this on audiobook and she understands Amelia's voice perfectly and often adds a little "hmm" or slight cough to accentuate the dialogue. Her voice for Emerson is great, too, and sometimes made me laugh aloud. It's a rich listening experience and though I own most of this series in print, I plan to work my way through it via the audiobooks at the library. It takes longer, but it's funnier this way, and I believe Rosenblat has recorded all the series so far. So that's The Deeds of the Disturber. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Fun stuff!
Urquhart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Peters is a fantastic writer in the genre of Wilkie Collins and a joy to listen to on audiobook with narration by Rosenblatt.However, through out the book the way over the top abusive manner of Amelia Peabody towards her son Ramses is something that I do not get. Am I the only one bothered by this uninterrupted cruelty? And does Amelia have to disdain everyone? It becomes very over done after a while.Urquhart
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amelia and Emerson compete to solve a mysterious death at the British Museum. We meet Miss. Minton, an aristocratic young woman who writes for a newspaper and bears a striking resemblance to Amelia.It's nice to have a story based in London - we get to see the Emersons' home life, and we also get our fist experience with Amelia's bratty nephew and niece, who spend most of the book tormenting Ramses off screen.Fun and funny - recommended.
tdfangirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is definitely a change of pace for Peabody and Emerson. Instead of being set in Egypt, like the first four books in the series, this one takes place in London, though the mystery still centers around Egyptology.Ramses became infinitely more interesting to me in this book. Before he was a fun sort of curiosity, but now i'm taking him much more seriously as a character. His cousins? Are horrid.I particularly liked the insertion of jealously on the part of both Peabody and Emerson. It's about time we had a little conflict in their otherwise fantastic relationship, heh.The mystery itself was great; I actually gasped when the villain was revealed.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a nice change of pace from the earlier novels - a new setting, and some additional characters liven up the series. One of the funniest things about this series is that Amelia portrays herself and spouse as more perceptive than ordinary and more capable than ordinary - and yet Ms. Peters subtly pokes fun at that attitude with hints that things are otherwise than they seem. I'm liking Ramses more with each novel.
Crewman_Number_6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't think this book was as strong as the others in the series. Maybe it is because it wasn't set in Egypt.
nbsp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amelia Peabody Chron #5. Loved the tone. Crisp, funny dialogue. Set in Egypt. Son Ramses is forbidden but snoops anyway. Power struggles among husband, wife and son seem realistic and add a backdrop of humor to the plot.
mariabiblioteca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How is it that I'm only just now discovering the joy that is Elizabeth Peters? I've seen her books in the library before, of course, but I never really looked at them until I picked up this paperback in a rummage sale months ago, thinking it sounded interesting. I finally got around to reading it, and I enjoyed it so much! It's very witty historical fiction, and it was delicious to discover the delightful Amelia Peabody for the first time.
brendajanefrank on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first Amelia Peabody and Elizabeth Peters mystery. The novel is set in Victorian times. Peabody, as her husband, Emerson, calls her, is in London with the entire family. This includes Ramses, their precocious young son, and her young niece, Violet, and nephew, Percy. The latter two are the offspring of her very disagreeable brother, James, who foisted them off for a long period of at least six weeks. The typical who-done-it mystery ensues in the British museum, with a mummy playing a prominent role. By the way, did you know that ground mummy has been used as a medicinal treatment for various diseases? The family is VERY wealthy, residing in a mansion in London replete with servants of every sort, including footmen. Their language is quite florid. Peabody and Ramses use about 40 words for what Spenser (of the Robert Parker series) would say in three! At first, I thought that this story is so ¿talky¿ that I couldn¿t get through it. Then, I began to get into the mood of the socioeconomic milieu and enjoy it. To me, the mystery was an aside to portrait of the wealthy, elegant, intelligent, educated Victorian family. At breakfast Peabody tells a servant, ¿Take this toast away. . . it has become quite leathery.¿ She shops for custom-made frocks and tea gowns. The children wear sailor suits with hats and Violet wears ruffles and ribbons. Particularly amusing are the most discreet innuendos to Peabody and Emerson¿s busy and most satisfying sex life. Face it, it¿s difficult to be spontaneous in a house filled with servants who assist in dressing, undressing, filling the bath, delivering mail, announcing guests and tea time, dinner time, etc. Violet, a rather slow child, is noted for her tendency to gobble every teacake, biscuit and muffin within reach. Peabody notices that she is inflating like a frog and attempts, generally futilely, to restrict her consumption of sweets. Unlike the rest of the clan, dear Violet is a creature of few words. When Percy and Ramses suffer their frequent mishaps, usually involving tussles between them, Violet utters phrases such as, ¿Dead! Dead!¿ or ¿Nasty! Nasty!¿ In short, the mystery seemed to be an excuse for displaying the opulence of the British Victorian era and the eccentricities of the Emerson-Peabody entourage, an amusing setting well-worth visiting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As usual, there is murder, mayhem, romance,and danger, not to mention archeology and a world war. The characters are so real you want to go to Egypt to meet the,m. Altho each book stands alone, they're better when read in order. They should make movies of these books. Peabody makes Indiana Jones adventures look like a girl scout picnic. Love all of them and reread them frequently.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A laid back humorous mystery well worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is this not an ebook? Not fair. This is the non ebook in the series!
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Peters strikes again! As does a MURDERER! This time Amelia and Emerson are back on England's soil, a rare occurrence for readers for this series. It's interesting to see how the couple gets along in London society, when we're so used to seeing them sweat in the Egyptian desert instead. While reading The Deeds of the Disturber, I was indeed all caught up in the mystery. The ending completely fascinates me. I didn't quite see it coming -- who would!? As this book clearly illustrates, Elizabeth Peters has to be a follow Sherlock Holmes fan. So many little "clues" she left for the reader, even down to Emerson's deduction skills, and including the daring name of one Mrs. Watson. Some of the little clues like this made me laugh. I do so enjoy these books, and I heartily recommend them as adult fiction. Some mature (but sweet) content is included.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ichthyology1 More than 1 year ago
Why isn't this book available as an ebook????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago