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The Last Camel Died at Noon
by Elizabeth Peters

Book Six in the Amelia Peabody series. Click here to read reviews of earlier books in the series. This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.

Fourteen years ago, intrepid explorer Willoughby Forth disappeared in the Sudan. His grandfather, Viscount Blacktower, contacts the Emersons and begs them to find his son. They decline, but soon find themselves in the Sudan anyway, excavating at Gebel Barkal and Napata. Blacktower's grandson, Reggie Forthright, suddenly appears in their camp, insisting that he must locate his long-lost uncle. When he disappears into the desert, the Emersons feel honor-bound to find and retrieve him, but instead of saving the young man they end up stranded in the sands after their men desert them and their camels die. But one faithful servant manages to save them by bringing them to a hidden, secret community hidden in the Sudan – a lost civilization living just as the Egyptians did thousands of years ago!

This adventure is a loving tribute and parody of the novels of H. Rider Haggard, a popular author of the 19th century who largely created the “Lost World” genre. Readers of novels like King Solomon's Mines and She will recognize the conventions of Haggard's stories here. I, for one, thought it was a great story. Amelia and her husband are most hilarious when completely out of their element, and the mystery here is largely forgettable when compared to the situational comedy that results when two preeminent archaeologists are suddenly thrust into the world they've studied for so long.

I have been told that this book is quite unique in the Amelia Peabody series, as the other books tend to follow a more conventional mystery pattern. I think that's a pity, because this has been my favorite novel in the series yet, but knowing that it's the only adventure story makes me appreciate it all the more.

5 out of 5 stars

To read more about The Last Camel Died at Noon, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.

Peeking into the archives...today in:
2012: Secret Heroes by Paul Martin
2011: Not Love But Delicious Foods Makes Me So Happy! by Fumi Yoshinaga
2010: Discussion Question: What books are you eagerly waiting for?
2009: Vacation: In Yosemite
2008: Dress in Detail Around the World by Rosemary Crill + others


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