Seeing a Large Cat is the ninth book in Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. This book particularly made me happy because Ramses, Nefret and David are all grown up, and we get to read more about them. And Ramses becomes part of the narration as we read his personal notes about the adventures. I must say it made me very happy because Walter ‘Ramses’ Emerson is my favourite character in the series.
There are both exciting and annoying characters in Seeing a Large Cat. The setting is Cairo, and the adventure involves séances, ridiculous men, interesting women, romance, cats, tombs and a lot more. It is a fun mystery similar to the earlier books in the series. But, and this is a big but, Ramses has changed a lot; with the loss of his beloved cat Bastet and his love for Nefret, we now know that he is a man, not a child anymore. I cannot wait to read more about him because he is becoming a mini Emerson with a more attractive personality.
With Seeing a Large Cat many things changed in the series, and I think it is for the better. We all know Amelia is a nice character but Ramses, on the other hand, is more fun to read about. I’d recommend this if you are looking for an excellent cosy mystery series set in Egypt with fun characters.
Seeing a Large Cat
Seeing a Large Cat:
‘Stay away from tomb Twenty-Al’ says an ominous message delivered by an unseen hand. The year is 1903, the place is Cairo, and it’s time for Amelia’s ninth adventure. She is asked for help by an old friend whose husband has fallen for a spiritualist; then a plea arrives from an expat colonel whose daughter is threatened by an unknown enemy, and Ramses, now a headstrong teenager, undertakes an adventure that is guaranteed to turn his mother’s hair white!
Amelia then dreams of a large cat, an Egyptian sign of good luck – which as the situation stands, is in precious short supply…
Barbara Louise Mertz (September 29, 1927 – August 8, 2013) was an American author who wrote under her own name as well as under the pseudonyms Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels. In 1952, she received a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. While she was best known for her mystery and suspense novels, in the 1960s she authored two books on ancient Egypt, both of which have remained in print ever since.
Barbara Gross was born on September 29, 1927, in Canton, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in 1947, a master’s degree in 1950, and a PhD in Egyptology in 1952, having studied with John A. Wilson. She authored two books on ancient Egypt (both of which have been continuously in print since first publication), but primarily wrote mystery and suspense novels. She became a published writer in 1964. She was married to Richard Mertz for 19 years (1950-1969) which ended in divorce. They had two children, Peter and Elizabeth Mertz.
Under the name Barbara Michaels, she wrote primarily gothic and supernatural thrillers. Her publisher chose that pseudonym since Mertz had already published one non-fiction book on ancient Egypt, and the publisher did not want Mertz’s novels to be confused with her academic work. Under the pseudonym Elizabeth Peters, Mertz published mysteries, including her Amelia Peabody historical mystery series, using a nom de plume drawn from the names of her two children.
She was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of KMT, (“A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt”), Egypt Exploration Society, and the James Henry Breasted Circle of the University of Chicago Oriental Institute. Mertz was also a feminist, a topic that frequently arose in her fiction, and in her professional life. Mertz founded “Malice Domestic”, a Washington-based organization for women mystery writers, “because she thought men were getting all the prizes.” She also started a scholarship for women writers at Hood College. Mertz died at her home in Maryland on August 8, 2013.
Mertz received a number of award wins and nominations from the mystery community. Her first recognition came when Trojan Gold was nominated for the 1988 Anthony Award in the “Best Novel” category; the following year, Naked Once More won the 1989 Agatha Award in the same category. Following this Mertz earned a series of Agatha Award “Best Novel” nominations, including The Last Camel Died at Noon in 1991; The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog in 1992; Night Train to Memphis in 1994; Seeing a Large Cat in 1997; The Ape Who Guards the Balance in 1998; and He Shall Thunder in the Sky in 2000 which also received an Anthony Award “Best Novel” nomination in 2001.
Mertz received a final Agatha Award nomination for “Best Novel” in 2002 for The Golden One and won the “Best Non-fiction Work” the following year for Amelia Peabody’s Egypt: A Compendium, which also received an Edgar Award nomination in 2004 in the “Best Critical / Biographical Work” category.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: