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Ha! Not that I expect anyone else has ever read Elizabeth Peter's… - Melodramatic, corsetted mistress of the obscure
July 15th, 2009
12:10 pm


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Not that I expect anyone else has ever read Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series of mysteries, but I just have to crow.

Although, I think I can blame my suspicion on comic books, so maybe there's nothing crow-worthy here. Someone pointed out, a long time ago, that (in comics) if you don't have a body, they ain't really dead. And, even if you DO have a body....

So, in one book a re-occuring (and facinating. and romantic. Oh, damn my taste!) 'villian' character was shot. Very little was said about the scene afterward, and it wasn't too long before the character's employee 'took the body away for burial'. Well, we are talking Egypt here, so what with the heat and all it made sense.

But I couldn't help myself. I kept wanting to ask "Did you check the body? Did you ever SEE the body after leaving that place? Seriously, I know you were shaken up and all and maybe the auther didn't think it was necessary, but did you make sure he wasn't faking it? You know this man. Surely, you checked for a pulse or something. Sheesh. Why isn't the author mentioning this?"

That was the seventh book and he didn't show up in the eighth except in conversation and even that was in the past tense. (Although... I have my suspicions about one character. He did show up in the nick of time with the thinnest, least believable story I have encountered in these books that Amelia didn't immediately poke holes in. But I doubt I will ever get confirmation on that one.)

But, it seems I was right to be suspicions. Which is fine by me - killing him off would have been a waste.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:July 15th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
I love that series. I'm reading the most recent one now, in fact.

When I read her more "modern" mysteries, Elizabeth Peters writing style annoys me because it's just too florid and melodramatic. Her female leads often strike me as lucky ditzes who stumble onto the truth and then appear clever because none of the big strong men figured it out either.

However, I find that this style really works well in the Amelia Peapody series, because I expect Victorians to be florid and melodramatic and make grandious claims about their great reasoning skills. And then to miss obvious clues such as examining the "corpse" of the dashing and mysterious villain to determine that he's really dead. It's part of their charm. :)
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Date:July 15th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Indeed! In the first and second books I thought the line of reasoning that Amelia gave for 'solving' things was weak (or the story itself was just weak) but several of the others so far have been stronger.

because I expect Victorians to be florid and melodramatic and make grandious claims about their great reasoning skills.
Oh hell yes. And Amelia's disapprobation (oh.. I think I have been reading these books too much) of Ramses speaking style, and wondering WHERE he could have picked it up, when readers know EXACTLY where he got it from. It's hilarious.

I just plain laugh out loud at some of it, it's so over the top.
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Date:July 15th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
I had the same thought, about the same characters, and the same book.

Also, I agree a great deal with, "I EXPECT the character to talk that way," regarding Amelia Peabody. It's told in her voice, and the writing is perfect for her voice. The newer ones don't have a modern voice, just a modern setting, and that works less for me.

It's why the florid insanity of Jasper Fforde works for me, but only because it's literary characters talking out of school. People on a spaceship written in Miss Havisham's voice, unless the spaceship were a retro-Victorian steampunk historical loophole, would just annoy me.

Much love,
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