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The Laughter of Dead Kings: A Vicky Bliss Novel of Suspense (Vicky Bliss Series, 6)

(Book #6 in the Vicky Bliss Series)

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Book Overview

For the first time in more than a decade, New York Times bestselling Grand Master Elizabeth Peters brings beautiful, brainy Vicky Bliss back into the spotlight for one last investigation. But this... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Vicky! It's been so long! What have you been up to lately?

When we last spent time with Vicky Bliss (about fifteen years ago for us long neglected readers) a 'few months' ago she and her mysterious 'John Smythe' were finally an item, rather than just sometime adversaries/sometime lovers. Vicky had learned that he was really Sir John Tregarth, a well known London art and antiquities dealer, complete with decaying old family estate and overbearing mother. Oh well no one is perfect, a truism that the aforementioned overbearing mother keeps pointing out in relation to Vicky. When a daring robbery takes place in Egypt though, one that appears to be the handiwork of the infamous art thief John Smythe takes place Vicky feels compelled to find the real culprit and prove the innocence, at least of this theft, of her lover, no matter what name he was using that day. Once again Vicky, John and the rest of the usual cast of characters, including of course, the ever present Schmidt set off on the trail of a missing treasure. This time it is no less than the missing mummy of King Tut, a quarry made even more significant since it was the discovery of Tut that climaxed Peters' other, more well known, series a few years ago. Could there be other ties to the Emerson-Peabody clan? Fans of Peters' works in general and to the Vicky Bliss series in particular will not want to miss this one. Those unfamiliar with Vicky's adventures though would want to begin at the beginning BORROWER OF THE NIGHT and proceed in order through the series as the overall story arc is quite pronounced. As with all of Peters' work Vicky's exploits are a comic rollercoaster ride.

A Great Addition

This was one of those books where time stops for a little while and nothing in the world matters as much as King Tut's stolen mummy and the fact that John has been accused of stealing it! Peters' writing hasn't grown stale, and her characters are just as fresh and fun as ever. I really recommend this sixth book in the Vicky Bliss series. For me, it was a keeper.

Great Mystery

The "Inspector of Antiquities for all Upper Egypt" Feisal arrives at the Munich National Museum to visits assistant curator American expatriate Vicky Bliss. She welcomes her friend who has come so far since THE NIGHT TRAIN TO MEMPHIS caper, but is shocked to see him so far from his beloved Egypt and coming to Germany without telling her. He asks to see her lover antiquities dealer John Tregarth. Feisal informs John and Vicky that someone stole King Tut's mummy from the tomb in the Valley of Kings pyramid. Based on evidence, the Egyptian police believe strongly that notorious art thief Sir John Smythe is the thief. Stunned as Tregarth was once Smythe, but no longer steals anything; they begin investigating knowing they will risk Egypt to find the real culprit and return Tut to his resting place After too long a wait, Elizabeth Peters fans will welcome the return of the statuesque amateur sleuth who along with her British lover and their Egyptian friend try to prove Sir Smythe is retired and someone else is imitating his M.O. The story line is fun to follow as the connection to Amelia Peabody is obvious with the tour of Egypt that follows in her historical footsteps, which in many ways dominates the plot over the investigation. Readers will enjoy the blissful return of Vicky and John as they struggle to stay alive and out of jail long enough to prove his innocence. Harriet Klausner

Good Fun, As Always

Paragraph for paragraph, I find Elizabeth Peters to be one of the most entertaining authors out there. Her latest Vicky Bliss is no exception. Sure, the mystery is a little convoluted, but the interaction between the characters sparkles as always. This book wraps up a few things for Vicky and also for Peters' Amelia Peabody series, and Schmidt finally gets his turn to be the hero! If you love Vicky Bliss you'll enjoy this one too, and if you are new the series, go get yourself a copy of Borrower of the Night or Street of the Five Moons right away--you'll be hooked!


To warn you in advance of potential bias on my part, the Vicky Bliss series has been beloved to me for the better part of ten years, and I had long since given up on a new novel. So this was a treat. Taken as a stand-alone book, The Laughter of Dead Kings is probably not quite on the same level as some of its predecessors, but then I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who hasn't read the previous novels, or Night Train to Memphis at a bare minimum. (And in all fairness, that was a tough act to follow.) Peters doesn't spend an extensive amount of time reintroducing characters, locations, etc., and a newcomer would be quite lost. On the other hand, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is familiar with Vicky and company-- but it's unlikely that they would need my urging. I can, however, assure them that it's entirely worth it. This is an honest-to-goodness Vicky, complete with lighthearted first-person narration, improbable occurrences, charming anti-heroes, and a certain amount of blundering. Peters writes with her usual panache and manages to avoid the pitfall of some of her other works (particularly the later Amelia Peabodys) in keeping the story tidy and to the point. If anything, it leaves you wishing for just a little bit more... but of course that's a hallmark of the best. All the characters are as charming and convincing as ever, despite the fact that they have been mercilessly dragged into the modern era of cell phones and instant messaging, and a few of Peters' very deliberately placed revelations had me grinning. Great stuff. Sadly, both the tone and the events strongly implied that she is wrapping up the series, but then, "one is all any of us can count on." And this "one more" was just about right.
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