Review: Seeing a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters

10th September 2012

*I checked out this book from my local library.

Reminiscent in many ways of Agatha Christie’s The Man in the Brown Suit, Seeing a Large Cat is a novel of high adventure and mystery. The Emerson family is cobbled together, and Amelia Peabody and her husband Emerson do their best to keep everyone safe and grounded, even though they’ve had a slightly unorthodox upbringing as Egyptologists. Ramses, David, and Nefret have been raised as siblings, though Ramses is Peabody and Emerson’s only biological child. Together after a summer apart, Emerson plans to reopen previously discovered tombs until a mysterious note warns him off Tomb Twenty-A. Romantic hijinks and near misses lead to mummies of all varieties.

After seeing Yvette review an Elizabeth Peters book last week, I decided I needed to track down some of these books. I’m so glad I did as I enjoyed everything about Peabody and Nefret’s ranting for equal treatment, Ramses’ secretive exploits, David’s loyalty, and Emerson’s spluttering rages. The family is so thoroughly entertaining that the lack of true mystery didn’t upset me in the least.

Not to say there isn’t a mystery, it’s just that unlike a Poirot novel, the bodies aren’t piling up, which is why I’d classify this as more of an adventure novel. Entertaining and full of interesting insight into Egypt at the turn of the century, including the long-held prejudices, Seeing a Large Cat is a fantastic escapade, and I’m so glad my library had several more books by Elizabeth Peters.

Check out other reviews, or add this to your shelf on Goodreads.

  • heidenkind

    Is this your first Elizabeth Peters book? My mom has all her novels and she was the first author I sent a fan letter to, when I was 8. My favorite series by her are the Jacqueline Kirby mysteries, but a very very close second is the Vicky Bliss series. Sir John Smythe! *swoon* I’ve read Night Train To Memphis at least a dozen times.

    • Yes! It’s my first, and I’m so glad I have so many to read. This one was such fun, I’m anxious to get to bed and start one of the others I have.

  • Charlie

    When you first mentioned the names I thought it couldn’t be serious, and it does sounds very fun and rather random. I’ll have a look on Goodreads because I think it’s the sort of book I’d be interested in.

    • I know! I’ve read it’s actually supposed to be a spoof of the novels that inspired Indiana Jones, so maybe that’s why the names? But honestly, once you begin reading, you don’t even think of the names as being odd. So fun!

  • Amy Shamroe

    Elizabeth Peters is the pen name of Barbara Mertz, whose career I coveted (PhD from University of Chicago by 23!).

    I read the first in this series when I was 17 and developed a crush on Emerson! I have loved the entire clan since that first outing!

    • Yes! Emerson is so sexy. I love their relationship. I had no idea you were the resident expert. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love those sorts of special authors that you remember with a special fondness.

  • steph_h

    Oooh, sounds like fun! And makes me all the more glad that prior to leaving on our trip, I purchased an Amelia Peabody omnibus on sale for my ereader! It has the first 4 books in the series, and I’ve always been curious about them, but haven’t heard much about them in the book blogging world! So glad to hear you enjoyed these… If I ever find time to read again and am in need of an extra dose of adventure, I’ll be turning to this!

    • Oh, excellent! I hadn’t heard of this series either until Yvette blogged about the author. They are so enjoyable, and I think they’d be particularly fun when you’re on such an adventure as the two of you are.

  • Yvette

    Jenn, I want you to drop everything and pick up Elizabeth Peters’ CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK which tells how Emerson and Amelia first met. It is a treasure of a book. I’ve reread it several times and never tire of my first meeting with Amelia. I’ve always said that Radcliffe Emerson is one of the very few men in fiction I’d actually marry. I just adore him.

    Then read the second and third books. Ramses as a little boy would drive anyone nuts. Ha. You’re in for some real laughs. Hint: Ramses is a prodigy.

    I can say no more.

    • Yvette

      P.S. I’m thrilled you read an Amelia book on my recommendation, by the way. Meant to say that earlier. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Your recommendations are always gold! I’ve discovered some great books through you.

    • Oooh, my library didn’t have that one, so I definitely need to buy it! I’m so glad you turned me on to this series, especially because I’m a bit under the weather and want comfort reads. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m hearing a lot of fun stuff about this series and if you are comparing it to Christie’s Man in the Brown Suit (one of my fave Christies), I should really look out for this

    • If you love that book, I think you’d really get a kick out of this series. I’m loving it!