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Despite my best intentions and the unexpected sunshine, I have spent the past fortnight reading historical crime novels and watching House rather than blogging. I keep telling myself I’ll finish a post, but it just turns into “one more chapter, and then I’ll do it”, and we all know how that turns out (cf. my dishes, feeding the cats, basic human hygiene). In fact, my other half has taken to bribing me to do the housework by promises of getting me something from my Amazon wishlist. OK, so it was more “you’re having a rough day, go finish the kitchen and then I’ll buy you something,” but still.

I’m currently onto the eighth Amelia Peabody novel, despite swearing that I’ll never read another one again every time I get around a third of the way in. But somehow, by the end, I’m dying to know what happens next. Even though it’s the same thing that happened in the previous book, and the one before that. The books follow a set formula – Amelia and her husband Emerson go on an archeological dig in Eygpt, frequently accompanied by their precious but hilarious son Ramses, Hijinks Ensue, either Emerson or Amelia gets captured, the other one rescues them, one of them runs off to do something heroic and the other one follows resulting in a spirited marital tiff, Ramses comes to the rescue (he has been doing this since roughly the age of 5, thank god he’s grown out of his lisp), the evildoer is unmasked (and is usually the mysterious Master Criminal or one of his cohorts), and Amelia and Emerson Do It approximately once a chapter. They may be formulaic, but they’re also utterly addictive – I have yet to tire of Ramses precious academic snobbery and general loquaciousness (is that even a word?), or Emerson’s habit of insulting everyone and adding to his growing list of People Who Want To Kill Him Because He Keeps Making Them Look Stupid In Public, and certainly not of Amelia’s smug superiority complex and deliciously wry narration.

I have a whole post brewing about Peter’s treatment of gender issues and colonial attitudes, since at times it seems as though she’s getting more conventional with every novel and straying a little from Amelia’s initial fiesty independence, so I’ll try and finish that. One more chapter, and I’ll get straight on it.