Narfna‘s recent review of this inspired me to re-read an old favourite.
Intrepid Victorian spinster Amelia Peabody travels to Egypt after her father’s death, determined to explore the world and see the treasures she’s read about for so many years. On her way through Rome, she is forced to send her companion home, but meets a lovely young lady in distress, and they strike up an instant friendship. Evelyn Barton-Forbes is the granddaughter of an earl, seduced by a scoundrel and left destitute in Italy. Disowned by her grandfather, Evelyn is rather desperate, but the practical and pragmatic Amelia loves the idea of a protegee and insists they travel together. As their friendship develops, it’s clear that Evelyn, with her quiet persuasion is able to subtly influence her new companion in positive ways as well.
In Egypt, the ladies make the acquaintance of the Emerson brothers, Walter and Radcliffe. While Walter and Evelyn pretty much instantly fall in love, the relationship between Amelia and Radcliffe is rather more turbulent. Of course, being a destitute and fallen woman, Evelyn believes that Walter is way too good for her. Amelia, naturally, has other ideas. When visiting the brothers at their archaeological dig, the ladies are intrigued by rumours of a curse and the dig site possibly being haunted by a vengeful mummy. While they are all educated individuals, as the accidents keep getting more and more serious, involving disappearances and near-death experiences, it’s clear that someone needs to step in and solve the mystery, and who better than Amelia?
Full review here.