The Last Camel Died at Noon. Elizabeth Peters.

The Last Camel Died at Noon.
Elizabeth Peters.
Warner, 1991.

The worst elements of series writing abound here: flat characters, inside jokes, repeat jokes (I mean, repeated within the same book — I can’t imagine how tedious it must be to read all of her books), and lack of interesting plot. Author is professor of Egyptology and likes to show it off. She attempts to compare her novel with Haggard and Wilkie Collens, yet she is seriously deficient in one area: she lacks the ability to write a good story.

The plot moves lamely along and mostly consists of opportunities for the characters to make jokes or refer to previous novels in the series. Two 19th-century egyptologists find a lost emplire that sill mostly lives as ancient Egyptians. Various forms of danger follow, their son usually helps them because he’s so darn smart, and evetually the good guys win. I finished it yesterday and can’t even remember how it ends, it was so unimpressive.

Billed as a mystery, the only redeeming quality of this book is that it sort of tries to be an old-fashioned mystery. It fails, but at least it makes the attempt.