In a triumphal procession of eight previous adventures (The Hippopotamus Pool, 1996, etc.), Peters has embellished the mythos of Amelia Peabody: early 20th-century English feminist and Egyptologist, wife to uxorious colleague Emerson, adoptive aunt and mother, respectively, to polite, Anglo-Arabic David and lovely Nephret of the red-gold hair (unconventionally desert-reared) and worried mom to daring, teenaged Ramses, hero and heartthrob in the making. This time, the Cairo digging season opens with a flurry of social invitations, including a mysterious challenge to investigate site 20-A in the Valley of the Kings--a tomb that doesn't exist. Except, of course, that it does, although the body uncovered there has expired so recently that the lady's golden curls and embroidered silks are still intact. Frustrated by etiquette and red tape, Amelia still finds evidence identifying the mummy as the several-years-dead fourth wife of Colonel Bellingham, an expatriate southern gentleman with a predatory belle of a daughter who's gone through paid companions as quickly as the Colonel has gone through young wives. What follows are attempts on Miss Bellingham's life, midnight excursions by the young folks, and Amelia's efforts to help an old friend whose husband is, thanks to the manipulations of a psychic charlatan, lusting after a dead Egyptian princess. Peters compensates for ordinary prose and fussy plotting with humor and nicely calibrated domestic psychology. Fans will follow her, if only to learn how Amelia copes with Ramses's love life.