Some books you read once and move on. Others, you read time and again; they’re that good. For Briana Riera—Super Mom of Bovina, New York—those time-and-again reads are books from Elizabeth Peters’sNew York Times bestselling Amelia Peabody series. “A fast-moving, intrigue-filled plot [features] beloved archeologist and amateur sleuth Amelia Peabody Emerson,” says Publisher’s Weekly of Children of the Storm (William Morrow, 2003), book 15 in the series.
We sat down with Briana at the Blue Bee Café in Delhi, New York, where she cheerily told us that with the world in chaos here and across the globe, with this year’s election cycle being such a wild spectacle, with her job as a mom, as board member of the Bovina Historical Society, as a baseball coach, an assistant at a local marketing consultancy and occasional house cleaner (pause for breath and marvel at how she does it), when she, at last, has time to sit down and read, she wants simply to relax.
This whip-smart young woman loves a good thriller to escape into, but bestselling thrillers today are such savage, disturbing reads. She couldn’t unwind reading about a serial killer mowing down innocent bystanders with a Mercedes (Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, Scribner, 2014); she couldn’t chill with a drunken, could-be murderess, certainly crazy, British stalker obsessively riding a train (The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, Riverhead 2015); she couldn’t de-stress with a high-strung, precious literary Barbie who’s finally gone ’round the bend like Amy Dunne (Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Crown, 2012). Wisely, Briana is reading Elizabeth Peters’s adventurous historical suspense/thrillers, and she’d love to find more like them.
Of Book 15, Publisher’s Weekly says, “The end of WWI offers Amelia, now a grandmother, and her family little respite when mysterious events start to plague friends, allies and coworkers. One person dies after suddenly turning to religion, while others fall victim to sabotage. Valuable artifacts go missing, and Amelia’s son Ramses is lured into a bizarre encounter with a woman who appears to be the living embodiment of the goddess Hathor…. [The novel is] powered by evocative depictions of 1919 Egypt and the engaging voice of Amelia herself—a bright, independent woman, who relishes her role as family matriarch.”