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The Dead Sea Cipher Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062087800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062087805
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Peters earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. She was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1998. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Malice Domestic Convention. She lives in a historic farmhouse in western Maryland.


More About the Author

ELIZABETH PETERS, whose New York Times best-selling novels are often set against historical backdrops, earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Chicago. She also writes best-selling books under the pseudonym Barbara Michaels. She lives in Frederick, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

It was very boring.
Lilandra
The secondary characters are un-developed and annoying... in fact, the same can be said for the main characters.
JaAR
As always, Peters writes a very good story with believable characters, good dialogues, and historical details.
kathydasno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tess Capra on March 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
*The Dead Sea Cipher* is surprisingly undated for a mystery written in 1970. In fact, the only element that gives it away is the ease with which the characters move through Lebanon, Syria, and Israel on a bus tour of Biblical sites.
Opera contralto Dinah van der Lyn is trying to soak up a little history between singing engagements when she overhears a murder in the hotel room next door. The Beirut police are at first dubious and then suspicious of Dinah's own politics -- she's the granddaughter of a rabbi and the daughter of a minister.

Other mysterious characters begin following and questioning Dinah, including handsome government agent Tony Cartwright and Biblical scholar Jeff Smith. Soon she's looking with imsgivings at every member of her multi-cultural tour group. There's an antiquities smuggler in their midst, a spy or two ... and a killer.

Elizabeth Peters uses her archeology background to illustrate the heat and backbreaking work of the scientists as well as the exhilaration of a rare find. And the "find" in *The Dead Sea Cipher* is exciting, indeed: a cave full of ancient Biblical scrolls with one special payoff.

Clear and interesting information on Sidon, Tyre, Damascus, Jericho, and other Biblical sites is well mixed with entertaining, even outrageous characters. And unlike other heroines of 30 years ago, Dinah is self reliant and intelligent as well as spunky.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Much to my delight there seems to be no end to the output of Elizabeth Peters. My count of the inside cover list of this recent reissue (which was first published in 1970) lists 31 novels, which is an astounding output. Especially since they are rarely repetitious and also have plenty of the old Peters charm. While she tends to write 'comfy' mysteries, with a romantic twist, she manages to provide basic entertainment for all her readers. Another surprise for the reader is how well her stories hold up to time. Even this one, set in the Middle East, is as fresh as if it had been written yesterday
"The Dead Sea Cipher" is somewhat more serious than the Peabody series or "Summer of the Dragon," but it still has plenty of humorous touches. When singer Dinah van der Lyn overhears an argument and murder in her Beirut hotel room she finds that her archeological tour through the Middle East is to be perpetually interrupted by a procession of spies and government officials. Two of these, Tony Cartwright and Geoffrey Smith, seem to crop up everywhere but the bathroom. She knows that at least one of them is a spy, but is never sure which.
Dinah becomes more and more frustrated as her tour of sites from Byblos to Jerusalem is perpetually disturbed by the appearance of one or the other of these gentleman. Both want her to reveal what she overheard, and neither believes that she knows nothing. Despite that fact that she has no understanding of Arabic. She manages to work out that Tony, Jeff, and a whole host of other agents are chasing after rumors of a new set of Dead Sea scrolls. Even that information is of little help to her in what becomes a comic peripatetic chase through archeological sites and ancient churches.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By kstevens@vabch.com on March 24, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great read, if you are looking for a romance/thriller book. I characterize it as light, because it does not bog you down with heavy espionage capers or explicit and frequent sex scenes.
The subject material for the book is interesting and well thought out. Ms. Peters touches on many different and, in some cases, volatile issues. The charm of her work is that she does not so much MAKE the reader think about the issues as much as she puts them out for the reader to explore, or not, as they choose. Issues such as: relationships between generations, traditional enemies, individuals from different walks of life, and religious dogma and tradition are all to be found in this novel. For the casual reader, the issues are can be overlooked or ignored, for the most part. The thinking reader will be intrigued and will continue to analyse the attitudes displayed in the novel.

As always, Ms. Peters writing ability is unquestioned. She has done her research regarding the Holy Land in the late 1960's, and brings the image vividly to mind for the reader. She manages to capture the humanity in her characters, which makes her work a joy to read, and the characters live.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By I. Seyb on October 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many E. Peters fans have found that her strongest works are the series books, especially Amelia and Vicky Bliss (though Jaqueline Kirby does have her admirers). The non-series aren't so good in general, partly because they're all earlier books, and partly because having to wrap characters up in one go seemed to encourage her to make them flatter.
If you're out of Amelias and want something new for a change, this is one of her better non-series books. Interesting (more than the Jackal's Head) and fun (more than 400 Rabbits).
Camelot Caper and Legend in Green Velvet are decent choices too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "caemerson" on August 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fans of Amelia Emerson should be warned: this is an entertaining, sometimes witty, and profoundly human story on a group of international visitors to Lebanon, Syria, and Israel in the late 60s by the future author of Amelia, but not yet the author of Amelia herself. In comparison with the Egyptological background of the Amelia series, Ms Peters research into Biblical Archaeology, even according to the standards of the late 60s, is disappointing. It is inconceivable that even a lay reader of 'Biblical Archaeological", as the heroine is supposed to be, would not recognize the ciphers at her first glance; it is impossible to swim through the Jordan river opposite of Jericho and get on's mouth full of water, as the hero is said to have done (did he crawl with his nose in the mud?). The plot and the characters are not without interest, but in order to keep up with Ms. Peters later production, the novel would need thorough rewriting.
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