More than any other volume of the fourteen I’ve read so far, this Amelia Peabody book was a serial installment rather than a freestanding novel. There was not enough exposition to orient new readers to significant character interactions, and the superimposed plots, while all braiding nicely with the those established earlier in the series, did not cohere with each other in a way that would give the book a sense of unity. The usual archaeological intrigues, the family drama, and the World War I espionage all fit together nicely–only if you had been reading earlier books. It was also quite long, perhaps the longest of them so far.
I did enjoy it, though. A lot happened, including the introduction of some entertaining new characters, and the final 20 pages or so were full of portents for the volumes to come. [via]