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Amelia Peabody Quotes to Perk You Up

On any given day, a dose of Amelia Peabody does one’s state of mind good.



I have one book series that’s my absolute favorite: the Amelia Peabody series. As an adult reader that is. As a child, I read plenty of different series that had various different pros and cons. As an adult, I also read many different series. And with the advent of audio books, I manage to “read” while I do everything else, so I can once again go through five books in a week. Not that I usually get round to doing that, but it happens on weeks when my own writing seems particularly stale and anything to shake me out of the boredom of being a writer is greatly desired. I mean, while I’ve been told I live an extremely exciting life, traveling the globe like a gypsy, most of the time I sit in front of my Mac working on blogs, articles and copy for my clients. Or I search for clients. From time to time I also work on my own ventures, which usually requires more time spent in front of my Mac. And as someone who prefers working with people, I tend to lose the plot and look to stories for inspiration.

Did I digress? I’m so sorry. I’m a writer. And I’m writing about books. Tends to happen.

My point, finally, is that for all the reading I’ve done, Amelia Peabody is still my favorite heroine, mainly because of her ability make me cry from laughter. The books are intelligently put together, filled with humor and interesting details about Egyptology and archeology. I also suspect that I’m rather a lot like Amelia in some ways…and nothing at all like her in others. I run into South African townships, not Egyptian tombs. I tend to fight drug dealers and such, not crazy treasure seekers. But I guess I’m just as loopy as she is and with the same biting sarcasm and sense of humor, though mine is potentially a whole lot dirtier.

Did I digress again? I do apologize. I need to get onto the perking you up part. So, without further ado, here are some Amelia Peabody quotes that always perk me up. Oh and did I mention, Amelia is an archeologist born in the late 1800s who excavates tombs in Egypt and fights bandits with her steadfast umbrella. Quite.

On Men

No woman really wants a man to carry her off; she only wants him to want to do it.

Marriage, in my view, should be a balanced stalemate between equal adversaries.

The combination of physical strength and moral sincerity combined with tenderness of heart is exactly what is wanted in a husband.

Most men are reasonably useful in a crisis. The difficulty lies in convincing them that the situation has reached a critical point.

It is difficult to be angry with a gentleman who pays you compliments, even impertinent compliments. Especially impertinent compliments.

You know how your eyes can deceive you at times--how a group of shapes and shadows can take on a certain form and then shift into another? It wasn't really like that; there was no physical change in him, he was exactly the same as he'd always been. I knew every line of his long body and every curl on his disheveled black head. I'd just never seen him before. You know what I'm trying to say, don't you? The change is in the heart.

A lady cannot be blamed if a master criminal takes a fancy to her.

Your trousers are on fire. I would have told you, but you so dislike advice…

…he continues to cling to the forlorn hope that I will turn into one of those swooning females...and fling myself squeeling at him whenever anything happens. Like all men, he clings to his illusions.

...I felt obligated by friendship as well as duty to make certain they were comfortably housed. Since men seem to measure comfort by the degree of dirt and confusion that prevails, I deduced that they were very comfortable.

It was a needless precaution, I felt sure, but men always enjoy marching around with weapons and flexing their figurative muscles, and I saw no reason to deny them this harmless exercise.

Love has a most unfortunate effect on the brain.

The man had no more romance in his soul than a codfish.

Men are so easy to manipulate, poor things.

As our patient beasts plodded across the sand, I allowed Emerson to remain a few feet ahead, a position he much enjoys and seldom obtains. I could see by the arrogant set of his shoulders that he fancied himself in the role of gallant commander, leading his troops; and I saw no reason to point out that no man can possibly look impressive on donkey-back, particularly when his legs are so long he must hold them out at a forty-five degree angle to keep his feet from dragging on the ground.

On Cats

The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal - or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be.

In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)

That must be why some people like dogs; they can be made to feel guilty about anything, including the sins of their owners. Cats refuse to take the blame for anything - including their own sins.

The approval of a cat cannot but flatter the recipient.

Thoughts on Life and General Advice

It is much more sensible to be an optimist instead of a pessimist, for if one is doomed to disappointment, why experience it in advance?

A woman’s instinct, I always feel, supersedes logic.

If all else fails, we will simply have to drug our attendants, overpower the guards, raise the oppressed peasants to arms, and take over the government.

When one is striding bravely into the future one cannot watch one's footing.

I have learned that particularly clever ideas do not always stand up under close scrutiny.

Nothing can be more infuriating than being forgiven over and over again.

Fists and rocks and clubs can do a limited amount of harm, but a gun is entirely different. It makes a weak man feel like a hero and a strong man feel as if he is immortal, and it removes the last inhibition a killer might feel. You don't have to be close to a man to put a bullet in him. You don't have to have to see his face.

Many persons lead lives of crushing boredom.

His lips parted, but long years of experience with Ramses, and to some extent, Emerson, had taught me how to turn a conversation into a monologue.

On History and God

Everything has happened before - not once, but over and over again. We may not be able to solve our problems through what are pompously called "the lessons of history," but at least we should be able to recognize the issues and perhaps avoid some of the solutions that have failed in the past. And we can take heart in our own dilemma by realizing that other people in other times have survived worse.

I would not be at all surprised to find that it was for gold that Cain committed the first murder. (It happened a very long time ago, and Holy Writ, though no doubt divinely inspired, is a trifle careless about details. God is not a historian).

I always carry the book of Holy Writ...and something to read...

You can find out more about the Amelia Peabody series on Goodreads

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If you’re anything like me you like a little bit of witchery and a good mystery. The problem? There are a lot of bad murder mystery writers out there. At least in the cozy mystery niche that I enjoy. The good thing? There are some blooming brilliant writers out there too! I’ve had the pleasure of discovering a few. In this article I’ve gathered my three favorites. I’m still waiting for someone who will write mysteries without the murders, I mean, do you actually have to kill someone off to write a good mystery? Or could you just be satisfied with thievery and possibly the odd kidnapping? Growing up with Nancy Drew, I consider it quite possible.

So without further ado: three great series that focus on mystery and witchcraft.

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Series by Helen Harper

This series is set in Oxford, England, and evolves around a very lazy witch who suddenly finds herself caught up in murder, mystery and mayhem. This is somewhat inconvenient as it means she has to get off the couch. At least if she wants to prevent whatever lunatic is at large from striking again. She also happens to get involved with a rather brilliant man, who is her polar opposite in many ways: fit, ambitious and rarely ever hanging out on the couch. Of course, he’s utterly irresistible.

What I love so much about this series is that it’s intelligently written and filled with humor. The humor part is particularly refreshing.

Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries

This series evolves around a witch, Lily Ivory, who picks up on the vibrations of second-hand clothes. As such, it’s only natural that she sets up a vintage clothing store — Aunt Cora’s Closet.

Growing up in Texas, Lily was bullied for her “witchy ways” and ever since she was run out of town by the scared townsfolk she’s lived as a nomad. Settling in San Francisco she learns what it’s like to find home and stand up for who she truly is: a witch.

The books are filled with an array of characters that are as quirky as the city of San Francisco itself. For all its supernatural themes, the series is refreshingly down to earth. You actually believe these characters could exist and you could run into them on any given day in San Fran.

There are also elements of humor in the books, such as a familiar who’s a shapeshifting pet pig.

Heather Blake’s Magic Potions Mysteries

This series is fun. So much fun. Set in Hitching Post, Alabama, where people go to get hitched, these books' leading lady is Carly Bell Hartwell, who owns a shop selling potions. One day Carly finds a dead man in her shop and a certain sheriff has to come investigate. A certain sheriff who she has a past with.

Of course, Carly can’t leave the investigation entirely to the sheriff. Not when her reputation is on the line. So she decides to do a little bit of digging herself.

This series is a favorite of mine because of the Southern charm and quirky characters who infuse the books with humor. It’s what I call good entertainment.

In Closing

Often when looking for cozy mysteries I’ve found stories that are about as inspiring as you’d expect a poorly written romance novel to be. That’s to say: there are so many unbelievable scenarios (and I’m not talking about the witchcraft and magic) that it’s hard to actually sit back and enjoy what you’re reading. Therefore, whenever I come across a book that doesn’t just have great atmosphere, but also believable characters and an intelligent plot I get excited. The three authors mentioned in this article have all pulled that off, but in very different ways.

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