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Publisher's Summary

Dinah Van der Lyn hears the cries for help through her hotel room wall, cries in English in the middle of Beirut. "Help" is the only English word spoken. She thinks the men are simply drunk and fighting. Her mistake is the first step on an odyssey of terror that will take Dinah to the fabled cities of Sidon, Tyro, Damascus....

And then Jerusalem, racing through the twisting streets not knowing if the man she is following will lead her to safety...or into a deadly trap!

©1970 Elizabeth Peters (P)1996 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Dead Sea Cipher

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    149
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    120
  • 3 Stars
    60
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    15
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    9
Performance
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    141
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    93
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    27
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    7
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Story
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    121
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful

This is an early Peters, cast in the form of her non-series romantic, archaeological, mysteries. The girl is appealing, the men quickly sketched but suitably heroic or villainous depending on the role assigned them, and the romance is done with easy grace and suitable lightness to keep it from weighing down the story. Typically, there are interesting archaeological aspects although the basic Christian significance and supposed consequences of unraveling the cypher never were clear to me. For those who share the background of the characters religious perspective that may not be a problem. The reader is not Barbara Rosenblatt but does a good job nonetheless. The pace is swift, the cast of characters, split between interesting and essentially blurred depending on their role in the story.All in all, I can recommend this one to all Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, readers, and to anyone who likes a sproutly, what once were called, "Lady in Distress" books which are in a humorous rather than high suspense mode.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Always good!

Elizabeth Peters is always good! She is able to create characters who engage the reader and keep it interesting but a little daring. Her women are always worth knowing, her knowledge of the background info, a touch of romance, but not too sappy! Keep writing Elizabeth, I will buy them all!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mediocre.

I usually enjoy Ms Peters novels. However, I must say this one was not her best at all. However, it was written back in 1970 and must have been one of her first attempts. She's gotten much better since then!

The plot was ok, but the story-telling was jumbled in places. The romance was ok as well, but the mystery didn't seem to build to the climax.

No, I wouldn't recommend it.. I'd recommend some of her more recent offerings.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the book less as it went on

My son came into the room where I was doing housework while listening and asked me if this was the kind of book that you started listening to and decided you did not like but had to keep listening to because now you were invested in it. I laughed at the time, but it turned out, he was dead right. Glad it was “free” with membership.

The book started with the potential to be a Mary Stewart-like mystery but ended up being a cheap romance with sexual situations thrown in impossible places and spy story tropes written in obvious ways. The book is a kind of mild Harlequin Romance smashed together with an early, poorly-written version of the DaVinci Code. I do not recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun Adventure-Romance

Dinah goes from being a young woman taking this holy land tour for the sake of her father who cannot go himself to finding her own sense of deep appreciation for the history and the beauty of the places she visits.

But in the midst of that simple tour plan, she's also caught up in a murder mystery, this leads to two different men popping up in her life, each claiming to be a "good guy" and that the other is likely dangerous and to be avoided.

The big downside to this books is that the narrator, Grace Conlin who clearly has no point of reference for how to pronounce the books of the Bible. I've previously noticed she has some interesting choices for pronouncing certain words, but this was cringey bad.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable

I have loved the Amelia Peabody series for decades and knew of the Vicki Bliss series but had no idea of the 1 off books she wrote. Each with archeology interest and mystery with some danger involved. I enjoyed this book very much.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting early writing by Peters

A little trite, and the story isn't as developed with the depth of Peter's Peabody Series, but a fun read.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So Boring

This book was a wash for me in every category. The reader was fine but she didn’t have anything to work with. I’m sure this must be one of Peter’s early efforts. It was just a really boring book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The book is better

I read the book shortly after it came out and enjoyed it.
This narration IMHO leaves much to be desired. The narrator just reads with little inflection.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good but uneven

Intriguing plot, but this doesn't have nearly the polish of the author's later works. The characters are all just a bit too clever and witty, and the plot is a little hard to follow at times. It also lacks some attention to detail - it was Abraham who was asked to sacrifice his son in Genesis, and the narrator, though quite skilled and pleasant sounding, mispronounces several words.

Pleasant enough for a free audio book but possibly not worth a purchase or using a credit unless you want to see how the author started out in her novel-writing second career.