Summary of Book
They find a ghost queen inside. She asks Jack and Annie to help her find the Book of the Dead so that she can go to the afterlife. Jack and Annie try to decode a message on the nearby wall for the ghost and are successful. They follow the ghost down the hallway, up some stairs, and into a cold, drafty room. Here the ghost disappears.
They find a boat on the other side of the room and grab a jar out of it. Then they grab a scroll out of the jar. It is the Book of the Dead. They walk through a door and into a room with only a long golden box in it. The kids look into the box and are stunned to see a real mummy. Annie runs off in disgust.
Jack sets the Book of the Dead on the box and backs out of the room. He continues out the boat room and down the stairs. He turns into the hallway and tries to find his sister. He hears her voice, but starts walking in the wrong direction. He turns and heads in the other direction. He walks back up the stairs and into the room with the boat. He notices an open door that he didn't notice before. He enters the room, which is at the top of a staircase exactly like the room he had just come up. He walks down the stairs and enters a hallway that also looks like the previous one.
Jack finds Annie, who had gotten lost, and they turn to go back up the stairs. Just as they do, the doors close and the torches go out. They walk down the hallway looking for secret doors, but instead end up right back where they started. They hear a meow and see a black cat. They follow it all the way to the outside of the pyramid. The cat then runs off and disappears into the waves of heat in the distance.
The kids go back to the tree house and grab the Pennsylvania book. Jack turns and sees the queen in her boat floating through the air on her way to the afterlife. Then Jack points to the book and wishes them home.
When they got back, they organize the books in the tree house. While doing this, they discover an "M" in the floor. Jack touches the M and feels a tingling in his body. Leaves start to blow.
The kids leave the tree house and go home. When they arrive, their mom is making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
- Oh, Man. Mummies!
- It's Alive!
- Back from the Dead
- The Ghost-Queen
- The Writing on the Wall
- The Scroll
- The Mummy
- Follow the Leader
- Another Clue
The book was accepted with mostly positive reception. Many people did and still declare it a must read for first chapter book readers.
Notes on time and place settings
- The pyramid that Jack and Annie arrived at was 1,000 years old. However, because Egyptian history is so long, they probably still arrived in the time of Ancient Egypt, merely 1,000 years after the pyramid was built.
- Pyramids were built primarily during the Old Kingdom of Egypt, mostly during the Third or Fourth Dynasties. It was also during the Old Kingdom that the Book of the Dead was carved on the inside of the tombs. Starting in the Middle Kingdom, tombs were entirely underground and the Book of the Dead was kept in the sarcophagus.
- Of the 118 known Egyptian Pyramids, not many of them survived a thousand years. Of those that did survive, very few of them would be considered "true" pyramids, such as the one Jack and Annie explored (other kinds of pyramids include stepped pyramids and bent pyramids). The only possible candidate, therefore, is the Red Pyramid of Pharaoh Sneferu, located at the modern site of Dahshur in Egypt.
- Queen Hutepi might be the same as Queen Hetepheres I, wife of Pharaoh Sneferu.
- The dilapidated state of the surrounding tomb complex suggests a time period of internal disorder. It's therefore likely that Jack and Annie arrived during Egypt's Third Intermediate Period, a time especially known for rampant tomb robbing.
- 1,000 years after the time of Pharaoh Sneferu would be around 1000 BC, during the height of the Third Intermediate Period.
- In terms of Internal Chronology, this takes place one day after the previous adventure, The Knight at Dawn.