I loathe murder mysteries with the fiery... uh, fire, of a thousand and one suns. I can't stand to even watch murder mystery films, and I love films. So it surprised me that not only did I pick this book up, but that I read it and enjoyed it. It's set in Ancient Egypt and does a very decent job fitting in with the times and structure of the culture, which is I think a large part of why I liked it. But the plotline was good, too, and I certainly didn't put it completely together until near the end. If anyone is tired of the Agatha Christie and Michener realms of murder mystery, do pick this up. It's a fascinating and exciting change from the usual dull, dreary slop most murder mystery writers serve up. Now if you'll excuse me, I have several more entries by this author to read!
First in the Lord Meren, Eyes and Ears of the Pharoah Tutankamun, historical mystery series. A scribe is found dead, buried in a pile of natron (the salt used to suck fluid from a dead body as the first step in the mummification process) at the Place of Anubis, and thus defiles the whole temple. Lord Meren is charged with solving the murder while also trying to keep the young Pharoah safe from various political intrigues. Short, sweet, and for the most part enjoyable, I'll be reading more in the series.
This is a pretty good mystery with lots of possible suspects as the victim was a real ass and hated by everyone. Just when you think you've figured it out, another suspect pops up. The verbage gets tedious real fast with the proper language of the time. Takes a little time to decipher what is being said. If you like Egyptian lore, you will find this fascinating. If not, better skip it.
I really like the idea of a mystery series set in ancient Egypt, and the actual bones of this mystery were good. Unfortunately, I found the prose awkward. I could forgive that, but I also noticed an odd pattern: the victim's wife is a jealous bitch, his concubine is a stupid slutty bitch, Meren's ex-daughter-in-law is a snobby bitch, some scribe's wife is a jealous bitch, Ankesenamun is an evil conniving bitch... by the end I was wondering whether the author thought there were any women in Egypt who weren't one-note stereotypical bitches. (Perhaps Meren's wife, but she's dead, so it's hard to say.) You would think that Ankesenamun, at least, would get some sympathy since she's portrayed as being forcibly married to Tutankamun and forced to give up the one god of her beloved father (who was murdered by the people who put Tut in power). Her reaction might not be in Egypt's best interests, but that just makes her a complex, sympathetic villain, which is more interesting. There's also a bisexual artist guy who hits on everything, just in case you didn't have enough stereotypes. It all made for very irritating reading.
Who has dared to desecrate the sacred place of embalming with a murdered corpse? Pharaoh Tutankhamun orders Lord Meren, his chief investigator, to find out quickly before power-mad priests use the incident to undermine his royal authority.
Everyone is a suspect, for the body belongs to the notorious scribe Hormin, hated by all who knew him. However, Lord Meren is no mere courtier but the Eyes and Ears of the living god. In the terrifying Place of Anubis, where unquiet spirits dwell, in the sunstruck city of Thebes, where Hormin's sons and his beautiful concubine plot, and in the royal court, where intrigues abound, Lord Meren hunts his quarry, peeling back the secrets of nobles and slaves in his quest for the truth. But more important by far is Meren's responsibility to protect the young Pharoah from his enemies - who are no farther away than the length of a dagger.