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The Bibliophile Presents: Reading New (To Me) Authors Part 7

It is Monday and slightly overcast. Seems like a good excuse to escape to Egypt, the location of today’s book, a historical mystery set in ancient Egypt during King Tut’s reign.

Murder in the Place of Anubis by Lynda S. Robinson. Sometimes I wish that when I was in school I had studied Egyptology and archeology instead of writing. Society in ancient Egypt was kind of like a cultural three-way between Hollywood, New York City, and Washington D.C.—there was glitter, high-society, and political backbiting all baking together in scantily clad languor under the desert sun. And Lynda S. Robinson tries to bring that vibrancy and complexity to life in Murder in the Place of Anubis. Sometimes trying to write a detective novel set in another time period can feel clumsy because in the ancient world it seems that if people were suspected of a crime they were swiftly executed just to be on the safe side. But with all the political machinations and manipulations present in Tutankhamun’s reign, an era that saw the reinstatement of all the traditional gods after Akhenaten’s one-god reign, it sort of works. In Murder in the Place of Anubis, Lord Meren, the Pharoah’s Eyes and Ears, is trying to find a murderer who has killed in a holy place. If the killer is not found quickly, the political backlash from the priests of Amun could be enough to endanger the boy king’s throne. Generally, I’m not a fan of characters in period books talking as if they were 21st century people, but despite the occasional use of modern colloquialisms, Robinson’s story manages to succeed more than fail, complete with a conclusion that makes sense. And I’m glad I like Robinson’s writing because I have another of her Egyptian mysteries just waiting to be read.

*Thanks for reading and join me again, probably sometime this week, for my highly subjective summer reading suggestions. Yes, the chance of it including anything from Oprah’s book club is fairly low because she seems to dig depressing books and I don’t.

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Posted by on June 21, 2010 in Books, Lifestyle, Series

 

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The Bibliophile Presents: Reading New (To Me) Authors Part 5

Until now there has been a fair dollop of estrogen in the books I’ve reviewed, but this book is one the guys out there can appreciate.

The Alexander Cipher by Will Adams. Sometimes I want an intricate mystery with interesting, complex characters. Other times, I just want an adventure. The Alexander Cipher is a mystery adventure and, even when the characters aren’t complex, they are interesting—I like to think of it as win-win reading. I suppose the easiest description of the story’s style is to say that it is what you might expect from Dan Brown if he wrote about archeology rather than symbology, however, unlike Dan Brown this story produces female characters who have more to offer the story than just a bod that won’t quit. Our hero and protagonist, Daniel Knox is a slightly disgraced Egyptologist who has a knack for pissing people off. Most recently, he has seriously annoyed a very successful thug who has connections all over Egypt. Knox also has a knack for Egyptology and for surviving situations that probably would have killed a lesser protagonist, which is handy when there are so many people who want to kill him that they have to take turns. The story has several interweaving plotlines that buzz through the search, and possible discovery, of the legendary final resting place of Alexander the Great. The first book in the Daniel Knox series, The Alexander Cipher is a fun, modern-day Indiana Jones story complete with true-believer bad guys, and roguish good guys. It is the kind of book you want to read while you’re on the beach sipping lemonade.

*Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Reservations for Murder by Tim Myers, a tale of murder at an inn that has a lighthouse and is nowhere near a body of water.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2010 in Books, Lifestyle

 

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