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.