“Secrets of the Nile”
By Tasha Alexander
(314 pages, mystery, 2022)
Lady Emily and her husband Colin Hargreaves agree to take a trip down the Nile with Colin’s mother-in-law at the invitation of Lord Deeley, an amateur collector of Egyptian artifacts. Colin’s grown daughter Katharina von Lange will be joining them. While this is not the romantic trip that Emily had hoped for, she is still looking forward to the adventure. They meet the other guests on Lord Deeley’s cruise, many of them old friends or long acquaintances of Lord Deeley. They will be sailing up the Nile to his home in Luxor. Lord Deeley treats his group to a lavish English dinner and all is going splendidly. But at the end of the fantastic meal, Lord Deeley drinks his steaming tisane, staggers to his feet and falls over dead! Lady Emily and Colin begin to investigate his death, and discover that nearly all the guests had a reason for wanting Lord Deeley dead. Another storyline shows the life of Meryt, who is a sculptress living in an artist’s village in the time of the pharaohs. Meryt’s twin brother Bek has married Sanura, who seems intent on mocking Meryt and shunning her offers of friendship. The stories go back and forth from Lady Emily’s search for a murderer to Meryt’s story. Disturbing things are taking place at Meryt’s home – are the gods angry at them, or could it be someone with an evil intent? A friend tells Meryt that she is being too sensitive, but Meryt isn’t sure. She feels that she is in danger and Sanura is behind these malicious acts.
If you like historical mysteries you should give this one a try. This is a fast-paced tale with a vivid sense of place – Egypt in two different eras. It has a lot to offer: horseback rides across the desert to meet with elusive suspects, tombs and hieroglyphs, ancient ushabtis (funerary sculptures) that provide clues to a centuries-old crime, interesting characters, love, betrayal, and revenge! And a there’s a dramatic ending to both stories!
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