A Cold Touch of Ice (A Mamur Zapt Mystery)

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9780002326971: A Cold Touch of Ice (A Mamur Zapt Mystery)

In this classic murder mystery from Michael Pearce's award-winning series, set in the Egypt of the 1900s, the Mamur Zapt investigates the murder of an Italian man in the backstreets of Cairo. The world is changing around the Mamur Zapt, British Chief of Cairo's Secret Police. It's 1912 and there's a war on that no one's ever heard of. A man is killed. Is this an attempt at - or the beginning, perhaps - of some kind of ethnic cleansing? `One of us' Morelli may have been, but was he `one of us' enough? And were the guns in his warehouse anything to do with it? Gareth Owen - the Mamur Zapt - has to find out fast. And then, as external pressures crowd in, there are other difficult questions. What is Trudi von Ramsberg really doing in Cairo? Not to mention that other noted traveller, Gertrude Bell, or the irritating little archaeologist, T. E. Lawrence? And why has the post of Khedive's Librarian suddenly become so important? Owen is just the man to solve these problems. He is less successful, though, with his relationship to Zeinab, especially now that she's approaching thirty. As Cromer's Egypt gives way to Kitchener's Egypt, Morelli is not the only one who has problems over where his allegiance lies. Maybe the solution is for Owen to go to Zanzibar...

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About the Author:

Michael Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in London and is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books.

From Booklist:

It is 1912, and the first uneasy stirrings signaling the impending world war are beginning to surface. In Egypt British domination is being questioned more than ever before, the Nationalist Party is growing stronger by the day, and foreigners, especially in Cairo, are suddenly unwelcome. Against this backdrop, Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt (the British head of Cairo's secret police), must solve the murder of Italian Sidi Morelli, a longtime Cairo resident. The victim's Cairene friends are deeply distraught because, they claim, "Sidi was one of us." But, clearly, the murderer did not feel that way, and with Owen himself beginning to experience subtle but unmistakable pressure because of his own Britishness, it becomes even more important to find out who killed Morelli and why. Although darker and less humorous than earlier Mamur Zapt stories, Pearce's latest installment in this excellent and popular series is well worth reading, as much for the timely insights into Islamic and Egyptian cultural and political history as for the wonderfully eccentric characters, flawless storytelling, and charming denouement. Emily Melton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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