Murder in the Place of Anubis (Lord Meren Mysteries)

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9780345389220: Murder in the Place of Anubis (Lord Meren Mysteries)

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 Pharaoh from his enemies -- who are no farther away than the length of a dagger . . . .
"This exceptional debut melds ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and practices with court intrigue to produce a riveting mystery." -- Publishers Weekly

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From Publishers Weekly:

More than a period puzzle, this exceptional debut melds ancient Egyptian religious belief and practice with court intrigue to produce a riveting mystery. The court of the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun still suffers some of the tumultuous aftereffects of the reign of his father, the iconoclastic monotheist, Akhenaten. When the body of the scribe Hormin is found with an obsidian embalming knife sticking from its neck at the Place of Anubis, Tutankhamun assigns the task of finding the murderer--and the desecrator of holy places--to his "Eyes and Ears," Lord Meren. Meren and his adopted son Kysen begin with Hormin's family, whose members lay both murder and the theft of an expensive beaded collar at the feet of Hormin's mistress, the sultry Beltis, who returns the charges. To solve the murder, Meren and Kysen retrace the scribe's last day, using surprisingly sophisticated, but credible, investigative techniques. Especially appealing is the personality of the boy king who wants desperately to join the investigation but refrains in deference to his exalted position as monarch. His interaction with Meren, who thinks of him as a son, is a poignant addition to a memorable tale. Even readers who aren't usually drawn to historical mysteries will likely delight in Robinson's fully developed characters and her deft building of suspense.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A Tutankhamen-era mystery loosely inspired by Agatha Christie's Death Comes as the End (now, incredibly, celebrating its 50th birthday) starts with the discovery of an extra body in the embalming shelter. Hormin, the vizier's contentious scribe of records and tithes, was well-hated by his wife Selket, his slow-speaking son Imsety (who managed the family farm with no hope his father would ever turn it over to him), and his sly younger son Djaper, an apprentice whose only use for his father was what he could get out of him. As in Christie, there's also another woman in the picture, a main-chance concubine named Beltis who could teach Raymond Chandler's femmes fatales a thing or two. Detective honors are shared by Meren, counselor to the young Pharaoh, and Meren's adopted son Kyser, who turn out to have a stake of their own in the case. First-novelist Robinson's modern sensibility shines through the period trappings in the particularly repellent (and contemporary- seeming) crime that the murders--yes, there'll be two more--are committed to conceal. First of a promised, and promising, series. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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