I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
His great battles against the sea raiders in the Nile Delta have left Pharoah Tuthmosis II frail, but he finds solace in victory and in the welcome he is sure to receive on his return to Thebes. Across the river from Thebes, however, there are those who do not relish his homecoming, and a group of assassins has taken a witch to pollute the Pharaoh's unfinished tomb. Reunited with his wife, Hatusu, and his people, Tuthmosis stands before the statue of Amun-Ra, the roar of the crowd and the fanfare of trumpets ringing in his ears. But within an hour he is dead and the people of Thebes cannot forget the omen of wounded doves flying overhead. Rumours run rife, speculation sweeps the royal city and Hatusu vows to uncover the truth. With the aid of Amerotke, a respected judge of Thebes, she embarks on a path destined to reveal the great secrets of Egypt.
I read this book to fill the Murder Most Foul square of my 2019 Halloween Bingo Card.
I’ve always been a fan of Ancient Egypt and so I was quite excited to try this ancient historical mystery to see if it would engage me like Pauline Gedge’s fiction does. Her novel Child of the Morning, deals with the same Pharaoh and Queen (Hatshepsut, called Hatusu in this novel).
Perhaps because I had high hopes, I was a bit underwhelmed by this mystery. I loaned this book to a friend for airport reading back in May. She experienced the same feeling and we both found that the writing was good, but overly cluttered with detail. Every table, every piece of clothing, every dish, gets described in loving detail. We get it, Mr. Doherty, you did your research.
The mystery itself was well written. When the murderer was revealed, I was completely surprised. If the next book came easily to hand, I would possibly read it. Unfortunately, my public library does not have the second volume and I am not motivated enough to go scour the used book stores for it, so this will probably end my reading about Amerotke. However, I’m still going to give his Brother Athelstan series a try. Also, I will see if I can shoehorn some Egyptian history into my reading schedule. If I’m to read all the details of life in that period, I’d rather read it as history rather than fiction.