A nice mystery that goes deep into Egypt mixing the ancient world and the modern times perfectly!
Among the treasures of the Cairo museum, Dr Elizabeth Pimms, archaeology fan and unenthusiastic librarian recently returned to Egypt, makes a discovery. Cryptic symbols on the corner of a papyrus lead to the discovery of several unidentified mummies. How are the bodies connected to the female pharaoh and last ruler of Egypt’s nineteenth dynasty, Twosret? How did they end up scattered around the world? Between cannibals, attacks to her family, grave robbers and ancient murders, can Elizabeth solve the mystery before the mystery solves her permanently?
Even though Egyptian Enigma by L.J.M. Owen is the third in the Dr Pimms Intermillenial Sleuth series, I wasn’t disappointed at all. From the beginning, the title picked my attention and I’m glad I took a chance with it. Even though I didn’t read the previous instalments, I didn’t feel lost with the story and its characters even when the novel jumps from one timeline to another.
A great cosy-mystery involves around Egypt and the complex family trees of 19th and 20th dynasties. One would think that it will be a very boring, historical class, but you are mistaken. Owen does an amazing work in presenting the most complicated historical facts and events in very simple and easy-to-understand way that not only keeps you interested but hungry to know what follows. The amount of research done by the author is incredible and the introduction of that information is done so smoothly that you might think it’s fantasy. Additionally, Owen finds the perfect balance between ancient and modern times, which gives a vintage touch to our technological era. The pace of the story grows steady and by the time you reach the middle of the story, you’re racing to find the solution to the mystery.
The descriptions are full of colour and they contain enough detail to give the reader a simple picture of the surroundings. The chapters where the Egyptian family trees are explained blow me away. I didn’t get lost in the explanations and the simple language makes it easy to remember long after I finished the novel. It motivated me to research more about Egypt and go in-depth into the complicated family histories and their gods.
The main character Elizabeth is a machine. She works at the library, tutors archaeology students, she needs to get her papers on Mayan and Olmec ready to be published and a recently discovered older sister completely turns her family situation upside down. The passion she shows for her project and the approach she takes with her team to solve the mystery is different and refreshing. As she tries to deal with her personal life problems, she always manages to give herself completely to her work. I have to admit though, I could vividly imagine her library, and I wished several times to switches places with her.
In general, it was a pleasant novel that I recommend to the fans of ancient mysteries and Egyptian culture!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Bonnier Publishing Australia and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.