Despite all my resourcefullness, this book is not my find. I have borrowed it from Mrudula to read. (Thanks!) The Anubis Slayings stands put because life in Egypt is portrayed in detail along with a whodunnit mystery. The detective is Chief Judge Amerotke who with his friends Shufoy, Prenhoe, and Asural.
Hatshepsut or Hatusu, the Pharaoh-Queen, has ordered an enquiry into a spate of myterious killings in the Temple of Anubis. What makes the political situation volatile is that the Mitanni, who were defeated in the last battle are stationed in the same Temple as they have come to sign a peace treaty. The first mystery is the murder of Nemrath and the missing Amethyst called “The Glory of Anubis.” Minor herrings dot the bookscape to divert Amerotke as well as our attention like the deaths of some fishes and a dancing girl. As one by one the Mitanni get killed, Amerotke is at his wit’s end especially since none of the people murdered show any sign of physical distress. In a complicated and twisted plot where Amerotke is almost killed by desert lions and the lady Norfret helps in the investigation, the person behind the killings is revealed. But a unique justice is delayed till the last page.
Murder and poilitical intrigue is captured in a manner that does not make the characters alien. We identify with the characters because they are one of us. I loved the way Hatusu is shown as a temperamental flirtatious woman. In one memorable scene, she flirts with Amerotke,
Hatusu: Do you lust after me Amerotke?
Amerotke: I lust after my wife not a goddess.
Hatusu laughs: Always the one with the right answer!*
The Pharoah-Queen Hatusu in the previous Egyptian mystery The Horus Kilings seems to have grown in character. She is seen as a warrior, a friend, a woman, and a goddess. The scenes in the desert have been etched well though I did smart when I read the death sentence that took place in the desert! Violence, however well-written, is not my cuppa tea!
All in all, I would regard this book highly for the plot, the characters, the atmosphere and the mystery. I would definetly recommend this book to everyone.
Rating: : * * * * * = Khallas (Deadly)
My Rating System:
* * * * * = Khallas (Deadly)
* * * * = Bindaas (Great)
* * * = Jhakaas (Good)
* * = Timepass(Okay)
* = Bakwaas (Avoid it)
[This dialogue is rendered from memory and might not be the same as in the book.]