If you're looking for a cozy Egyptian mystery a la Elizabeth Peters, this is NOT the book for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a meticulously structured novel that begins with a mystery but peels away, layer by layer, to expose outrageous egos, debauched jazz-age society, delusions of grandeur and, yes, crime, then check this out. Phillips does an outstanding job of not just telling a story, but creating a world with minute detail and manifold connections. Note that there's a cast of readers, not just one, which can take some getting used to. And as other reviewers have pointed out, some patience and tolerance for seaminess is required. Recommended for those who enjoyed "Devil in the White City," which to me at least hits many of the same chords.
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