Cairo, 1909. The murder capital of the world, where deaths are two a piastre. But the death of an effendi? That is something different.
Effendis, the Egyptian elite, are important. Especially if, in a country ruled by foreigners, they happen to be foreign. Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt, is called in to investigate. But is he the right man to be investigating?
In some countries, if someone goes for a walk, or a boat ride with the head of the secret police and doesn't come back, it's best not to ask questions. And powerful people might have preferred Tvardovsky dead.
As the maverick financier said, before going on the shooting party, there were still crocodiles in Egypt. Of all kinds. And perhaps the place to look for them was Crocodilopolis, the ancient City of the Crocodiles, where the financiers were to hold their meeting. It is when the crocodiles start co-operating, said Tvardovsky, that you really have to watch out....
I've been reading Michael Pearce's Mamur Zapt books for years and have rarely been let down. They are always eagerly anticipated, and this one is right up there with his best. I have not liked Pearce's other series, but the Mamur Zapt is just plain beguiling. The atmosphere of Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century is portrayed beautifully. I wish I could have been there and seen it - Pearce clearly loves the place and the period and so will you. Oh, and good characters and a well thought out mystery - what's not to like?
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Michael Pearce's mysteries are interesting and appealing if you like to be immersed in historical fiction set in countries we don't read much about. I have read or listened to 3 of his novels and haven't become bored. To me they are at least as good as John Grisham. The narrator, Nigel Carrington can do many different characters plausibly; he is very good.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Michael Pearce or narrated by Nigel Carrington?
What could Michael Pearce have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
He paid a lot of attention to details during that period in Egypt, and as an Egyptian I recognised many details he diligently sited. But with all the names and twists it was a bit confusing. I can imagine how much more confusing it would be to an non Egyptian.
What about Nigel Carrington’s performance did you like?
Yes it was fine. Carried the story through well.
Do you think The Death of an Effendi needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. It wasn't gripping enough.
Any additional comments?
The use of many Arabic words and names might put off a lot of readers as it throws the flow of the events off. I would suggest concentrating more on the actual plot.
I got this audio book out the library and amongst love stories and other crime fiction this sounded a bit more cultural. But it didn't quite live up to my expectations of finding more Egypt-life in it. I found the plot in the end somewhat boring and not very exciting.
The narration itself is not too bad.