Saturday, January 2, 2010

Crime in Ancient Egypt

Well, I've been enjoying a 15-day trip through Egypt over the festive season (I'm about halfway through at the moment) - experiencing some of the ancient sights still on offer at places like Giza (The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx), Aswan (the Temple of Philae and nearby-ish Abu Simbel), and Luxor (the Valley of Kings etc). It has been a brilliant vacation, complete with a bit of crime fiction reading on buses and trains etc. Though I must confess to feeling a little foolish that I didn't bring a copy of the Christie classic, DEATH ON THE NILE, with me to enjoy while cruising the Nile in a felucca.

Today while browsing a bookstore in historic Luxor, searching for a decent anthology of Ancient Egyptian myths and legends (I like to collect books of local stories from places I visit), I came across several other Egypt-set crime books, and couldn't resist buying one. So I now have in my backpack a nice hardcover of PC Doherty's THE ANUBIS SLAYINGS, the third in his series set in Ancient Egypt.

Doherty is a UK mystery writer who specialises in historic crime fiction. He is the author of several acclaimed mystery series including The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, the Hugh Corbett medieval mysteries, and the Canterbury Tales of mystery and murder. So I am looking forward to this book (and if I like it, reading more in the series).

Have you read any Egyptian-set crime novels? Do you like murder mysteries set in ancient cultures? Thoughts and comments welcome.


  1. Craig - It sounds as though you're having a wonderful time, and I'm happy for you. I enjoy historical crime fiction, so I'll be interested in knowing what you think of Doherty's book. Agatha Christie's Death Comes as the End might also interest you, as it takes place, too, in Ancient Egypt. Of course, I'm a Christie fan, so my view of it is biased, but if you like ancient mysteries, you may very well like that one.

  2. I have read one book each of the Brother Athelstan, Hugh Corbett, and Canterbury Tales series. Liked them all and am looking forward to reading your opinions on this one.

  3. Yes, I've read a couple of mysteries set in ancient Egypt, but unfortunately I can't remember the titles or author(s). That may say something about them, or my memory, or both.

    I do enjoy reading mysteries set long ago. One of my favorite series is Saylor's great "Sub Roma" series, set in Rome, during the century prior to the Christian era.

    Another more recent historical series is CJ Sansom's "Matthew Shardlake" mysteries set in England during the reign of Henry VIII.

  4. Craig, I am so jealous! What a wonderful place and way to holiday.

    I loved Elizabeth Peter's historical mysteries which were all set in Egypt. Her characters Amelia Peabody, and her Husband Emerson (and later, son Ramses) adventured as Archaeologists in Egypt, solving crimes and mysteries. Wonderful stuff.

    I love the idea of murder mysteries set in ancient times. You'll have to tell us what you think of the Anubis Slayings.

  5. There's one set in modern-ish (1980s)Egypt called
    death Beyond The Nile by Jessica Mann