A classic historical mystery from the award-winning Michael Pearce, set in the Egypt of the 1900s. When gang violence strikes the city, the inimitable Mamur Zapt is called in to investigate.
In 1908, the city of Cairo lives – and dies – by its cafe culture. But for restaurant businesses, the protection rackets pose a problem. And the city’s cafes are experiencing a sudden upsurge in threats from various gangs.
When one cafe proprietor is attacked, his legs broken for noncompliance, everyone is worried. Then the Russian Charge files a complaint – the Mingrelians may be targeting a Russian Grand Duke. Now the Mamur Zapt, Head of the Secret Police, must find a way to prevent an international incident…
About the Author
Michael Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in London and is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thirty years ago the Khedive, the ruler of Egypt, invited The British in to help sort out his country¿s finances. The British never left and now in 1908, the English are the true rulers of the country in all but name. Gareth Owen, the person in charge of security known as the Mamur Zapt, has a relatively easy time of it until the Khedive invited Grand Duke Nicholas, heir to the Russian throne, for a visit. There are many nationalities and ethnic groups living in Egypt, groups like the Mingrelians who were forced to flee when the Russian army invaded their homeland in the Caucasus. The Georgians too resent the Russians for wiping out their homeland and some of these groups work together to make a political statement by killing Nicholas with a bomb. Owen works overtime to defuse the radical elements and he has matters under control until the explosives are stolen from under the eyes of his informant. To prevent an international incident, Owen must figure out who is the mastermind that is controlling events and bring him in before he assassinates the Grand Duke. Readers get a very clear picture of the culture, politics and growing nationalism in 1908 Egypt. Michael Pearce paints a very sympathetic picture of the country almost a century ago as a nation who welcomed displaced ethnic groups who had no where else to go. There is a lot of subtle humor in THE MINGRELIAN CONSPIRACY, which is needed when the tension level of the story line reaches extreme levels. Mr. Pearce is a gifted storyteller who makes the past come alive in the mind¿s eye. Harriet Klausner