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by Michael Pearce

  • ISBN: 0002324172
  • Category: Thriller & Mystery
  • Author: Michael Pearce
  • Other formats: mobi docx txt doc
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Collins Crime; First Edition edition (1992)
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • FB2 size: 1483 kb
  • EPUB size: 1148 kb
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 946
Download The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt fb2

Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of Cairo’s Secret Police, turns his attention to the illegal trade of antiquities . Owen’s new brief is to see that Egypt’s priceless treasures stay in Egypt.

Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of Cairo’s Secret Police, turns his attention to the illegal trade of antiquities when Miss Skinner arrives. She’s a woman with the habit of asking awkward questions. But what is she doing looking for crocodiles? And mummified ones at that? Owen’s new brief is to see that Egypt’s priceless treasures stay in Egypt. But when Miss Skinner narrowly escapes falling under a conveyance, Owen must labour to thwart killers and face an even graver problem: whether to ask the pasha's lovely daughter to marry hi. .

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A Mamur Zapt Mystery. ISBN: 9781464208799 ebook.

Edwardian Egypt and archaeology go hand in hand, not just for the antiquarian but for the men, whether poor fellahin or rich merchant, who profit from the illegal export of antiquities. Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of Cairo's Secret Police, turns his attention to the trade when Miss Skinner arrives. She's a woman with the habit of asking awkward questions. And because her uncle might be the next President of the United States, her queries demand answers.

It was, to start with, over four hundred miles from Cairo and the last part of the journey would have to be by mule. The first part, however, need not be made by boat, as Miss Skinner had done. The first part, however, need not be made by boat, as Miss Skinner had done uld be covered by train; more particularly, in the splendid new Wagons-Lits which had just come into service. Owen boarded the train just before it departed and was relieved to see that no one was occupying the other berth. He opened the window and once the train began to move there was a pleasantly cooling draught.

Michael Pearce now lives in London and is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books. Country of Publication. Michael Pearce's tenth irresistible adventure for Colonial Egypt's the Mamur Zapt is fresh, funny, and "Still as fertile as your favourite oasis. From the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books, the first in a new series introducing Seymour of Special Branch and set in the British embassies and consulates of Europe in the early 1900s. But what is she doing looking for crocodiles? And mummified ones at that?Owen’s new brief is to see that Egypt’s priceless treasures stay in Egypt. But when Miss Skinner narrowly escapes falling under a conveyance, Owen must labour to thwart killers and face an even graver problem: whether to ask the pasha’s lovely daughter to marry hi.

Michael Pearce has crafted a series of mysteries set in Egypt at the end of the 19th Century

Michael Pearce has crafted a series of mysteries set in Egypt at the end of the 19th Century. I suspect that the series itself may be greater than the sum of its parts. I just finished this book and another (Girl in the Nile) in the series and would heartily recommend three or four in a row for someone planning a trip to Egypt. The books convey a great sense of place and present the cultural mores and business practices of the period as part of the story. Reading it just for fun, I found the Michael Pearce has crafted a series of mysteries set in Egypt at the end of the 19th Century.

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Reviews about The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt (5):
Doulkree
Fifth of the series and just as interesting as the rest. The reader knows what the problem is from the beginning of the book, but it is fascinating to see how the crime is committed - probably is the same today. The characters are interesting and the twist is fun.
Larosa
Another excellent politically aware book about Egypt prior to the First World War.

The focus is on all the antiquities being excavated and removed from Egypt to vanish into private collections or be curiosities. The story focuses on one particular tomb some distance outside Cairo - the local village has been quietly robbing it since it was constructed, but now American money is coming along and prising it apart. The people of Egypt could do with money from sales, but most of the money is going to the wealthy Pashas who own the lands. The Museum is allowed to evaluate finds and claim the best and most historically significant; of course both dealers and imitators are at work.

Gareth Owen the Mamur Zapt follows a well-connected American woman around after someone tries to harm her. She's keen on examining antiquities and on unravelling the complex political situation in the country. As Americans say, good luck with that.

This book apparently won the Last Laugh Award - the publisher could try telling us what that is or which country or group awards it. I did find humour in this book but not so much as in others of the series. But crime books are all too often not just serious but grim, so read something lighter with all that rich history to absorb, and you'll feel better for the read.
Foginn
I like Micahel Peace's Sandor Seymour mysteries( Dead Man in Istanbul), so his Mamur Zapt stories were a logical choice. While I like the character ("Mamur Zapt" is an Ottoman title for a 'special investigator'), this particular mystery was a little lackluster. Set in turn-of-the century Egypt, the Mamur Zapt (an Englishman, as Egypt was under the thumb of the British) is investigating the attempted murder of a young American woman who herself was investigating the smuggling of Egyptian antiquities.

The juxtaposition of European imperialism and their rationalization of "protecting and preserving" the heritage of ancient Egypt by excavating and removing artifacts for European museums with the pillaging and robbing of the same sites for the profit of the locals was subtle - too subtle for my tastes, as the fine line between the two (if indeed, there is a line at all), warrants consideration by the intelligent reader. A missed opportunity, unfortunately. The case itself becomes wider and broader as other murders - or perhaps accidents - at Der el-Bahari (Deir el-Bahri) are also related to the export of antiquities. This part of the story was solid and enjoyable. For me, a further detraction from the story was romantic tension between Mamur Zapt (Gareth Owen) and the lovely daughter of a pasha. Some allowance must be made I suppose, for me jumping into the middle of the series (the first Mamur Zapt mystery is The Mamur Zapt & the Return of the Carpet: A Mamur Zapt Mystery (Mamur Zapt Mysteries) - which may relate to the love-interest aspect of the story. Even so, it seemed an awkward fit in the plot of the story here.

I remain a fan of the author, and in spite of a mediocre review, I'll read at least another story featuring Owen; nonetheless, _The Spoils of Egypt_ is a missed opportunity.
Olelifan
Each of these excellent (but slim) books placed in Edwardian Egypt seems to revolve around a theme. Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt (head of the political section of the British police in Cairo), has to deal with the conflicting laws, nationalities, religions, and other forces in tracking down crime and protecting British rule.

The stories parallel Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological detective adventures, especially this one, as the theme is the theft of Egypt's antiquities. But, while the story is up to the usual high standards, for once the picture of Egypt doesn't really correspond to the image in the Peabody books. Captain Owen visits Luxor and Deir el-Bahri (spelled here Der el-Bahari), site of the excavation of the lovely temple of the woman pharaoh Hatshepsut. And while Peabody's husband Emerson may be constantly complaining about the quality of other excavators, the (apparently imaginary) Parker expedition at Deir el Bahri seems much less savory than the actual excavations in the area as late as 1908.

(There's also nothing here to indicate that Howard Carter was busy digging in the nearby Valley of the Kings on behalf of Lord Carnarvon.)

Gaston Maspero, the head of the Department of Antiquities, is nowhere to be found in this book, nor does it reflect his struggle to stop the looting, which became law four years after the time of this book, in 1912.

The story is a good one, but it is weakened by its interesting theme apparently not reflecting the actual situation in Egypt at the time. On the other hand, it does end on a high note, with Captain Owen popping "the Question" to his independently-minded Egyptian mistress Zeinab.
Aedem
I'm not sure if the reason their are so many typos is because it is a reprint or what. They are so distracting that I found to difficult to read and can not recommend it.

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