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Secrets of the Nile: Lady Emily #16    by Tasha Alexander order for
Secrets of the Nile
by Tasha Alexander
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Secrets of the Nile is the sixteenth in Tasha Alexander's historical mystery series starring Lady Emily, now happily married to dashing Colin Hargreaves, an agent of the Crown. Since the last episode I'd read was the thirteenth, I had some catching up to do, but had no difficulty working out who's who.

As this episode opens, Emily, Colin and Colin's adult daughter, Katharina von Lange, accompany his mother Ann to Egypt. She was invited by her very old friend Lord Bertram Deeley, a well known collector of antiquities. A group of close friends join him on a Nile cruise to his mansion in Luxor. The Hargreaves don't board his private steamer but rather rent a traditional dahabiya.

They join the rest of the group for dinner at Deeley's House of Justice, but are shocked when their host suddenly keels over, dead from cyanide poisoning. Of course, Colin and Emily investigate, to find that clues point in turn to each of the invited guests - including Colin's mother. Slowly but surely they wend their way to a very surprising conclusion.

Though the (relatively) modern mystery interested me, I found the ancient one (revealed in alternating texts) even more intriguing. Three thousand years in the past, readers are introduced to folk living in a village of artisans, in particular talented young sculptress Meryt, wed to scribe Kamose. Someone in the village is making trouble for her - but why?

By the end, the author knots the threads of both her mystery plots together in this engaging read.

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