Cover image for Death of an effendi : a Mamur Zapt mystery
Death of an effendi : a Mamur Zapt mystery
Pearce, Michael, 1933-
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Publication Information:
Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Pen Press, 2004.

Physical Description:
178 pages ; 23 cm
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It's 1909, and Cairo is the murder capital of the world. Deaths are two a piastre. But the death of an effendi is something different. Effendis - the Egyptian elite - are important. Especially if they happen to be foreign.

When effendi Tvardovsky is shot at a gathering of financiers in Crocodilopolis, the ancient City of the Crocodiles, Mamur Zapt Gareth Owen - Chief of Cairo's Secret Police - is called in to investigate. 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 any questions. And there are powerful people who might prefer Tvardovsky dead.

There are still crocodiles - of all kinds - in Egypt. And when the crocodiles start cooperating, it's time to really watch out....

Author Notes

Michael Pearce lives in London and is the author of fourteen Mamur Zapt novels, including The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt, for which he was awarded the Crime Writers' Association's prestigious Last Laugh Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Fans of Pearce's delightful Mamur Zapt series will find this latest entry among the best of the bunch and clearly deserving of its shortlisting for the Ellis Peters Award. Captain Gareth Owen, Chief of Cairo's Secret Police (called Mamur Zapt), is asked to guard Russian financier Tvardovsky during a shooting party for potential Egyptian investors. But Owen fails. Tvardovsy, along with hundreds of birds, is shot dead, apparently by another member of the hunting party. Before Owen can set the investigatory wheels turning, Tvardovsky's body is spirited away, and another Russian is imprisoned for murdering him. Owen and his colleague Mahmoud are furious that the foreign effendi's death has not been properly investigated, and they're positive the wrong man has been jailed. But when the pair attempt to unearth the truth, they are thwarted at every turn. Their tenacity eventually pays off, and they crack the case, but even these two experienced investigators are shocked by the bizarre story that emerges. Witty and beguiling, with an amusing cast of characters, this story also offers a charming glimpse of turn of the century Cairo. The Mamur Zapt series has been underappreciated for too long; let's hope this one brings Pearce the wider audience he has long deserved. --Emily Melton Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in Cairo in 1909, Michael Pearce's Death of an Effendi: A Mamur Zapt Mystery, the 12th in this well-received historical series, finds Gareth Owen, the head of the secret police force tasked with maintaining political calm, entering the murky world of the Egyptian Russian community after the seemingly accidental fatal shooting of a Russian financier. Though the whodunit's resolution doesn't measure up to the intriguing opening, the author's trademark wit and humor are as much in evidence as ever. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved