Secrets of the Nile by Tasha Alexander
The Queen of Mystery has long been a favorite author at The 52 Book Club. So, when the blurb for a novel starts with, “In a brilliant homage to Agatha Christie…” you know said book is going to hit our must-read shelves. And Tasha Alexander’s newest book in the Lady Emily series, Secrets of the Nile, certainly lived up to that description!
Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, are at the home of Lord Bertram Deeley when he collapses dead after dinner — victim of the lethal poison, cyanide. And while almost everyone around the table is Deeley’s personal friend, they also all have powerful motives for murdering him…
Secrets of the Nile is set in Egypt during the Victorian Era. The setting is bold and vivacious, transporting readers to dusty archaeological digs, and ancient temples pulsating with history. The writing was well done and the cast of characters, method of poisoning, and setting, all gave off the strong Christie vibes as promised.
Unexpectedly, this mystery contained a dual-timeline aspect. The book alternates chapters between Lady Emily in 1904, and the perspective of a young wife and sculptor in ancient Egypt. I found the story set in Pa Demi, Regnal Year Two absolutely fascinating, as this is a time period I don’t encounter often in historical mysteries. For the majority of the book, I had no idea how these two storylines would tie together but was equally captivated by both Meryt’s short and quick chapters, and the murder investigation playing out in Lady Emily’s. As I’d hoped, both plots tied together neatly at the end, leaving me satisfied with both.
While I was able to guess the “who-dunnit” aspect of the murder before the final reveal, I didn’t figure it out until just a couple of chapters before. I love being “right” in murder mysteries just as much as I love being surprised, so figuring it out just before didn’t take anything away from this read.
All in all, this was an entertaining read, perfect for historical mystery lovers! I will hands-down be back for more of this delightful, historical series!
Fans of Agatha Christie, those who love historical mysteries
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. ARC provided courtesy of the publisher, Minotaur Books All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) Lord Bertram Deeley, a renowned amateur British collector of antiquities is entertaining his closest friends at a lavish cruise up the Nile to his home at Luxor when he suddenly collapses after offering a welcome toast, a victim of the lethal poison cyanide. Who amongst this group of his nearest and dearest would want to kill their generous host: an archeologist whose dig Deeley was funding until he suddenly withdrew support? A powerful politician whose career Deeley had secretly destroyed? A dyspeptic aristocratic English spinster whose hired travelling companion seems determined to protect her employer? Or even the formidable Mrs. Hargreaves, Lady Emily’s mother-in-law, who may have spurned the advances of Lord Deeley when they were both younger? A key clue may lie with several ancient ushabtis, exquisite three-thousand-year-old sculptures that played a role in yet another murder in Ancient Egypt, a crime with a very real link to Lord Deeley’s death. Lady Emily and Colin gather their suspects together to reveal the identity of a killer whose motive is as shocking as it is brilliant.