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by Dana Stabenow
Head of Zeus, January 2022
278 pages
ISBN: 1800249772

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In the second of a new series by Dana Stabenow, most famously known for her Kate Shugak books, two fishermen in ancient Egypt come across a body, its feet encased in cement. Aristander, the head of the Shurta, or law enforcement, calls on Tetisheri, who as the Eye of Isis reports to Queen Cleopatra directly. He tells Tetisheri that this murder, strange as it is, is not the first one—it is the second one. And the method of murder—called Rhakotis sandals—had been thought a myth or rumor that circulated among the community of builders. But this method of enforcing internal disputes seems to be very real.

Tetisheri calls upon Queen Cleopatra not only with the news of these murders, but with another ongoing crime—the theft of the most valuable scrolls from the Great Library of Alexandra. Both crimes are very concerning to Cleopatra, who is rebuilding Alexandria and cannot afford unlawfulness.

Tetisheri is soon enmeshed in the community of powerful people and following conspiracies. She finds help in an unlikely place: a gang of orphaned street urchins, who become her own band of Baker Street Irregulars.

Although set in 47 BCE, the novel reads like a contemporary one, populated with strong women, just as the Kate Shugak series is. Ancient Egypt may be far removed from contemporary Alaska, but the strong storytelling that we have always gotten from Dana Stabenow is also at work here. Fans will appreciate this detour from Alaska to Alexandria.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, March 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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