"Insightful 1908 Egypt mystery"
Thirty years ago the Khedive, the ruler of Egypt, invited
The British in to help sort out his country's finances.
The British never left and now in 1908, the English are the
true rulers of the country in all but name. Gareth Owen,
the person in charge of security known as the Mamur Zapt,
has a relatively easy time of it until the Khedive invited
Grand Duke Nicholas, heir to the Russian throne, for a
There are many nationalities and ethnic groups living in
Egypt, groups like the Mingrelians who were forced to flee
when the Russian army invaded their homeland in the
Caucasus. The Georgians too resent the Russians for wiping
out their homeland and some of these groups work together
to make a political statement by killing Nicholas with a
bomb. Owen works overtime to defuse the radical elements
and he has matters under control until the explosives are
stolen from under the eyes of his informant. To prevent an
international incident, Owen must figure out who is the
mastermind that is controlling events and bring him in
before he assassinates the Grand Duke.
Readers get a very clear picture of the culture, politics
and growing nationalism in 1908 Egypt. Michael Pearce
paints a very sympathetic picture of the country almost a
century ago as a nation who welcomed displaced ethnic
groups who had no where else to go. There is a lot of
subtle humor in THE MINGRELIAN CONSPIRACY, which is needed
when the tension of the story line reaches extreme
levels. Mr. Pearce is a gifted storyteller who makes the
past come alive in the mind's eye.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 15, 2003