Murder in the Palace
Prince Ra-em Hotep, son of Ramesses II, has been found dead in his room. Poison is suspected and Cretan pharmacist, Nikolas, is brought in to investigate the mysterious death.
A ‘locked room’ puzzle is presented here: who could possibly have killed the prince? Nikolas finds his initial investigation thwarted by the funerary processes of Egypt and, building a group around him, finds himself travelling across Egypt to uncover the conspiracy of Ra-em Hotep’s death and unwittingly, discovering rebellion and corruption.
Campbell’s writing style incorporates a very dry wit and there’s no doubt that Egypt springs to life on the page. The religious elements of Egyptian life are given scope but are also somewhat derided by Nikolas who believes his own Cretan upbringing and society to be superior and less superstitious. This leads to some very interesting discussions between Nikolas and his entourage, which makes for entertaining reading.
The herbal medicines and cures created by Nikolas and his partner, are uncannily accurate and a lesson is given through entertainment in the history of medicine as well as the lives of all aspects of Egyptian society, from the lepers and miners, who are ostracised by those in towns and cities, to the high royals in the palaces.
A good read and one for taking time over and relaxing with.