The Mingrelian Conspiracy
The duties of Captain Cadwallader Owen, the Mamur Zapt, are never done. In 1908 Cairo, he has two tough situations to resolve. Lately the city’s cafés have experienced an increase in gang threats, and it falls to Captain Owen to determine if they are criminally or politically based. Problems are escalating between ethnic groups as important events are to happen in the city. Captain Owen has to handle these issues with the finesse of diplomacy and tact during one of the most complicated times in Egyptian history.
Michael Pearce captures the essence and flavor of Cairo’s ethnic, political and social environment during British domination in his own gritty, masculine fashion. Pearce’s descriptions bring the dirty, hot city to life, and he doesn’t mince words. The diversity of cultures and political unrest is vividly portrayed. A note of warning: in places the storyline can be jumpy requiring the reader to infer what isn’t said. There is no apology for the rough-and-tumble feel of the characters and Pearce does not waste time on flowery extras. The story is enjoyable even for a reader not familiar with any of the previous Mamur Zapt mysteries. However, because of the historical backdrop, it’s a good idea to read the earlier books.