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THE BRIDE BOX

Michael Pearce, 2013

This a mystery set in 1913 Egypt with interesting asides of colonial Britain, the French and the complexity of governing and the Nile Valley.

This is an easy to read narrative written in a 'Victorian vernacular.' Its not very strong on character or extreme plot development but good insights into split loyalties, British and Egyptian class systems slavery/servitude and the status of girls and women in terms of colonial powers and Egyptian culture told in a matter-of-fact way.

This is part of the Mamur Zapt mysteries series. The Mamur Zapt is head of the Egyptian secret police and is a Welshman (definitely not English as he points out), Gareth Cadwallader Owen. It touches on the racism encountered by the south (Sudanese), slavery, all sorts of private and political tensions including the mentally disabled son of the powerful Pasha, who was the recipient of the 'Bride Box.' A good light read!

 


Reviewed by Jean Fraser